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Literature

Questions?

  • Literature
    202-885-2971
    Fax: 202-885-2938
    lit@american.edu
    Battelle Tompkins, Room 237

    Rangel-Mullin, Rebecca
    Sr. Administrative Assistant

Mailing Address

Literature (BA)

Offered by the Department of Literature, College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the major requires a grade point average of 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale) and departmental approval.

University Requirements

  • 120 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
  • Completion of college writing requirement
  • Completion of university mathematics requirement

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline

Major Requirements

  • 42 credit hours with grades of C or better, with at least 21 credit hours at the 300 level or above

Tracks

Literary Studies, Cinema Studies or Creative Writing

Course Requirements

Core (18 credit hours)

Two survey courses (6 credit hours) from the following:

Literature before 1900 (6 credit hours)

  • Two courses in literature written before 1900

Note: Creative Writing Track students must complete at least one course in literature written before 1800.

Required (6 credit hours)

Tracks (24 credit hours)

Complete one of the following tracks:

Literary Studies Track

One course (3 credit hours) from the following:
One additional survey course (3 credit hours) from the following:
Literature before 1800 (6 credit hours)
  • Two additional courses (6 credit hours) in literature written before 1800
One course (3 credit hours) from the following:
Electives (9 credit hours)
  • Three additional courses offered or approved by the Department of Literature

Cinema Studies Track

Required (6 credit hours)
Two courses (6 credit hours) from the following:
Film or Interdisciplinary Topics (6 credit hours)
  • Two additional 300- or 400-level courses in film or interdisciplinary topics
Electives (6 credit hours)
  • Two additional 300- or 400-level courses offered or approved by the Department of Literature

Creative Writing Track

Required (6 credit hours)
Three courses (9 credit hours) from the following:

Note: Students may take the same creative writing course no more than twice.

Electives (9 credit hours)
  • Three additional courses offered or approved by the Department of Literature

University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors in the major through the University Honors Program, students must meet the requirements detailed on the Honors website and have been enrolled as either a first-year student between Fall 1989 and Spring 2014, or as a transfer or self-nominated student through Spring 2015. The University Honors Program should not be confused with the AU Honors Program, which begins in Fall 2014 and has separate requirements, also detailed on the Honors website.

Combined BA and MA in Literature

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.

This program enables students to complete both the BA and the MA in Literature.

Requirements

  • Undergraduate literature majors ordinarily apply at the end of their junior year, but they should consult with the MA program director prior to applying. Admission decisions follow the procedures used to evaluate graduate applicants to the MA in Literature. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required. Students will be admitted formally to MA status only if they have completed all requirements for the BA in Literature with at least an overall 3.00 grade point average and a 3.20 grade point average in literature courses.
  • All requirements for the BA in Literature.
    • Undergraduate students may apply up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate-level coursework in literature to satisfy the requirements of both degrees.
  • All requirements for the MA in Literature, including a minimum of 18 credit hours completed in residence in graduate status after the undergraduate degree has been awarded. Students must finish the master's degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master's program.

Senior Year Requirements

Senior year requirements include courses LIT 498: The Value of Literature and LIT 480: Senior Project.

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