The English department's Tracks program enables you, if you choose, to give more shape and focus to your English major. Tracks are entirely optional. 

What is a Track?

A track is a cluster of four or more courses organized about

  • a historical field (for example, Medieval/Renaissance literature);
  • a genre (for example, Poetry); or
  • an independent topic of your creation (for example, Race and Ethnicity).

The track is designed to allow you to define your specific literary interests by carefully choosing what courses you take as your English electives. You will not have to take extra courses to complete a track.

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Tracks and Interdisciplinarity: Courses from Other Departments

A track may help shape and focus the whole of your Villanova education. At least three of the courses for a track have to be English courses numbered 2000 or above, but the fourth can be an upper-level course from another department. When you’re choosing your required upper-level courses in disciplines such as History or Philosophy, you might want to look for courses that complement your English track. You are also free to put together a track of more than four courses, making your track even more interdisciplinary.

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What Particular Tracks Look Like

A Sample Historical Field Track (in Medieval/Renaissance literature):

  • English 3150: Chaucer
  • English 3230: Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama
  • Honors / English 3601: Methods and Problems in Interpreting Shakespeare
  • History 3006: Medieval Europe 500-1500
  • Philosophy 2150: History of Medieval Philosophy

A Sample Genre Track (in Poetry):

  • English 3501: Early Romantic Writers
  • English 3610: Modern British Poetry
  • English 4510: Nineteenth Century American Poetry
  • English 2006: The Writing of Poetry

A Sample Independent Track (in Race and Ethnicity):

  • English 2520: Black Literature: The Short Story
  • English 2790: Caribbean Literature
  • English 4646: Race and Ethnicity: The American Novel
  • History 4120: The Emergence of Modern Africa
  • Sociology 3600: Race Relations and Ethnic Relations

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Possibilities for Tracks

  1. Historical field and area tracks:
    • American literature
    • Irish literature
    • Medieval/Renaissance literature
    • Early Modern British literature (17th and 18th centuries)
    • Nineteenth-Century British literature
    • Twentieth-Century British literature
  2. Genre tracks:
    (Genre tracks must include courses from more than one century and from more than one national literature.)
    • Poetry
    • Drama
    • The Novel
  3. Independent tracks:
    Possibilities might include Race and Ethnicity, Transatlantic Literature, World Literature, Religion and Literature, Film and Literature, and Creative Writing.

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Planning your Track

Review the English courses you’ve taken, because you might already have the basis for a track in place. If you’re interested in following a track, begin by talking with your advisor before registration. She or he might refer you to another English professor whose interests correspond with yours, especially if you’re planning on devising your own independent track. General questions about the program can be referred to the coordinator of the program, Prof. Michael Berthold. The program is designed to be flexible and to accommodate a broad range of academic possibilities. Each English major’s track will probably be unique to her or him. Normally you should declare your interest in pursuing a track by the fall term of your senior year.

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Track Certificates

The English department will issue a certificate that will attest to the successful completion of a track. You might also want to include information about your track on your resume (e.g., “English major with special interest in Medieval/Renaissance literature”).

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