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.

  • 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 or above the 300-level
  • Tracks: Literary Studies, Cinema Studies, Creative Writing, or Transcultural Studies

Course Requirements

Core (18 credit hours)

Race/Ethnicity/Identity

Complete one course from the following:

Survey

Complete one survey course from the following:

Literature before 1900

Complete two courses in literature written before 1900 from the following, or as approved by department or major advisor:

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

Required

Tracks (24 credit hours)

Complete one of the following tracks:

Literary Studies

100-level Literature

Complete one course (3 credit hours) from the following:

Survey

Complete one additional survey course (3 credit hours) from the following:

Literature before 1800

Complete two additional courses (6 credit hours) in literature written before 1800 from the following, or as approved by department of major advisor:

Additional

Complete one course (3 credit hours) from the following:

Electives
  • Three additional courses offered or approved by the Department of Literature

Cinema Studies

Required
Additional

Complete two courses (6 credit hours) from the following:

Film or Interdisciplinary Topics
  • Two additional 300- or 400-level courses in film or interdisciplinary topics
Electives
  • Two additional 300- or 400-level courses offered or approved by the Department of Literature

Creative Writing

Required
Creative Writing

Complete three courses (9 credit hours) from the following:

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

Electives
  • Three additional courses offered or approved by the Department of Literature

Transcultural Studies

Required
World Literature

Complete one course (3 credit hours) from the following:

Topics

Complete two courses (6 credit hours) from the following:

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

Combined Literature (BA) and Literature (MA)

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.

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for combined bachelor's/master's programs:

  • Undergraduate literature majors 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.