Minor

Introduction

In the Department of English students are trained to read critically and to attend to the imbricated histories of language, literature, culture, and power. Students read widely across genres and periods of British, American, and Anglophone literature and across various critical and theoretical approaches. In addition to lectures and seminars devoted to poetry, prose, and drama, English offers courses on cinema, photography, architecture, the public essay, and data and culture, among other media and topics. We encourage students to think across disciplines and languages and offer vital skills and resources supporting independent research.

An English minor serves Princeton undergraduates from all majors, sharpening thinking and writing in ways that support work in their respective concentrations. English courses foreground language, style, and rhetoric; they train students’ attention to effective writing and to various analytical, critical, and interpretive modes. In English courses, students pay close attention to the structures of arguments, specific aspects of language and expression, the history of literature in English, and the cultural and grammatical aspects of the language. English courses also foreground the historical operations of language and power, affording students invaluable resources for addressing the inequities and disparities that shape our world and imagining the futures that can reinvent that world.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisite courses for the minor in English. However, prospective minors are encouraged to take at least one course in English during their first or second year.

Admission to the Minor

The Department of English will hold an “open enrollment” period every spring for prospective minors. While students are encouraged to declare in their sophomore year to take advantage of departmental guidance and the potential “clusters” curated by faculty, they may declare a minor any time before the beginning of their junior spring term.

A student might join the minor after that, but only with the support of the director of undergraduate studies and their residential college dean and after having a detailed conversation about advising and guidelines.

English courses taken before the formal declaration of the minor may be counted retroactively.

Requirements of the Minor

  • English minors must take five courses, at least two of them seminars.
    • Just as there are no prerequisites, there are also no required courses for the minor. As detailed above, the department will offer suggestions as to possible clusters, but we will also invite students to chart their paths and propose a new cluster.
    • Students may apply one approved study abroad course towards completion of the minor. 
    • For the Class of 2026 and beyond, students may not apply cognates towards the completion of the minor. Only courses hosted or cross-listed by English will count towards the minor.
  • Minors are required to complete a reflection paper after completing the minor course requirements.
    • In this reflection paper, students are tasked with describing their paths through the minor and outlining the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired across their English courses.
    • Students may submit their reflection papers at any time after they’ve completed the course requirements for the minor, but no later than March of their senior spring term. The reflection paper, submitted to the director of the English minor and read by members of our committee on departmental studies, is the equivalent, for minors, of the senior departmental exam that graduating majors must take, which also includes, as one component, a reflection paper.
  • No more than one elected P/D/F course may be counted towards the requirements for the minor.
  • Students cannot count courses taken to fulfill the requirements of their major towards the requirements for the minor.

How to Report Completion

Students will be required to submit two separate documents to successfully indicate the completion of their requirements. Completed documents should be submitted via email to Lauren Romano, the undergraduate administrator, and Russ Leo, the director of undergraduate studies. The two required documents are:

  • The self-reporting form (PDF)
    • This will indicate the completion of your course requirements
    • This is due in December of your senior year.
  • The reflection paper.
    • This is due in March of your senior year.