This page outlines requirements for the BA in Literary Studies with a concentration in Literature. Students can also study Literature as a
minor or as part of a
self-designed major (BA or BS, Liberal Arts).
Literature students develop a distinctive critical-analytical voice and firm grounding in literary theory and history and their vocabularies. Many of the faculty teaching literature are also creative writers and understand approaches to the study of literature from the perspectives of practitioner, scholar, and critic. Although many students in literature classes are themselves creative writers, writing for the Literature concentration almost always takes the form of the critical essay or research paper. Learn more about the
Faculty members in Literary Studies regard critical and theoretical writing as a process that is as creative as writing poetry, fiction, and drama. Students are encouraged to begin with 2000-level courses in Literature (LLSL) and Writing (LLSW) as they consider one of these two concentrations. Two required Literary Introductions courses (The Invention of Literature, offered every fall, and Literary Reinvention, offered every spring), focusing on texts from the classic to the contemporary, enable students to build a solid foundation in literary studies and provide them with a common language and literary experience as they proceed to more advanced study. Literary Studies students can also apply to continue their writing and literature coursework abroad beginning in their sophomore year, in Paris, London, Rome, or Verona. In their junior or senior year, all students are required to take an intensive single-text course in which both critics and practitioners of writing explore the nuances of a major work, as well as a Reading for Writers course, combining the reading of great works with creative writing.
All students must receive grades of C or better in all courses taken to fulfill major requirements. Students who enrolled in spring 2008 or earlier may follow the rules for the old Writing or Literature areas of study (BA in Liberal Arts) or may opt to follow the new, more rigorous requirements for the BA in Literary Studies (Literature or Writing Concentration). Students who enrolled at Lang after spring 2008 must adhere to the new rules for the major.
Only specific courses satisfy the major requirements, including electives. In choosing courses to meet requirements, students are encouraged to meet with Juan E. De Castro (212.229.5400 x2257) with questions about the Literature program.
Track your progress using the program requirement worksheet (PDF) for the year in which you declared your major in Literary Studies:
The major in Literary Studies with a concentration in Literature requires 13 courses to be completed as set forth below. At least four of these courses must be 3000 level or higher, and no more than two may be taken (with the approval of the chair) at the Schools of Public Engagement.
To see which courses fulfill requirements, visit the Lang course finder.
NOTE: Literary Introductions courses are co/prerequisites for all 3000-level Literary Studies courses, unless waived by the chair.
Total credits: 52
*An LLSW poetry workshop may fulfill this requirement, with approval from the chair.
**With the approval of the chair, LLSW Introduction to Playwriting or LLSW Intermediate Playwriting may be applied to this requirement. Courses offered in other departments, such as The Arts, with an emphasis on reading plays (e.g., a course on Shakespeare's plays) may also fulfill this requirement.
See Literary Studies Courses
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Admission ContactOffice of AdmissionEugene Lang College of Liberal Arts
79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212.229.5150 or 800.292.3040
For general questions about Literary Studies, email
Literary Studies faculty and advisors.
Juan E. De Castro
Literary Studies Department Advisor
Literature Capstone Coordinator
Carolyn Vellenga Berman
Writing Capstone Coordinator
Program Requirements WorksheetsFind your worksheet at your department's curricular page:Literature concentrationsWriting concentrationsSenior CapstonesDownload Senior Capstone in LiteratureDownload Senior Capstone in Writing