The Catholic University of America

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I declare English as my major?

A: To switch from another major to English, meet with Dr. Michael Mack, Director of Undergraduate Studies. He will give you paperwork to deliver to the Undergraduate Dean’s office.

Q: How do I declare English as my minor?

A: To declare an English minor, simply visit the Undergraduate Dean’s office and fill out the appropriate paperwork. Then when you have fulfilled the requirements, your transcript will show that you have completed the minor in English.

Q: Can I study abroad if I major in English?

A: Most certainly. The department encourages students to take advantage of CUA’s programs for studying abroad

Those interested should meet with a faculty advisor as soon as possible in order to figure out the best way to incorporate a study abroad program into their overall plan of studies. Almost all who study abroad do so in their junior year. It is not possible to study abroad during the senior year because of the senior seminar.

Q: Can I take the two semesters of the senior seminar in different academic years?

A: No. Although each semester of the senior seminar has a different course number (ENG 431 in the fall and ENG 432 in the spring), the seminar is a single year-long course. Therefore, students cannot switch seminars after a semester; nor can they take the two halves in subsequent years.

Q: What is the Senior Comprehensive Exam, and how do I prepare for it?

A: Majors take the Comprehensive Exam at the beginning of the spring semester of their senior year. For information on the exam, including guidelines for preparing for it, click here

Q: Does the department sponsor any competitions or offer any special awards or honors?

A: The Thomas O'Hagan Prize is offered for the best poem written by an undergraduate in a competition held during the second semester of each academic year. Each year the department also awards the Thomas A. Cane Prize to the most outstanding graduating senior.

Q: What can I do with an English major after college?

A: Students completing a degree in English go on to many professions and a wide variety of graduate programs.  Career Services has put together invaluable career information for English majors that provides more detail.