Early Modern Undergraduate Specialization

The Early Modern Center offers a Specialization in Early Modern Studies to undergraduate English majors. The English Department encourages upper-division students to pursue particular literary and critical interests by selecting an area of specialization. The Undergraduate Specialization in Early Modern Studies focuses on English literature from 1500 to 1800. It encourages students to take courses on a wide range of topics throughout this broad historical span and to study in depth both minor authors of the period as well as such major figures as Spenser, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Milton, Pope, Defoe, Richardson, and Samuel Johnson. Students are encouraged to consult with Early Modern faculty members for advice in selecting their courses.


Any 4 elective courses (1 of which may be lower division) or 3 elective courses (1 of which may be lower division) plus one senior seminar, all in the Early Modern period. In either case, Early Modern courses required for the major (for example, English 10, 15, 101, 102, or courses used in substitution for these requirements) may not count toward the specializations, with one exception: if you have elected to fulfill the Shakespeare requirement by taking English 105A or 105B, any additional Shakespeare courses you may take (e.g. English 15, 105A or 105B) will count towards the specialization.

Independent Study is also an option for students who want to tailor a course to their specific Early Modern interests.

Early Modern Specialization Email List

If you would like to receive emails about the Specialization and about Early Modern period events, then send us an email and we will make sure that you are added to an Early Modern Undergraduate Email List. You do not have to declare a specialization in the period, nor do you even have to declare an English major, to receive emails about EMC events.