Teaching English Option

The English Major's Teaching English Option is designed to be as useful as possible to those who want to teach English. Students enrolled in the UTEP Program will find it valuable, but it's open to all students.

Every semester the Department of English offers more than forty sections representing more than two dozen different classes in literature and creative writing (see the Schedule of Classes for the current offerings and the Course Catalog for descriptions).


Foundations of Literary Study (350:308)

Survey of English Literature I (350:321)

Ten electives, of which at least five should be in subjects 350 and 352


We urge all future teachers to use their electives to take the widest possible range of classes. We suggest four areas in which to concentrate electives: surveys, expository writing, creative writing, and theater and drama.

Survey Classes

The Praxis Exam looks for knowledge of the major works, authors, and movements in English, American, and world literature. The best way to prepare is to take several systematic survey classes that cover the works that have been considered most important. All English majors take Survey of English Literature I (350:321). In addition we recommend (but don't require) any of the following:

  • 350:322, Survey of English Literature after 1800
  • 350:349, The English Novel to 1800
  • 350:350, The English Novel after 1800
  • 350:352, Survey of World Literature
  • 352:325, Survey of American Literature to 1860
  • 352:326, Survey of American Literature after 1860
  • 352:395, African American Literature to 1900
  • 352:396, African American Literature after 1900
  • 352:401–402, American Literature to 1900

Though not surveys, these courses are also valuable in covering works that may appear on the Praxis Exams:

  • 350:215–216, Literary Masterpieces
  • 350:343–344, The Bible as Literature

Expository Writing Classes

New English teachers often feel unprepared for the work of grading papers. We therefore recommend (but don't require) a class on expository writing or on the English language:

  • 350:310, English Grammar
  • 355:301, Foundations: Usage, Voice, & Style
  • 355:340, The Art of Persuasion

Creative Writing

English teachers should have some experience in creative writing. We recommend (but don't require):

  • 200:201, Introduction to Creative Writing

Up to two creative writing classes can be counted toward the major, so you might consider a 300-level creative writing class as well.

Theater and Drama

English teachers often find themselves involved in theater programs. We therefore recommend (but don't require) one class in the practical side of theater:

  • 088:101, Living Theater
  • 088:212, From Page to Stage

If you’re unable to take one of those, consider taking at least one literature class focused on drama as part of your electives:

  • 350:206, Shakespeare for the 21st Century
  • 350:244, Reading Drama
  • 350:319, Shakespeare: Early Works
  • 350:320, Shakespeare: Late Works
  • 350:323–324, English Drama to 1642
  • 350:345–346, Modern Drama
  • 350:365, World Drama to 1900
  • 350:368, Restoration Drama
  • 350:467, Recent Trends in British Drama
  • 352:333, American Drama
  • 352:460, Non-Western Drama
  • 352:468, Recent Trends in American Drama

A Four-Year Plan

UTEP students should consult the UTEP Required Course Sequence to coordinate the two curricula.

This is just one way to get through the Literature Option in four years. Those going through the program at a different pace, and those who transfer into Rutgers – Newark, can adjust the timeline to suit their needs.

First Year

Take all required composition classes (including 355:101 and 355:102)

Take two core literature classes (200-level), preferably one each semester

Second Year

Finish any remaining composition requirements as soon as possible

Declare an English major in the department office on the fifth floor of Hill Hall

Consider taking Introduction to Creative Writing (200:201) to satisfy your core requirement in Arts and Media in the fall 

Take the other required classes for the English major, Foundations of Literary Study (350:308) and Survey of English Literature I (350:321), as early as your schedule permits

Take one or two additional 300-level literature and creative writing classes

Third Year

This is your chance to explore your interestsTake a selection of 300-level classes in subjects 350 and 352, focusing especially on the survey classes listed above

Consider classes in theater and expository writing, as outlined above

Fourth Year

Continue the plan from the third year, taking more 300-level classes

Be sure all required English classes are complete before your clinical work begins

The Fine Print

The Teaching English option does not provide certification to teach in public schools. To consider your options for teacher certification, get in touch with the Department of Urban Education.

Curriculum & Instruction Seminar (300:388, 2 credits) and  Curriculum & Instruction: English (300:362, 1 credit) can be counted toward the English major. No other Urban Education courses can be applied to the English major.

Up to 3 credits can come from the theater courses offered by Arts, Culture & Media; up to 3 credits can come from the Curriculum & Instruction Seminar offered by Urban Education; up to 3 credits can come from the Writing Program; up to 6 credits can be in creative writing. The remaining classes (21 credits)  should be literature courses offered by the Department of English, under subjects 350 and 352.

Only two 200-level literature classes usually count toward the major. Under special circumstances the department will approve additional 200-level classes. See your adviser before you register.

The required composition courses (355:101 and 355:102)  do not count toward the English Major.

More Information

Write to English@newark.rutgers.edu for more information.