Top of page
Skip to main content
Main content

Joint Major in History and English

Degree information for Joint Major in History and English
Degree AwardedBA
Hours To Complete48 hours
Courses Required14
Registrar CodeENGHIST


The departments of History and English offer a joint major, the goal of which is a logical and focused curriculum for exploring the relationships of literature and history. The joint major seeks a coherence that draws upon expertise in each department to aid the student in fashioning an individual program.

The exact nature of the student's class list should be worked out in consultation with the student's adviser in each department. There are no geographical or chronological limits placed on the joint major, but a thematic unity is expected. Student participation in the intellectual life of each department is a high priority.

At least fourteen courses (a minimum of forty-eight hours); the entire class list must be approved in writing by the student's advisors in each department.

  1. Seven courses in history, five of which must be above the 200 level, one of which must be a 400-level writing-intensive colloquium, and all of which must demonstrate a thematic coherence
  2. Six courses in English beyond the 100 level, four of which must be 300 or 400 level writing-intensive courses and all of which must demonstrate a thematic coherence.
  3. One writing course, which may be either an honors thesis, a directed reading that produces a senior essay of at least 5,000 words to be read by the student's advisers in each department, or (with advance written permission of the professor and both advisers) an upper-division course in either department in which the student writes a term paper developing specific relationships between history and literature.


The Official Letter of Application

Prospective majors must submit an official letter of application that describes the student's proposed field of concentration within the joint major (e.g. sixteenth-century British, nineteenth-century American, modern Irish, African American, etc.); the letter must be endorsed by an adviser in each department.

This letter calls upon the student to plan a course of study, though some flexibility is permissible as the student pursues this planned curriculum.

Application Deadline

Students are strongly encouraged to file their applications at the start of their junior year. Applications must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies in each department before the student registers for the first semester of the senior year.