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Literatures in English Major

Welcome to the Literatures in English undergraduate page.  Here you will find the major and minor requirements, contact information, career planning and study abroad resources and quarterly-updated information like:

  • Literatures in English major checklist
  • Student and department event announcements
  • Quarterly course information and highlights

You will also find the Faculty Advisor for the Literatures in English major, which changes annually.  Your faculty advisor will be available to assist you with such issues as academic progress, research opportunities and career paths within your field.

Professor Meg Wesling

2017-2018 Faculty Advisor
Professor Meg Wesling

Major Requirements (for students entering UCSD Fall 2017 or later)

Literatures in English major checklist
  1. Six lower-division courses:
    1. LTEN 21, 22, 23, 25, and 26
    2. One of the following: LTEN 27, 28, or 29
  2. Eight upper-division courses from literatures in English offerings, including a course from each of the following four a–d categories:
    1. British Literature before 1660
    2. British Literature after 1660
    3. US Literature before 1860
    4. US Literature after 1860
  3. One upper-division course in the history of criticism or in literary/cultural theory and methods from among the following: LTTH 110; LTTH 115; or LTCS 100.
  4. Three upper-division courses in comparative breadth, comprised of the following:
    1. One course in Literatures of the Americas (LTAM)
    2. One course in Literatures of Europe (LTEU)
    3. One elective course from Literatures of Africa (LTAF), Literatures of the Americas (LTAM), Literatures of East Asia (LTEA), Literatures of Europe (LTEU) or Literatures of the World (LTWL)
  5. Secondary Language & Literature: Students will satisfy this requirement by completing the lower-division course sequence in a language other than English, through a designated terminal lower-division course.
    1. Intensive Language Track:  Students will also be able to choose to complete an intensive track, which will be noted on the their transcript.  Students who would like to earn this notation will complete the lower-division language sequence, as well as two upper-division literature courses in the language.  Students who would like to pursue the intensive track should consult with an advisor to see how that path will affect their upper division requirements.

Major Requirements (for students that entered UCSD prior to Fall 2017)

Literatures in English major checklist
  1. Six lower-division courses:
    1. LTEN 21, 22, 23, 25, and 26
    2. One of the following: LTEN 27, 28, or 29
  2. Nine upper-division courses from literatures in English offerings, including a course from each of the following four a–d categories:
    1. British Literature before 1660
    2. British Literature after 1660
    3. US Literature before 1860
    4. US Literature after 1860
  3. One course in world Anglophone literature(s) with focus other than British or US literatures.
  4. One upper-division course in the history of criticism or in literary/cultural theory and methods from among the following: LTTH 110; LTTH 115; or LTCS 100.
  5. Three courses in a secondary literature, that is, a literature taught in a language other than English. At least one of these courses must be upper division. Upper-division courses taken to satisfy the secondary literature requirement may be counted as part of the twelve upper-division courses. Special studies courses (198s and 199s) do not apply to the secondary literature requirement.
  6. Upper-division elective chosen from Department of Literature offerings to make a total of twelve upper-division courses.

How to switch to the new 2017 requirements

Students that entered UCSD prior to Fall 2017 are allowed to either follow their existing requirements or switch to the new 2017 major requirements.

If you are considering changing to the new 2017 requirements:

  1. Review the new major requirements in the "Major Requirements (for students entering UCSD Fall 2017 or later)" section above.
  2. Consult with a Literature Department faculty member to determine which requirements would be the best preparation for your future goals.  One faculty member we encourage you to talk to is the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  3. Visit us in the Literature Office (Room 110, Literature Building) during walk-in advising, where an advisor will prepare the necessary paperwork for you to review and sign.
  4. Once the paperwork is signed and filed, we will update your degree audit to reflect your new requirements.
NOTE: Switching to the new requirements means a complete switch.  No partial changes in requirements will be permitted.

Minor Requirements

Seven LTEN courses, at least five of which must be upper-division.  Lower division courses that may be applied to the minor: LTEN 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30.  Upper division "LTEN-equivalent" courses (which vary on a quarterly basis, see "Course Information" below) may also be applied to the minor.  All courses for the minor must be taken for a letter grade.  You can declare a Literatures in English minor (LT36) on TritonLink, using the Major/Minor Tool.

Course Information

  • Planned Course Offerings
  • Current Course Descriptions
    • For the English Literature major, courses with the note "[...] is a LTEN equivalent course" at the end of their description can be applied to major/minor requirements as an upper division LTEN elective.
    • LTEN courses with "(a)", "(b)", "(c)" or "(d)" at the end of their title may be applied to the English Literature major requirements as follows:

(a) = British Literature before 1660
(b) = British Literature after 1660
(c) = U.S. Literature before 1860
(d) = U.S. Literature after 1860

Tips for Transfer Students

Before you transfer...

  • Check Assist, the official source for articulation and student transfer information. You will see how your lower division courses will transfer to UCSD. 
  • This major does have a foreign language requirement, so students are highly recommended to start taking courses in their chosen language as early as possible.
  • We are happy to assist any students who are planning to transfer to UCSD.  If you would like guidance prior to transferring, please email us at litprospective@ucsd.edu or call us at 858-534-3210.

After you transfer...

  • Please check your transfer record on TritonLink . Are all the courses you took listed? Are the UC San Diego equivalent courses listed beside the courses you took? If you took a course and it does not appear on your TritonLink record, please contact the Admission's Office for corrections. 
  • If you took a course that does not appear on Assist and you think it is equivalent to one of our courses, you can file an undergraduate student petition with the Literature Department for review. We will be happy to go over that process with you if you have any questions.
  • Once you've received all possible UCSD credit for your transferred coursework, you are ready to make an academic plan.  Our Academic Advisors are happy to help you with this during our walk-in advising hours.
    • YOU SHOULD BE ENROLLED IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE COURSE IN YOUR FIRST QUARTER AT UCSD.  If you need assistance determining which course is appropriate, please call us at 858-534-3210.
    • After transferring coursework and filing undergraduate petitions, many transfer students find that they still have lower division requirements to fulfill.  It is highly recommended that you substitute upper division courses for these requirements, and our Academic Advisors have lists of pre-approved courses for this purpose.

Study Abroad for Your Major

English Literature majors are highly recommended to study abroad!  Aside from being an amazing experience, study abroad coursework can be applied to your major requirements (and actually decrease your time to graduation, if planned right)!  English Literature majors may apply up to 5 upper division courses from study abroad to their major requirements, and English Literature minors may apply up to 3 upper division courses to their minor.  Learn more about study abroad opportunities:

Careers in Literature

Students who major in Literature pursue a wide array of career paths.  UCSD and the Department of Literature have many resources to aid you in your career exploration and development:


Alumni Highlight:


English Literature Alumni - Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson, ’74, Ph.D. ’82

Literatures in English

Kim Stanley Robinson is a renowned science fiction author, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. He has penned more than 20 books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Fifty Degrees Below, Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt, and Antarctica. According to a 2013 article in the New Yorker, he is "generally acknowledged as one of the greatest living science-fiction writers." He was honored by UC San Diego in 2005 for Professional Achievement and by Muir College as a 2011 Environmental Fellow.


Alumni Highlight:


English Literature Alumni - Alan Russell

Alan Russell, ’78

English & American Literature

Bestselling author of ten mystery novels, including Burning ManShameMultiple WoundsThe Hotel Detective, and Political Suicide, Alan Russell’s books have been nominated for most of the major awards in crime fiction, including a Lefty award for best comedic mystery, a USA Today Critics’ Choice Award, two San Diego Book Awards for best mystery novel, and the Odin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the San Diego Writers/Editor Guild. Alan served as editor of The Guardian newspaper while a student at UCSD and returned to UC San Diego in 2014 to give the Warren College commencement keynote speech. He lives with his wife and children in Encinitas, California.


Alumni Highlight:


English Literature Alumni - Kathryn Frengs

Kathryn Frengs, ’01

Literatures in English (and Political Science)

Global Marketing Communications Lead, Firewood Marketing at Google

Kathryn Frengs started her professional life as an Intern in The Clinton White House, was Staff Assistant and Field Rep to U.S. Congresswoman Jane Harman, and has worked, among other places, at Apple, in Paris and in the U.K.


Alumni Highlight:


English Literature Alumni - Carol Becker

Carol Becker, Ph.D. ’76

English & American Literature

Carol Becker is Dean of Faculty and Professor of the Arts at Columbia University School of the Arts and a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Art in Society for the World Economic Forum. With research interests that range from feminist theory, American cultural history, the education of artists, art and social responsibility, to South African art and politics, she has published numerous articles and books on cultural criticism. She was honored by UC San Diego as the 1999 Outstanding Alumna and was recognized during the 50th Anniversary Year in 2010.


Alumni Highlight:


English Literature Alumni - Adriana Cara

Adriana Cara, ’92

English & American Literature

Founding Attorney, Cara & Garland, APLC, one of the few female- and minority-owned law practices in San Diego County. In a June 2015 profile story in the San Diego Union Tribune, Cara confided that reading literature is an essential part of who she is and has served her well since her days at UC San Diego, providing an enjoyable escape during her stressful law school days and a solid foundation for developing persuasive legal arguments as an attorney.



Contact us through...

Map to the Literature Building

Walk-in Advising

Literature Building, Room 110
Monday-Friday, 9:00am-12:00pm & 1:00pm-4:00pm

Virtual Advising Center

Virtual Advising Center

We respond to messages
Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm 
(for current students only - valid
student PID required)