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We can lie in the language of dress or try to tell the truth; but unless we are naked and bald, it is impossible to be silent.Alison Lurie

The Minors in English

The English Minors are available to non-majors in all Cornell Colleges, offering three ways for students to broaden their development in writing and literary understanding.

The English Department offers three minors open to non-majors in all Cornell colleges: “Creative Writing,” “English,” and “Minority, Indigenous, and Third World Studies.” Fulfillment of the requirements for these minors will yield a certification on students’ transcripts. Students may count courses taken at any point in their Cornell careers.

Each minor requires students to pass five 3- or 4- credit courses with a grade of C or higher. No first-year writing seminars will count, and at most 4 credits from transfer, study abroad, independent study, or courses (where relevant) from another Cornell department will count.

How to apply: Students may file an Intent to Minor form at any time at the English office. By the seventh week of the semester before graduation, students must present a faculty member with the Minors Declaration form for approval and then submit the form at the front desk in the English Department, 250 Goldwin Smith Hall.

Creative Writing Minor

Students must take five courses worth 3 credits or more, including the following:
  • ENGL 2800 or 2810 Introduction to Creative Writing
  • Either ENGL 3820 or 3830 Intermediate Narrative Writing or ENGL 3840 or 3850 Intermediate Verse Writing
  • Either ENGL 4800 or 4810 Advanced Verse Writing or 4801 or 4811 Advanced Narrative Writing
  • One English course in literature or cultural studies,2000-level or higher, or the course Reading for Writers
  • A fifth course that may be any level of creative writing or another literature course. Students may concentrate on fiction or poetry alone or study both.

English Minor

Students will choose five courses of at least 3 credits each from literature, creative writing, and critical writing and creative nonfiction courses. These may be at the 2000-, 3000-, or 4000-levels. Those wishing to take four creative writing courses should minor in Creative Writing.

Minority, Indigenous and Third World Studies (MITWS) Minor

Students must take five courses worth 3 credits or more. ENGL 2870, Freedom Writes: The Literature of Global Justice Struggles (4 credits; also ASRC 2870), is required for this minor. Students choose four other courses from a list of MITWS offerings. One of these must focus on Indigenous subject matter, defined as American Indian (including all the Americas), Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, Maori and Australian Aboriginal. Students are encouraged to choose their three remaining courses to focus on a variety of ethnicities and national traditions. Where possible, these courses should be offered by the English department.