Screen Cultures Concentration

Catalog Year: 2023-2024

Banner Code: LA-BA-ENGL-SCRC

The Bachelor of Arts in English offers students the opportunity to study literature, creative writing, screen cultures, writing and rhetoric, linguistics, folklore and mythology, and cultural studies. Of these seven concentrations, students pursue one or two that best match their interests and career objectives. Students are encouraged to pursue internships related to their concentrations and receive faculty mentorship throughout that process. In fact, English classes are kept small so faculty members may provide students with personalized attention. Students write in a range of traditional and digital forms and in a variety of contexts; student work culminates in a research project written for the major capstone course in their concentration. For students who want to challenge themselves even further, there is an Honors Program in English, which includes a thesis option, as well as other opportunities to pursue advanced research or creative projects; for those who want to become teachers, there is a bachelor’s/accelerated master’s program that English offers in conjunction with the College of Education and Human Development.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Highly qualified students in the BA in English program may pursue advanced work leading to graduation with honors in the major. To graduate with honors in the major, students must complete a two-course honors sequence and receive a minimum GPA of 3.50 in all courses counted toward the major and, separately, a minimum GPA of 3.50 in their honors courses. Honors courses may simultaneously satisfy concentration and distribution requirements in the major.

Students may satisfy the honors course sequence in one of the following ways:

  • BA students may take two sections of ENGH 400 Honors Seminar 
  • BA students may take one section of ENGH 400 Honors Seminar and ENGH 401 RS: Honors Thesis Writing Seminar (Mason Core)

BA students with a concentration in creative writing may write a creative honors thesis in ENGH 401 RS: Honors Thesis Writing Seminar (Mason Core). In special cases, BA students with a concentration in creative writing may apply to the Honors Coordinator and ENGH 495 instructor for permission to use ENGH 495 as a substitute for ENGH 401.

Students interested in pursuing honors in the major should consult the English Department for more information.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

300-level courses in English and linguistics teach the foundational principles for a field of study, include courses of broad scope, and provide an introduction to a genre, literary period, or methodology.

400-level courses in English and linguistics provide an in-depth approach to a field of study, a single genre, literary period, or methodology. They include special topics classes and English honors classes. Some 400 level courses require ENGH 305 Dimensions of Writing and Literature as a prerequisite.

Students choose at least one and no more than two of seven concentrations.

Students should consult with an English Department advisor to learn ways in which the Mason Core requirements can also satisfy college-level requirements for the English major.

Core Courses in the Major

Required Courses

Threshold Course  
ENGH 301 The Fields of English 3
Field Introduction Courses  
ENGH 305 Dimensions of Writing and Literature 3
Select 3 credits from the following: 1 3
General Linguistics (Mason Core)  
Folklore and Folklife (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Cultural Studies  
Introduction to Film (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Writing and Rhetoric  
Introduction to Creative Writing (Mason Core)  
Theory Course  
ENGH 308 Theory and Inquiry 3
Capstone Course  
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
RS: Honors Thesis Writing Seminar (Mason Core)  
RS: Topics in Folklore Research (Mason Core)  
RS: Topics in Literary Research (Mason Core)  
RS: Topics in Film/Media History (Mason Core)  
RS: First Language Acquisition (Mason Core)  
RS: Writing Ethnography (Mason Core)  
RS: Writing Nonfiction for the Public (Mason Core)  
Total Credits 15

For many students this requirement will be met within the concentration. Those students will complete an additional 3 credit ENGH course above ENGH 302 Advanced Composition (Mason Core).

English Department Requirements

Courses taken to fulfill this requirement may simultaneously satisfy a concentration. Special topics courses, when relevant, may be used to fulfill this requirement with the prior written approval of the department.

Literature before 1800  
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
Literature of the Middle Ages  
English Poetry and Prose of the 16th Century  
Introduction to Shakespeare  
Studies in Shakespeare  
English Renaissance Drama  
English Poetry and Prose of the 17th Century  
Augustan Age: 1660-1745  
Age of Sensibility: 1745-1800  
Restoration and 18th Century Drama  
British Novel of the 18th Century  
Early American Literature  
Topics in Medieval and Renaissance Literature  
Literature before 1915  
Select 3 credits from courses listed above and the following: 3
British Poetry of the Romantic Period  
Prose and Poetry of the Victorian Period  
British Novel of the 19th Century  
Literature of the American Renaissance  
Post-Civil War American Literature, 1865-1920  
Development of the American Novel to 1914  
Beginnings of African American Literature Through 1865  
African American Literature: Reconstruction to 1903  
Continental Fiction, 1770-1880  
Continental Fiction, 1880-1950  
Minority, Folkloric, or Popular Literary and Cultural Traditions  
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
Topics: Women and Literature  
Folklore and Folklife (Mason Core)  
Popular Culture  
Beginnings of African American Literature Through 1865  
African American Literature: Reconstruction to 1903  
African American Literature Through 1946  
Contemporary African American Literature  
Topics in Ethnic American Literature  
Global Voices (Mason Core)  
The Idea of a World Literature (Mason Core)  
World Literatures in English  
Topics in Folklore Studies  
Folklore and the Supernatural  
Folk Arts and Folk Artists  
Folklore and Migration  
RS: Topics in Folklore Research (Mason Core)  
Topics in Popular Literature  
Science Fiction  
Critical Study of Children's Literature  
RS: Writing Ethnography (Mason Core)  
Total Credits 9

Electives in the Major

Students must take 0-12 elective credits in the major as needed to meet the 36-credit requirement. 0-12
Total Credits 0-12

Concentration in the Major

Students choose one and no more than two concentrations. Special topics courses may be used to fulfill the requirements for a concentration when so designated by department.

Concentration in Screen Cultures (SCRC)

Select four courses from the following: 12
Introduction to Screen Cultures  
Introduction to Cultural Studies  
Popular Culture (with department approval)  
Global Voices (Mason Core) (with department approval)  
Introduction to Documentary (Mason Core)  
Television Studies (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Film (Mason Core)  
Screening the Global City (Mason Core)  
Cultural Constructions of Sexualities (with department approval)  
RS: Topics in Film/Media History (Mason Core)  
Topics in Film/Media Theory  
Topics in Film/Media Studies  
May include one course from outside the English Department chosen from:  
Small Group Communication  
Gender, Race, and Class in the Media  
Media Criticism  
Topics in Communication and Gender  
Introduction to World Cinema (Mason Core)  
Global Horror Film (Mason Core)  
Ethics of Film and Video (Mason Core)  
French and Francophone Cinema  
Contexts for Global Cinema (Mason Core)  
Japanese Cinema  
Music in Motion Pictures (Mason Core)  
Topics in (Post) Soviet Film  
Total Credits 12

Writing Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in English fulfill this requirement by successfully completing:

ENGH 305 Dimensions of Writing and Literature 3
Total Credits 3

Upper Level Courses

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following: 3

Note that the following courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement:

  • PHIL 323 Classical Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 393 Humanities College to Career 
  • PHIL 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Additionally, PHIL 253RELI 235RELI 333, and RELI 339 cannot be used to fulfill both the philosophy/religious studies requirement and the Mason Core literature requirement.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 1 3
HIST 2  
Or choose from the following GGS courses:  
Major World Regions (Mason Core)  
Human Geography (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies  
Political Geography (Mason Core)  
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)  
GGS 304
Population Geography (Mason Core)  
GGS 305
Economic Geography  
Urban Geography  
Geography of the United States  
Geography of Latin America  
Geography of Europe  
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East  
Geography of Eastern Europe and Russia  
Urban Planning  
Geography of Virginia  

The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and Mason Core requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. 


HIST 100 and HIST 125 may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1  
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
EDSE 115
American Sign Language (ASL) I  
EDSE 116
American Sign Language (ASL) II  
EDSE 219
American Sign Language (ASL) III  

Students who are already proficient in a second language may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement. Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1  
ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 300 Civilizations 3
ANTH 302 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 307 Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 308 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 309 Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 313 Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 314 Zombies 3
ANTH 317 East Asian Cultures 3
ANTH 330 Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western 3
ANTH 332 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 381 Medical Anthropology 3
ANTH 396 Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 360 Topics in Arabic Cultural Production 3
ARAB 420 Survey of Arabic Literature 3
ARAB 440 Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 203 Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 204 Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 206 Survey of African Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 318 Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 3
ARTH 319 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 320 Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 382 Arts of India (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 383 Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 384 Arts of China (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 385 Arts of Japan (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 482 RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art 3
CHIN 318 Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 320 Contemporary Chinese Film 3
CHIN 325 Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 470 Special Topics in Chinese Studies 3
DANC 118 Global Dance Perspectives I (Mason Core) 3
ECON 361 Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ECON 362 African Economic Development (Mason Core) 3
FREN 454 Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture 3
GGS 101 Major World Regions (Mason Core) 3
GGS 316 Geography of Latin America 3
GGS 317 Geography of China (Mason Core) 3
GGS 325 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East 3
GGS 399 Select Topics in GGS 3
GOVT 332 Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 3
GOVT 333 Government and Politics of Asia 3
GOVT 338 Government and Politics of Russia 3
GOVT 340 Central Asian Politics 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
HIST 251 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 252 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 261 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 262 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 271 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 272 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 281 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 282 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 326 Stalinism 3
HIST 327 The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II 3
HIST 328 Rise of Russia (Mason Core) 3
HIST 329 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core) 3
HIST 353 History of Traditional China 3
HIST 354 Modern China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 356 Modern Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 357 Postwar Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 358 Post-1949 China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 360 History of South Africa (Mason Core) 3
HIST 364 Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 365 Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 366 Comparative Slavery 3
HIST 387 Topics in Global History (Mason Core) 3-6
HIST 461 Arab-Israeli Conflict 3
HIST 462 Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core) 3
HIST 465 The Middle East in the 20th Century 3
JAPA 310 Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 340 Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 380 Japan in Motion 3
KORE 300 Korean Culture and Society 3
KORE 320 Korean Popular Culture in a Global World 3
KORE 385 Introduction to Korean Linguistics 3
MUSI 103 Musics of the World (Mason Core) 3
RELI 211 Introduction to Religions of the "West" (Mason Core) 3
RELI 212 Introduction to Religions of Asia (Mason Core) 3
RELI 312 Islam 3
RELI 313 Hinduism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 314 Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions 3
RELI 315 Buddhism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 317 Daoism 3
RELI 318 Korean Philosophy and Religions 3
RELI 338 Qur'an and Hadith 3
RELI 342 Comparative Study of Mysticism 3
RELI 344 Muhammad: Life and Legacy 3
RELI 358 Islamic Thought (Mason Core) 3
RELI 367 Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics 3
RELI 368 Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights 3
RELI 490 Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 353 Russian Civilization (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 354 Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core) 3
WMST 407 Transnational Sexualities 3

A course used to fulfill the Mason Core global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Students who have completed the following credentials are eligible for a waiver of the Foundation and Exploration (lower level) requirement categories. The Integration category (upper level) is not waived under this policy. See Admissions for more information. 

  • VCCS Uniform Certificate of General Studies
  • VCCS or Richard Bland Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Arts and Sciences (A.A.&S.), or Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.)
Foundation Requirements  
Written Communication (ENGH 101) 3
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology and Computing 3
Exploration Requirements  
Arts 3
Global History 3
Global Understanding 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Integration Requirements  
Written Communications (ENGH 302) 3
Writing-Intensive 1 3
Synthesis/Capstone 2 3
Total Credits 40

Most programs include the writing-intensive course designated for the major as part of the major requirements; this course is therefore not counted towards the total required for Mason Core.


Minimum 3 credits required.