College of Letters and Science
Division of Humanities
About the Major
The Department of English is dedicated to the study of the literatures and cultures of those parts of the world in which English is the primary language, and to the study of the history and structure of the English language itself. Although committed to no single method or approach, the department encourages an emphasis on British, American, and world literary history and requires of its undergraduate majors a firsthand acquaintance with many of the more influential writers who have helped during the past millennium to make English a global language that possesses richly diverse and highly influential literary cultures. Within the department, students are able to pursue a variety of approaches to the study of literary culture beyond the strictly historical -- literary criticism, for example, or those that draw on the resources of such disciplines as sociology, psychology, and philosophy. Within the B.A. degree in English, qualified students may elect a concentration either in creative writing or in world literature.
149 Humanities Building
Choosing Your Course of Study at UCLA
Making the Right Decision
One of the most important decisions you will make in college is your choice of major — the field of study that represents your principal interest and that will likely contribute to your career goals. Some students select their major at the time they fill out the University’s application for admission, although a far greater number are undecided about their major.
Students in the College of Letters and Science do not need to declare their major in their freshman year. In fact, you can be an “undeclared major” until the end of your sophomore year, which is particularly advantageous if you are not certain of your specific academic goals. It is wise to wait and explore the diversity of subject areas offered at UCLA through taking introductory courses in a variety of disciplines. It would not be unusual for you to become enthusiastic about disciplines previously unfamiliar to you. With careful planning, these courses may also apply toward fulfilling your university and college requirements.
To narrow your choice of study, carefully consider the general college requirements, the description of courses offered in the major, and the departmental requirements for completing the program of study. Look at the books required for each course. Sit in on a few classes and talk with professors during their office hours. Discuss interests and plans with a departmental counselor or faculty adviser, a college counselor, or advisers in the UCLA Career Center.
Certain majors, especially in the arts, engineering, the sciences, and theater, film, or television require early declaration. Some have enrollment quotas and allow application by new majors only during a specified term. Students should check with the departmental adviser for the majors that interest them.
In addition, UCLA undergraduate students are limited to between 208 and 216 quarter units, depending on the college or school, to complete the academic program and fulfill all degree requirements. So, if you wait to declare a major, you should not wait too long. In any case, you must declare your major by the beginning of your junior year (90 quarter units).
When you are ready to declare your major, you should obtain a Petition for Change of Major from your college or school office.