Department Features

The Distinctive Features of Our Department

Comprehensive Exams
The English Department Comprehensive Examinations represent a test of the candidate's breadth of preparation for the bachelor's degree. The deadlines for applying to sit for examinations will be posted on the department website each semester. All deadlines will be strictly followed. Students are advised to complete the exams during their next-to-last semester in their degree study and to have first successfully completed EN307 and EN380. Reading lists will be made available in a timely manner. If you are a literature track major, you must choose one category (A or B or C) from EACH of three areas. If you are a writing concentration major, you must choose one category (A or B or C) from EACH of two writing areas and one category from the literature areas.

Capstone Project
In the final semester of every English major’s career at Park, he or she will enroll in EN490, the capstone. In this course, each student selects a limited range of authors, works, or concepts in literature, and embarks on an intensive study of the chosen subject. Under the guidance of a professor and in collaborative discussions with peers, the student seeks a sophisticated and original understanding of literature by focusing on a limited subject.

The course culminates in a research paper that the student presents in a public forum. Attended by students, professors, and other members of the Park community, the capstone presentation is modeled on the traditional academic conference; students read the papers aloud in a panel format, and afterwards respond to challenging questions from the audience.

Independent Study Policy
The independent study will be offered to students only for courses not included in the regular face-to-face course rotation. It should not be viewed as a manner by which one may avoid the classroom offering. Exceptions may be granted at a faculty member's prerogative in extreme circumstances for students who have made every effort to enroll in face-to-face courses. The student must have passed the Writing Competency Test (WCT) prior to requesting an independent study. No exceptions will be made to this policy.

Requests must be made at least one month prior to the semester during which the independent study will be held.

Request for enrollment in an independent study must be made to a faculty member who teaches the requested course in the classroom. The request should be in email form and should be copied to the department chairperson.

Faculty members will alert the department chairperson and the student's faculty advisor when an agreement is made with a student to conduct an independent study.