Department of English


Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled “This could change your life.”
–Helen Exley

In the AUK English Department, studying English literature and language is both a noble endeavor and one with practical and immediate benefits. The department is committed to teaching rigorous analysis, clear and successful communication, good writing, and cultural critique and understanding.

For students majoring or minoring in English, the program provides a foundation in the structure of the English language and its literary traditions; it also educates students in the exploration of the relationships of language and literature to the individual and society, and to history and politics. The program also provides a broad range of world literature carefully selected by the faculty to include work by authors of diverse backgrounds, and in a variety of literary forms and periods.
Research shows that students who master the reading, writing, and analytic skills provided by the English major gain a competitive advantage in the pursuit of careers in a variety of fields, including education, media, business, management, technology, and civil service or, with appropriate graduate work, in professions such as law and higher education.


In keeping with the American University of Kuwait’s liberal arts tradition, the English department provides students with the ability to use the English language effectively, think critically, and reach their full potential as creative individuals, engaged citizens, and lifelong learners. Through its emphasis on developing cultural awareness, rhetorical flexibility, information literacy, and appreciation for literary traditions, the department prepares students for the increasingly complex challenges of the 21st century.


The following Five Core Values are imperative to the success and well-being of the department:
Honesty: In an academic sense, honesty means representing original work and being transparent and accountable.
Freedom: Freedom means being allowed to make choices appropriate to the University’s objectives as well as offering a supportive environment for expressing views.

Quality: We value quality as a measurement of the effectiveness of any task, be it curricular or extra-curricular.
Integrity: We support a code of conduct that affirms the individual’s right (faculty, staff, or student) to express her or himself morally, intelligently, and respectfully.
Diversity:  The cornerstone to any serious educational undertaking is a healthy and respectful appreciation for that which is different and new.


The English Department at the American University of Kuwait aspires to be a leading English Department locally and regionally, recognized for its academic excellence and the accomplishments of its graduates.



Upon completion of the AUK major in English, the student will be able to:

  1. Recognize a wide range of literary works of world cultures, sub-cultures, and minority groups.
  2. Compare and contrast texts produced in different periods and genres.
  3. Identify and discuss representative authors, works, and movements.
  4. Analyze cultural and literary texts using theory.
  5. Develop independent thought and judgment to carry out research projects.
  6. Develop and communicate ideas clearly in writing.
  7. Evaluate cultural and literary texts within socio-political, historical, and economic contexts.

English majors begin their coursework with an introduction to literary studies, move on to surveys of western and world literatures in English, and then advance to courses that focus on particular motifs, genres, critical approaches, time periods, authors, or countries.


Formal admission to the major requires a cumulative GPA of 2.00.


To receive a Bachelor of Arts in English, students must complete at least 124 credit hours. In addition, students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of upper-level courses (300-level and above) at AUK, of which at least 18 credits hours need to be taken in the major.

General Education Requirements (49)
Major Requirements, composed of: (45)
  • Core Courses
  • English Electives
Free Electives (30)


Major requirements include six required core courses (18 credit hours), followed by nine English elective courses (27 credit hours):

Core Courses (18 credit hours)

Students must complete the following six core courses (18 credit hours):

ENGL 200 Introduction to Literary Studies (3)
ENGL 220 Survey of World Literatures I                                 (3)
ENGL 221 Survey of World Literatures II (3)
ENGL 300 History of the English Language (3)
ENGL 415 Literary Theory and Criticism (3)
ENGL 450 Senior Seminar                                                                (3)

English Electives (27 credit hours)

In consultation with their academic advisor, students must complete nine courses (27 credit hours) from any remaining ENGL 300 or 400-level courses, or ENGL 207, or any one TRAN 200-300-level course. ENGL 485: Senior Thesis (3 credit hours), applies as an English elective.


Choose ten courses (30 credit hours) in consultation with the academic advisor.


Students wishing to minor in English are required to take six courses (18 credit hours). Students must take the following three core courses (9 credit hours): 

ENGL 200 Introduction to Literary Studies (3)[H]
ENGL 220 Survey of World Literatures I (3)[H]
ENGL 221 Survey of World Literatures II (3)[H]
Students must also take three additional courses (9 credit hours) from any 300- or 400-level English courses, or ENGL 207, or any one TRAN 200-300-level course.



ENGL 470

The internship program provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their capacity for leadership, teamwork, and business activity in the context of work experience. Internships are completed in the junior or senior year and while in residency at AUK.

The student is limited to a maximum of 6 credit hours of internship. A maximum of 3 credit hours (taken in increments of 1, 2, or 3 credit hours) may be applied toward any one major. If a student takes additional 1-3 credit hours of internship, those credits may be counted towards a student’s second major, minor, or as free electives. For the duration of the semester, students are responsible for working 40 hours per semester for each credit hour. Students are to refer to the English Department’s internship handbook for further details of the internship process, requirements, and method of assessment.