Led by an accomplished faculty of scholars and writers, English Majors at CCNY engage in discussion-based classes that hone their creative and critical thinking skills.

These skills, developed through close reading, contemplating and writing about a wide array of genres, can be applied in a broad range of professions. English Majors pursue careers in teaching, writing and the arts. Many enter the legal profession, others apply their critical and creative skills in mass communications, or even within more technical or STEM-related fields.

“My time at CCNY has been incredibly beneficial to me as a writer. The range of experience and knowledge both my professors and classmates bring to the class and the page has spurred me to bring more of myself in turn.”
–Gabriel Noel, CCNY English Graduate and MFA in Creative Writing Candidate.

Guidelines for Undergraduate English Majors

We recommend that students make an appointment with the English faculty advisor when declaring the major, at least once a semester from then on, and whenever any other questions arise about your English major classes or requirements.

Our English faculty advisor is currently Professor Olivia Wood who may be reached at owood@ccny.cuny.edu. Students may also speak to our department’s head administrator, Yana Joseph (yjoseph@ccny.cuny.edu). The office hours for our advisors change every semester and are posted on our department’s website.

For current advising hours, click here.

For all queries about General Education, core, and general elective classes, as well as other programs in the Humanities & Arts division, students should make an appointment with one of the H&A divisional advisors.

To be enrolled as an English major, students need to declare the major and concentration online.
To do so, click here.

All students must speak to the English faculty advisor, Professor Gustafson, preferably before declaring the major and certainly immediately upon doing so. Transfer students must speak to Professor Gustafson about which, if any, of their classes at previous universities will count for English major credit. Once a student has declared the English major successfully, they will be added to our email distribution list for majors. Important emails from Yana Joseph and from our department chairperson will go to all majors at their citymail addresses. Majors need to check their citymail accounts frequently.

Interested students with a 3.3 GPA or above are eligible to apply for our Honors program. This is best done in one’s junior year. Honors students take advanced seminars in literature and literary criticism and take an additional class (i.e. over and above the required 39 credits) in which they write a thesis under the guidance of a full-time faculty member. The Honors program is suited to students considering graduate school. Our current Honors director is Professor Robert Higney (rhigney@ccny.cuny.edu). More information on the program is available here.

Every spring semester, the English Department accepts submissions for student awards. The awards are various – from general excellence awards that require applications and letters of recommendation and that come with large monetary prizes, to smaller essay or creative writing awards. Information on the year’s awards will be circulated to English majors at their CityMail accounts in February, and the awards ceremony usually happens in May. Students may read more about the awards here.

CCNY and CUNY offer a number of fellowship and scholarship opportunities that English majors are eligible for. Each scholarship comes with its own set of requirements and rules and rewards, but in general, the ones that typically attract English majors include:

The English Department offers a range of extracurricular activities, such as scholarly talks, readings, information sessions, and workshops. Students may keep track of them with our events calendar here.

Many majors become interested in the Publishing Certificate Program, a course of study in the world of publishing. Publishing classes do not count for English major credit, but the certificate program can be fulfilled independently as one would do with a minor. For information on publishing classes, the certificate program, and advising on these matters, click here.

What can you do with your English major after graduation? The CCNY Career Center offers advising specialized for students pursuing degrees in English and the Humanities. See their website here.

A total of 39 credits (13 classes) in literature and/or creative writing courses is required to complete the major. Other basic rules for the English major include:

  • Students must maintain a minimum GPA of at least 2.5 within the major.
  • Publishing classes, World Humanities classes, and composition classes do not count for English major credit.
  • Students may (but are not required to) include one literature course taught in another CCNY department towards their requirements for the major, as long as that literature class is taught in English and is approved by the English faculty advisor.
  • Students may count up to 12 transfer credits (4 classes) towards their major requirements, but any transfer credits must be first approved by the English faculty advisor.

We require all English majors to take a certain amount of literature classes, outlined in this section. The remaining classes for the major will depend on which concentration an individual student chooses to pursue (see below for information on the types of concentrations). Many of our classes have prerequisites.

  • ENGL 25000: Introduction to Literary Study is a required class for all English majors. It should be the first class for the major that all students take. It is a prerequisite for all 300- and 400-level literature classes.
  • One additional 200-level literature class: We recommend that students take their required 200-level literature class along with, or shortly after taking ENGL 25000; it is a prerequisite for all 300- and 400-level literature classes.
  • Two 300-level literature classes: ENGL 25000 and at least one 200-level literature class fulfills the prerequisite for enrolling in 300-level literature classes.
  • Two 400-level literature classes: Completing 24 credits in the major, including at least two 300-level literature classes, fulfills the prerequisites for enrolling in most of these classes.

All English majors need to complete the six courses outlined in the section above. Their seven remaining courses for the major will depend on which concentration they choose.

There are three choices for concentration: Literature, Creative Writing, and Secondary English Education. Students must choose one of these, and it is best to make the choice at the start of their work for the major.


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Select the concentration below to find out more.


The undergraduate literature program introduces students to a wide range of literary genres, themes and critical approaches, helping them hone a critical vocabulary and method for reading and writing about literature.

Creative Writing

Undergraduate creative writing students will write and study across multiple genres, finding their voice and preparing for careers in writing, publishing, editing, communications and beyond.

Secondary English Education

The Secondary English Education concentration is for students planning to teach at the junior-high or high-school levels, and is usually taken in conjunction with English Education courses toward a teaching certificate.

View the Current Course Bulletin


Professor Elizabeth Mazzola
Location: North Academic Center, Room 6/219
Phone: 212-650-5407

Olivia Wood, Lecturer in English
Location: NA 6/219
Phone: 212-650-6360

Spring 2024 Advising Hours 

Mondays, 3:30-4:30pm (in-person)
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 3:30-5:30pm (in-person)
Fridays, 12:30-2:30pm (Zoom)
Students should schedule appointments on Calendly booking page.