The English department encourages all students, not just majors in English, to revise their writing extensively, in private consultation with the department faculty. For extra help, students can visit the Center for Reading and Writing, located nearby and staffed by experienced reading and writing specialists as well as tutors, many of whom are senior-rank English majors serving as interns. The department supports an internship program in which majors (and minors) can earn credit for work as writers on and editors of campus publications, as well as for comparable work in companies and organizations in the Hartford region. The department celebrates excellence in writing at an annual Spring Writing Awards ceremony, in which the winners in a campus-wide competition in several writing categories receive cash awards of up to $1,000 each.
To meet the goals of the program, majors take a required seminar in their sophomore year that is focused on research methods and critical approaches to literary texts. Majors also complete a capstone course in their senior year to be designated each year in the schedule of classes designed to review theoretical issues currently being raised in the discipline about reading and writing and, in doing so, perfect analytical skills cumulatively acquired in course work in the major. For majors concentrating in literature, a portfolio of interpretive criticism revised from prior course work will be required; for majors concentrating in creative writing, a portfolio of creative writing revised from prior course work will be required. Each portfolio will also include new material, written and revised during the course. The capstone experience is especially useful for majors who plan to pursue employment where the submission of a writing portfolio is a distinct advantage or to prepare for the Graduate Record Examination, ordinarily required for application to a graduate or professional school.
Students interested in pursuing a PhD in English (or related disciplines) should know that proficiency in a foreign language is required not only for advanced study beyond the master’s degree but also as a prerequisite for admission to most graduate schools.