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Starting this fall, the University of Michigan’s English Department will offer a new English minor that requires 15 credits. Prior to this minor, a student could either major in English or minor in Creative Writing through the department.
In an email interview, Andrea Zemgulys, undergraduate director and associate professor of English, explained the reason for the creation of the minor was in part, the demand the department felt for it.
“We had certainly sensed a strong demand, and realized that a minor would bring more students into, and so strengthen, our community,” Zemgulys wrote.
LSA sophomore Verity Sturm said she had looked on LSA’s website for an English minor her freshman year, but it wasn’t available at that time.
“I was shocked that there was no English minor,” Sturm said. “I went to the advising office my freshman year and was like, ‘how does this not exist?’ I mentioned other reputable universities that did.”
Sturm said she is on track as of now to major in English because she decided that is what she wants to pursue, but when she was a freshman would have liked the option to minor.
For many students who are interested in English but are unable to pursue the major due to the difficulty of double majoring or being enrolled in a school other than LSA, the minor becomes an option that allows them to explore the field.
Business sophomore Max Kozlowski said he would be unable to graduate in four years if he were to major in English. The minor allows him to graduate without pursuing a dual degree.
“It gives students interested in humanities and literature an option other than creative writing,” Kozlowski said. “Because I’m very interested in literature as a study without actually creating my own writing, so it’s a nice analytical alternative.”
Zemgulys said the department hopes the English minor will complement other disciplines students are also engaged in within the University of Michigan.
“English classes activate students’ relationships to words, allowing for deep engagement with and reflection on the world and life; learning to read and write like an English ‘major’ will give students great perspective on their main discipline of study,” Zemgulys said.
Students wishing to declare the English minor must take the course English 298 before declaring.