Literature, art, and culture

The Major in English provides intensive study through reading, writing, and lively conversation. Explore the world through fiction, drama, film, poetry, non-fiction, and memoir. Enhance your ability to think about, understand, and interact with our increasingly complex society. Gain a richly diverse knowledge of how language and literature have been shaping, and continue to shape, human experience and culture.

The Minor in English is designed for those of you who want to enhance another major or wish to clear a space for literature and language studies in your lives. We also welcome anyone who wants to sample a course here and there, staying in touch with familiar writers and discovering new ones.

The Honours degree is for those who want to extend a thorough grounding in English language or literature by developing an area of independent study through a scholarly or creative writing Honours project.

As well as the place for all things literary, the English Department is home to the University Writing and Theatre Studies Programs. You will also find creative writing workshops and linguistics courses here.

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Course Structure

Note: Current UPEI students should refer to Student Planning in myUPEI and the UPEI Academic Calendar governing their entry year, and speak to an academic advisor about course requirements. The course structure presented for this program is a recommended, unofficial progression for prospective students.



The English Majors and Honours program encourages students to explore the diverse body of literature in English from a variety of perspectives. Course content and critical approaches range across the discipline and include historical, theoretical, interdisciplinary and genre studies. The program also offers courses in creative writing and linguistics. Students may expect to gain both a sound background in the history of the English language and literature, and a familiarity with the most recent developments in literary practice and scholarship. The curriculum is designed to encourage a progressive acquisition of literary skills. As students earn their degree through their four years, they will progress from introduction to, through development in, toward mastery of, the following: (a) elements of the English language; (b) the research essay; (c) critical reading and literary theory; (d) the terminology of the discipline; (e) knowledge of the periods of literary history; (f) verbal presentations. In order for students to understand the goal of sequencing of courses and skills acquisition, the Department offers the following general descriptions for courses at four levels:

(i) 1000-level courses: Introduction (ii) 2000-level courses: Foundation (iii) 3000-level courses: Coverage (iv) 4000-level courses: Focus

Course Levels and Prerequisites

(i) Courses at the 1000 level are introductory courses that provide a basic framework for critical reading and writing at university. English 1920 is a general introduction to literature, taught from a variety of perspectives. English 1210 and 1220 are required courses for a major, minor, or honours in English. Detailed descriptions of each year’s courses will be available in the Department’s Calendar Supplement.

(ii) Courses at the 2000 level are either general interest courses or foundational courses that develop the skills necessary for further study in English. The prerequisite for 2000-level courses is at least one 1000-level English course or permission of the instructor.

(iii) Courses at the 3000 level provide detailed study of areas of language and literature. The prerequisites for these courses are (a) at least one 1000-level English course, and (b) at least one 2000-level English course, or permission of the instructor. Some courses require specific 2000-level courses.

(iv) Courses at the 4000 level are designed to give students the opportunity for advanced study of a chosen topic within a specific area of English language or literature. The classes are usually seminars that require active participation and independent study. Students must have completed English 2960: Writing About Literature and at least two 3000-level courses before enrolling in a 4000-level course.

Advanced Studies

Advanced Studies courses are designed to give students the opportunity for in-depth study of a chosen topic within a specific area of English language or literature. The classes are usually seminars that require active participation and independent study. They may be devoted to a major author, a group of authors, thematic or stylistic developments, or critical or theoretical concerns. Detailed descriptions of each year’s Advanced Studies courses are published in the Department’s Calendar Supplement.

NOTE: As per Academic Regulation 1h, all undergraduate degree programs require successful completion of IKE-1040 (new for students beginning or returning after re-application in Fall 2022); one of UPEI-1010, UPEI-1020, or UPEI-1030, and a Writing Intensive Course. 



Requirements for Honours in English 


The permission of the English Department is required before a student enrols in Honours English. The admission requirement is an overall average of at least 75% in all prior English courses. Admission to the program will be competitive, and because the demand for the program will likely exceed the resources available at the Department, not all applicants who meet the formal admission requirements will be accepted into the Honours program.

It is strongly recommended that students take English/UPEI 1010 in their first year.

Course Requirements

An Honours English student must complete 120 credits, including the following minimal requirements in English:

English 1210, 1220, 2040, and 2960 12 credits
Four Pre-1900 English courses* 12 credits
English Language and Linguistics 3 credits
Literary Theory 3 credits
Two 4000 Level English Courses 6 credits
Eight English Electives 24 credits
English 4960 3 credits
English 4970 3 credits
  66 credits

One of the courses must be a Shakespeare course

English Honours Chart and Worksheet
English Honours Application




Requirements for Major in English

The completion of English/UPEI 1010 in the first year of study is strongly recommended. This course also meets the UPEI requirement of taking UPEI 1010, 1020 or 1030.

51 Credits are required for a Major in English

Required courses:

English 1210, 1220, 2040, and 2960 12 credits
Four Pre-1900 English courses* 12 credits
English Language and Linguistics or Literary Theory 3 credits
Two 4000 Level English Courses 6 credits
Six English Electives 18 credits
  51 credits

* One of the courses must be a Shakespeare course.

English Major Chart and Worksheet




Requirements for a Minor in English

Students in the English Minors program complete English 1210 and 1220, and at least five other English courses above the 100 level as electives, two of which must be at the 3000 or 4000 level. Students are encouraged to choose those electives in consultation with the Department Chair.

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What's Required for Arts Admission?

High School Graduates

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Successful completion of Grade 12 examinations in a University Preparatory Program with an overall average of at least 70% (75% for Quebec Secondary V students) in the following subjects:

  • English;
  • one Social Studies or Language;
  • any 3 other academic courses. Grade 12 math recommended.
    Note: Grade 12 Math is a prerequisite for some 1st year Arts courses.

Please refer to the UPEI Academic Calendar for complete admissions information.

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$6,828 per year, based on 30 credit hours ($682.80 per 3 credit course).
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