The Department of English offers two majors for those students who are already fluent in English and who wish to specialize in the field. The two majors are: English Literature (INGL) and English: Linguistics and Communication (LICO).
Communication teaches students to negotiate cultural signals in face-to-face communication, to create a positive group dynamic, and to become comfortable and effective speaking in public. Linguistics is the science of language study, providing students with the vocabulary to understand the rules by which language is formed and the insight to explain the processes by which language changes.
The study of Literature in English teaches students to appreciate and analyze the cultural products of the Anglophone world, to understand the history of the English language, and thus to arrive at a more sophisticated understanding of the work produced by Anglophone speakers, writers and film makers today.
At this moment in history, English has emerged as the premier language of international communication and of science and technology, taking over the roles that in the western world were once served by French and Latin. As communication technology shrinks the world, knowledge of English has never been more vital or rewarding, especially for those seeking international audiences. Consequently, the rise of English as the world’s most popular second language has become an international phenomenon.
Knowledge of English allows access to a rich cultural heritage of literature and film produced in Anglophone North America, Great Britain, India, Australia, Africa and the Caribbean. From William Shakespeare and John Milton and Mary Shelley to Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott and Steven Spielberg, great playwrights, poets, novelists, and film makers have composed works of art in English to reflect upon the nature of the human condition in ways that have transcended national boundaries and influenced the development of modern thought.
For job-hunting candidates to successfully overcome entry barriers, knowledge of English is an especially important tool. Fluency in English is a legal requirement for federal employment, and necessary for practicing law or medicine. Rarely do newspapers print a job advertisement in which bilingual fluency is not a requirement for the position. Entrance into the medical school, the law school, the business school, and a number of graduate programs at the University of Puerto Rico itself require standardized tests, all of which are either completely in English or have an English section. Consequently, even if a citizen of Puerto Rico has no desire to visit, study, work, or live in the continental United States, he or she ought seek to become fluent in English, for English proficiency is becoming increasingly necessary for achieving professional goals in Puerto Rico.
The English Department in the College of Humanities recognizes these several complementary reasons for students at the University of Puerto Rico to take English courses. The Department offers a rich array of courses for the non-specialist in Grammar, Writing, Linguistics, Communication, and Literature which appeal to a wide range of interests. The courses, all given in English, range from Science Fiction and Fantasy to Poetry and Drama to Film and Literature, from Public Speaking to Creative Writing, involving the student in the oral and written expression of their ideas in English. In addition, the Department has a special component of English as a Second Language (ESL) courses designed for students who need to improve their proficiency.
As language learning is cumulative, the Department encourages students to take English courses early in their college career, and that they continue taking classes beyond the minimum number required. Do not worry if you find English challenging! Your professors will work with you to meet your goals. In the long run, proficiency in English is likely to be more important to you and your future than the effect of taking English courses on your GPA, and it is far less expensive if you can improve your proficiency at the University of Puerto Rico while getting your degree than paying a private service to acquire it once you have graduated.
If you have questions, please visit the Department in the basement of the Pedreira Building or contact us by email or phone. We welcome your interest.
Undergraduate Majors in English
Funding & Economic Assistance for
English Brochure for High School Students
Why be an English Major?
Courses for General Education Literature Requirements