Department of English

Dr. Lynn Alexander, Interim Chair
131 Andy Holt Humanities Building
(901) 587-7281


Margrethe P. Ahlschwede, Lynn M. Alexander, Carl J. Buchanan, Anna H. Clark, Joseph L. Coulombe, Mary Ellen Cowser, Victor Depta, Glenn S. Everett, Roy Neil Graves, Timothy J. Hacker, Walter D. Haden, Nainsi J. Houston, Laura C. Jarmon, J. Daniel F. Pigg, Andrew J. Schopp, Martha A. Whitt, Jenna L. Wright

The Department of English at The University of Tennessee at Martin offers work that applies toward the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major or minor in English and toward the Bachelor of Science degree with a minor in English. Each semester the department offers a variety of undergraduate courses in writing, literature, and language.

Today’s world offers a wide range of career possibilities for English majors—not only in secondary and university teaching, but also in business, law, medicine, and all the other fields where interpretive and writing skills are requisite. Many professional schools favor English majors, and employers are eager to find good technical writers, paralegals, and researchers. Collateral studies in religion, international relations, business, communications, education, or other disciplines may enhance the degree in English by broadening a student’s range of educational or employment possibilities.

Placement and Credit

Placement in Freshman English

Freshmen receive placement advice based on their high school grade point average and on their ACT English score. Beginning freshmen whose academic records and/or ACT scores show deficiencies in English are required to pass Developmental English (080 or 090 or both) before taking the regular English composition sequence (111-112). To verify placement, students will complete a writing sample during the first class period of each introductory course.

Placement of International Students

  1. International students who have a 500 (paper) or a 173 (computer) TOEFL score or have completed Level 6 in UT Martin's Intensive English Program may enroll in English 080 without taking an English placement exam. Those students who feel they can achieve a higher placement may take The English Writing Proficiency Placement Exam administered by the English Department at the scheduled time and will be place in English 080, 090, or 111 based on the results of this examination.
  2. The required in-class writing sample taken during the first class meeting in all English 080, 090, and 111 classes will continue to be an indicator of appropriate English placement for all students in those classes.
  3. International students must be enrolled in or have completed Level 6 of the UT Martin Intensive English Program or have scored 500 (paper) or 173 (computer) on the TOEFL in order to take the English Writing Proficiency Placement Exam.

Composition Options


Students who score 28 or above on the English portion of the Enhanced ACT may enroll in the freshman honors sequence (111H-112H), which offers enrichment and variety, collegial contact with other excellent students, and an obvious designation of distinction on the academic transcript. Students earning “As” in English 111 may enroll in English 112H if spaces are available and with the approval of the instructor.

Computer-Assisted Composition

The Department of English offers students the opportunity to develop computer skills in designated freshman composition sections located in state-of-the-art computer laboratories.

Department Facilities

The Hortense Parrish Writing Center provides students with individualized tutoring and workshops in writing and the use of the computer for composition. The department lounge is a place for informal contact with the faculty. Extensive holdings in the Paul Meek Library include carefully chosen print media and a wide range of audio-visual materials. Contiguous to the department office in the Andy Holt Humanities BuiIding are two computer laboratories as well as the 250-seat Norman Campbell Auditorium, convenient for films, lectures, and other programs. The writing center and most English classrooms are in Holt Humanities Building.

Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Awards

Students who plan to enroll in August should direct inquiries about financial aid to the Office of Student Financial Assistance before the preceding March 1.

High school winners of the regional Excellence-in-English competition, sponsored annually by the UT Martin Department of English and administered at Bradford High School, receive scholarship awards to help support their future studies at UT Martin.

Writing Awards of one hundred dollars each are offered annually by the department for the best student-written essay, scholarly paper, short story, and body of poems.

Student Organizations

The English Society is an organized group of majors, minors, and other interested students who meet regularly to discuss literature, share writings, and get to know faculty members and peers.

Writer’s Guild of UT Martin is a writers’ group which meets weekly in the English Writing Center to read, share, and respond to original, creative pieces and other works.

Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, recognizes outstanding English majors and minors.

Bean Switch, sponsored by the department and staffed by students, is an annual publication featuring students’ creative work: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art, and photography.

English Major

B.A. Curriculum. A major in English consists of six hours of English Composition, 12 hours of sophomore literature surveys, and 30 hours of upper-division English courses. Students may select either Option 1 or Option 2 outlined below. Students who pursue the English major for pre-professional training, for graduate study, or for careers outside teaching should follow Option 1; students seeking teacher licensure should follow Option 2. Majors are expected to consult their advisors each semester regarding the selection of options and courses.

In general, majors should work during their freshman and sophomore years toward the completion general requirements for the Bachelor of Arts and toward completing at least one sophomore-level literature survey sequence.

Some recommended minors for English majors include foreign languages, history, philosophy, political science, international studies, communications, theatre, one of the other fine arts, or education.

Option 1

  1. A major in English must complete the following lower-division prerequisite hours:
    1. English 111-112 (or equivalents) as prerequisites to all other English courses;
    2. English 200, 250-251, 260-261;
    3. Students planning to go on to graduate school in English are encouraged to take English 270-271 for elective credit.
  2. A major in English must also complete 30 upper-division hours (300 and above), including the following:
    1. 12 hours in British literature (English 360, 365, 370, 375, 401, 460, 465, 470, 480, 485, 490);
    2. Six hours in American literature (English 341, 343, 345, 355, 440, 445);
    3. Three hours in theory, language and linguistics (English 320, 420, 425, 450);
    4. Six additional hours (English 305, 310, 315, 325, 330, 350, 380, 385, 395, 475, 495, 496);
    5. Three hours in capstone course (English 499).
  3. A major may use English 350, 380, 385, 395, and 475 to substitute for courses above, in category 2a and 2b for 3 hours of the requirements.

Option 2

  1. A major in English must complete the following lower-division prerequisite hours:
    1. English 111-112 (or equivalents) as prerequisites to all other English courses;
    2. English 200, 250 or 251, 260-261, and 270.
  2. A major in English must also complete 30 upper-division hours (300 and above), including the following:
    1. Six hours in language and linguistics (English 425 and one of the following: English 320, 420);
    2. Three hours in writing and theory (English 305);
    3. Three hours in British literature to 1660 (English 360, 375, 460, 480, 490);
    4. Three hours in British literature from 1660-1900 (English 365, 370, 401, 465, 470);
    5. Three hours in Shakespeare (English 485);
    6. Three hours in American literature (English 341, 345, 355, 440, 445);
    7. Three hours in modern American, British, or World literature since 1900 (English 330, 343, 380, 385, 395, 475);
    8. Three hours in women and minority literature (English 345, 350);
    9. Three hours in capstone course (English 499).

Students using Option 2 who intend to teach in secondary schools should consult the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences about meeting admission and licensure requirements.

English Minor

A minor in English consists of 6 hours of English Composition; 6 hours comprising one complete sophomore sequence (250-251, 260-261, or 270-271); and 12 upper-division hours (300 or above) in English.

Description of Courses