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  Old Westbury Home > English > Majors & Minors

Majors & Minors



The Bachelor of Arts Degree in English

The Department of English houses Old Westbury’s Writing Programs and offers the Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. Building on common foundations, this degree offers two upper-level specializations: Multicultural U.S.-British Literature and World Literature.

At the Foundations level, requirements recognize the importance of firm grounding in Language Arts and  Literary Interpretation. These emphases correlate with stress on skills foundations in current pedagogy. The Linguistic Foundations requirement recognizes the centrality of strong training in the history and structure of language as well as the formal grammar of English.

The Literary Analysis requirement offers training in literary interpretation, close reading, knowledge of literary genres, social and historical contextualization of literature, and literary theory, today a sine qua non of competitive literature degrees. A three-course sequence in Literary Traditions includes historical surveys of British, U.S., European, and World literature and selected courses in classical foundations, genres, and such recent topics as postcolonialism.

The Multicultural U.S./British Literature Specialization is rooted in recent trends in literary theory and interpretation, which view U.S./British literature as expressing diverse national, cultural, and gender perspectives within a common tradition. Multicultural U.S./British Literature includes texts from both the U.S. and U.K. by writers of different ethnicities, genders, sexualities, classes, and ability/disability status. Multicultural literature focuses on the complexity of two countries in which people of many different cultures cohabit. Such fields as African American Literature, Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States, Women’s Literature, and Lesbian and Gay Literature, increasingly prominent in English studies since 1990, form the core of this specialization. This specialization enhances the competitiveness of students applying to graduate English programs or continuing to a variety of careers.

The World Literature Specialization studies literature in English from outside the U.S./U.K. as well as other literatures in translation. This specialization speaks to the increasing integration of international literary culture and to an increasing emphasis on global culture. It is directly relevant to the sizeable number of Old Westbury students from postcolonial English speaking cultures and to others with an interest in world culture. It helps prepare students for graduate study in such fields as Postcolonial Studies, the Literature of the African Diaspora, and others, and for varied careers.

The Senior Seminar requirement offers an integrated capstone experience for students in this degree program. The Senior Seminar requirement begins with Senior Seminar I—Research and Writing, an intensive preparation for the Senior Thesis including study of advanced research methods, seminar presentations, and a semester-length writing project. Senior Seminar II—Thesis provides a semester-long thesis writing project with a common curriculum of reading and research.


To prepare teachers for careers in middle and high school education, SUNY College at Old Westbury offers two degree opportunities in Adolescence Education: English Language Arts (7-12):

Curriculum Outlines

M.A.T  in Adolescence Education: English Language Arts (7-12) -- 42 credits

Pedagogy Courses:  24 Credits
ED6000 Historical, Social, and Philosophical Found. of Ed.             3 credits
ED6001 Human Growth and Development                                   3 credits
ED6002 Foundations of Literacy                                                  3 credits
ED6003 The Exceptional Learner                                                3 credits
ED6083 Discipline Specific Methodology: English                          3 credits
ED6093 Discipline Specific Literacy: English                                 3 credits
ED6901 Student Teaching: English                                              6 credits

English Language Arts Content Core: 18 credits
EL6510 Foundations of U.S. Literature                                        3 credits
EL6520 Foundations of English Literature                                    3 credits
EL6530 Topics in Multicultural Literature                                     3 credits
EL6540 Topics in World Literature                                             3 credits
EL6550 Rhetoric and Composition                                             3 credits
EL7500 Literature in the Classroom                                           3 credits

M.S. in Adolescence Education: English Language Arts (7-12) -- 36 credits

Common Pedagogy Courses:  9 Credits   
ED7001 Human Growth and Development                                   3 credits
ED7002 Foundations of Literacy                                                 3 credits
ED7003 The Exceptional Learner                                                3 credits

English Language Arts Content Core: 15 credits
EL6510 Foundations of U.S. Literature                                       3 credits
EL6520 Foundations of English Literature                                   3 credits
EL6530 Topics in Multicultural Literature                                     3 credits
EL6540 Topics in World Literature                                             3 credits
EL6550 Rhetoric and Composition                                             3 credits

Linked Pedagogy/Content Courses: 12 credits   
ED7083 Discipline Specific Methodology: English                        3 credits
ED7093 Discipline Specific Literacy, Research, & Tech.: English   3 credits
ED7700 Methods of Research in Educational Settings                  3 credits
ED7800 Thesis Research in Educational Settings    3 credits

Admissions Requirements

Requirement specific to M.A.T.  applicants:

  • Submission of GRE scores (Graduate Record Examination).
  • B.A. in English or English Language and Literature, or a B.A./B.S. degree with at least 30 credits in English or English Language and Literature courses. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a scale of 4) or the equivalent.
  • An undergraduate General Education program that includes English (6 credits) and a foreign language (6 credits or 3 years of foreign language at the high school level with a grade of C or better)

Requirement specific to M.S. applicants:

  • Initial or provisional certification in Adolescence Education: English.
  • Submission of scores on the CST (Content Specialty Test) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination).
  • An undergraduate General Education program that includes English and a foreign language.

Requirements for all applicants:

  • Two letters of recommendation, one from an academic source.
  • An admission essay.
  • International students must meet additional criteria, including the following: TOEFL scores: paper exam = 550; computer exam= 213; Internet exam= 80.  Students taking the IELTS English (Cambridge) exams must pass with a broad band score of 6.5. Students must also have their overseas documents evaluated by AACRAO International or WES (World Education Services). TOEFL or IELTS scores are waived if applicant has taken English Composition I at a U.S. college or university and has earned a grade of "C" or higher.

Further Information

For further information and application materials, please contact:

Graduate Admissions Advisor
Office of Enrollment Services
Ph:  516-876-3073
E-mail:  enroll@oldwestbury.edu

All application material should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions
Office of Enrollment Services
SUNY College at Old Westbury
P.O. Box 307
Old Westbury, NY 11568-0307



Did You Know?

Maryann De Leo, a 1977 graduate of the Media & Communications program within the American Studies Department, was honored with an Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category at the 76th Annual Academy Awards for her work as producer and director of "Chernobyl Heart," a film about the effects of radiation on the children of Belarus, Russia, 16 years after the infamous nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl.

The JP Morgan Chase Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to support the Curriculum Materials Center in the College library.

Women's volleyball coach, Marjahna Vickers, was named the 2005-06 College Female Coach of the Year by the Nassau County Sports Commission after leading the Lady Panthers to 21 wins and the most successful season in the program's history.

SUNY College at Old Westbury, P.O. Box 210, Old Westbury, NY 11568-0210 - (516) 876-3000