English Minors Guide

How to Apply

The Department of Literatures in English offers three minors, open to any student at Cornell with any major (except English): ”Creative Writing,” “English,” and “Minority, Indigenous, and Third World Studies” (MITWS). 

Successful completion of the minor will be noted on students’ official transcripts.

Submit Intent Form

If you are interested in minoring with the department, submit an online Intent to Minor form online as soon as possible. This initial step lets us know of your interest in a particular minor. We will add your name to the minors listserv so that we can let you know of English-related news that may be of interest, such as reminders about course offerings before the enrollment period each semester, requests for submissions to literary magazines and writing contests, and notification of upcoming department events and Zalaznick Reading Series guests.

Minor Declaration Forms

The next step is to apply for certification by declaring your minor. You should submit the applicable online declaration form once you know all the classes you will complete for the minor, and no later than the end of week seven of your final semester.

You will receive an email confirmation when your declaration form has been processed by the department. The minor designation will be added to your transcript after your conferral date and when processing by your college's Registrar is complete.

General Requirements

  • Each minor requires students to pass five three- or four-credit courses at the 2000-level or higher with a minimum grade of C (no S/U). Courses offered by the department and courses from another department that are crosslisted with English qualify for the minors.
  • No first-year writing seminars may be used toward minor requirements.
  • At most, one course total from transfer, study abroad, independent study, or upper-level literature courses from another Cornell department may qualify if approved by the department.
    Visit Obtain English Credit Approval for more information

Minor: Creative Writing

Due to the writing-intensive nature of these courses, students may take only one Creative Writing course per term. The minor in Creative Writing cannot be completed in less than four terms. The literature course may be taken concurrently.

Students minoring in Creative Writing must complete the following courses:

  • ENGL 2800 Creative Writing
  • ENGL 3820 Narrative Writing
  • ENGL 3840 Poetry Writing
  • Either ENGL 4800 Advanced Poetry Writing or ENGL 4801 Advanced Narrative Writing
  • Any English course in literature or cultural studies that otherwise qualifies for minor credit.

Minor: English

Students minoring in English may distribute their eligible courses from categories such as literature, creative writing, and critical writing/creative nonfiction. Those wishing to take four creative writing courses should minor in creative writing.

Minor: Minority, Indigenous, and Third World Studies (MITWS)

Students minoring in Minority, Indigenous, and Third World Studies (MITWS) may distribute their eligible courses from categories such as: African American, Asian American, American Indian and other Indigenous, Latino/a, and Anglophone African, Asian, and Caribbean literatures.

The MITWS minor seeks to foster comparative thinking across domestic U.S. and international contexts, and should comprise courses that engage ethnic, indigenous, and/or national literatures. 

Review the course sampling for examples of classes that have counted in the past: MITWS Eligible Course Sampling