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Undergraduate Programmes in English

The department offers a variety of undergraduate programmes for students interested in English. These programmes are designed  to acquaint a student with literature and literary methods across genres, cultures, and languages. Students master interpretation and analysis skills, learning to formulate robust and original arguments both in writing and speaking.

Structure and Curriculum

Students can pursue a pure English major or one of many interdisciplinary English majors; they can also pursue a minor or a concentration in English.

The department offers a wide selection of courses, which are divided into 4 categories:

1. 1000-levels: These are general English courses that any student at Ashoka can take. They also count as electives for students majoring or minoring in English.

2. 2000-levels: These courses are introductory courses to various fields and methodologies of literary study. Although they are aimed at English students specifically, they can be taken by all Ashoka students.

3. 3000-levels: These courses are specialist courses designed for English majors and minors. Only students who have taken the gateways can take these courses.

4. 4000-levels: The 4000-level Graduate Seminars are reserved for ASP, MA, MLS students (with an English concentration), and PhD students. With the permission of the instructor, a third-year student can take a maximum of one 4000-level course towards their major.

  • Major

    The pure major in English offers students an in-depth, expansive study of literature: courses cover a diverse range of texts from across the world, thinking through classic and unusual questions and themes.

    Students are expected to take 12 courses to earn their major in English. Of these, the course break-up is as follows:

    2 Gateways
    Forms of Literature
    Introduction to Literary Theory

    4 Survey Courses
    Early British Literature
    Indian Literatures
    Literature in the Age of Empire
    Postcolonial Literature

    6 Electives:
    1 Critical Thinking Seminar*
    1 1000/2000-level courses**
    3 3000-level courses
    1 1000/2000/3000-level elective

    Up to 3 cross-listed courses from another department can count towards the major.

    *The Critical Thinking Seminar is a mandatory requirement for batches from the incoming Undergraduate Batch of 2023. Previous batches can count a CTS towards their requirements, but they are not required to do so. Instead, they can fulfill their requirements by taking another 1000/2000-level elective.

    **English majors can take a maximum of ONE approved language course in an approved language (Sanskrit, Persian, Greek, Latin, Old English) instead of one of their required 1000/2000-level electives.

    Ideally, an English major’s timetable—solely with regard to their English requirements (excluding any FC, CT and CC requirements)—should look like this:

    Semester 1

    Semester 2

    Semester 3

    Semester 4

    Semester 5

    Semester 6

    Forms of Literature

    Literary Theory


    Early British Literature

    Literature in the Age of Empire

    Indian            Literatures

    Postcolonial Literatures

    6 electives, distributed as per the student’s preference

    While sticking to this timetable is encouraged for the sake of better management and smooth completion of an English degree, Ashoka’s flexible academic structure ensures alternate organizations. Ultimately, it is up to the students how they wish to engineer their academic years.

    The overall credit requirement to graduate with an English major is 100 credits. These come from the English courses, FCs, ICT, CCs, and other courses.

  • Minor

    The minor in English offers a thorough grounding in core literature courses, while granting students the opportunity to pursue fields of their own interest.

    To complete a minor in English, a student must do 6 courses:

    2 Gateways
    Forms of Literature
    Introduction to Literary Theory

    2 of 4 Survey Courses
    Early British Literature
    Indian Literatures
    Literature in the Age of Empire
    Postcolonial Literature

    2 Electives:
    1 1000/2000-level elective
    1 3000-level elective

    Up to 2 cross-listed courses from another department can count towards the minor.

    Postcolonial Literatures, although a 3000-level survey course, will not count towards fulfilling the three 3000-level elective requirements.

  • Interdisciplinary Major

    The English department at Ashoka offers three interdisciplinary majors: English and Creative Writing, English and Media Studies, and English and Performing Arts. Students are required to take 16 courses across both the disciplines to earn their interdisciplinary major. Along with their discipline specific courses, students need to take their required FCs, ICT, CCs and other courses to fulfill their overall credit requirement of 116 credits to graduate with an interdisciplinary major.

    English and Creative Writing Programme English and Media Studies Programme English and Performing Arts Programme

  • Concentration

    The concentration in English is for students who are invested in exploring limited, but varied, English courses.

    To complete a concentration in English, a student must do 4 courses:

    1 of 2 Gateway Courses: Forms of Literature or Introduction to Literary Theory

    Any 3 English courses

    These 3 courses can include one of the other gateways, any of the survey courses, and the electives. However, students can only take 3000-level electives if they have taken Introduction to Literary Theory.

    Up to 1 cross-listed course from another department can count towards the concentration.

    English Department Handbook (6.12.2022)


Joining Undergraduate Programmes

Ashoka University’s Department of English offers an assortment of undergraduate programmes which prepare students for careers in Higher Education, Law, Journalism, Advertising and related fields. Students are exposed to different ways of thinking about literature and media, social and philosophical concepts and more.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka