English majors typically enroll in several English courses and one in another subject. This other subject area could be a course in film, which can count either as a drama course or an English course; we encourage students to look seriously at the film courses offered in the English department and the College of Humanities as film studies is one of the College’s particular strengths.
Students have also taken courses in drama, history, classics, theology, biology, psychology, Spanish, French and Italian. Non-English majors are required to take four English courses and two courses outside the field of English. Most University of Exeter courses are taken for 30 Exeter credits (.935 Kenyon units), though some non-English courses are worth 15 credits (.468 Kenyon units), and the two-semester Kenyon Seminar is equivalent to 1.0 unit of Kenyon credit, making a total of 4.74 units towards the Kenyon degree. For each class taken (typically three per semester), students should expect to be in class about three hours a week--two hours one day, and one another. Students of the Kenyon-Exeter Program will not have class on Fridays in order to allow for ample travel time on weekends.
The grades that English majors receive in their English courses are included in their Kenyon grade point averages. Courses in departments other than English must be taken for a grade, and while that grade will appear on the Kenyon transcript, it will not be calculated into the cumulative average. Grades are based on a scale of 0-100, with 40 being the threshold for failing and 70 being the threshold for an A grade at Kenyon. See grade conversion chart (PDF) for more information.
Students have a choice of Level 2 modules (lecture courses, with weekly seminars, covering different periods of literary history, assessed through critical essays and written exams) and Level 3 modules (seminars on particular topics, assessed through critical essays). Because most English BA programs at Exeter are only three years long, Level 3 modules are roughly equivalent to Kenyon’s 400-level seminars. Only if students take Level 2 modules or courses outside the English department will they be likely to write exams, which could be scheduled at any time from the beginning of June until around June 20. In recent years, Kenyon-Exeter students have nearly always taken just Level 3 modules, which are dynamic and critically sophisticated.
Many of the distinctions that were apparent even ten years ago between the British and American systems of education are no longer so obvious. But it is still the case that British students spend far more of their time working independently. A typical course load for an English student studying at Exeter is only two courses per twelve-week term, and each of those courses meets for only three hours per week. But in each of those courses, students are expected to be doing about twice as much work as would be required in a normal Kenyon course; it is for this reason that Exeter’s 30 credit courses count for nearly a full unit of Kenyon credit. Most of that additional work is independent research and secondary reading connected to a course’s primary reading assignments. This difference constitutes a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn to work with greater self-direction and intellectual maturity. Because Kenyon-Exeter students take a regular Exeter English course load alongside the Kenyon Seminar, the Kenyon-Exeter year offers a particularly rigorous academic experience. Many Kenyon-Exeter students return to Gambier thrilled about--and exceptionally well-prepared for--doing honors in English.
Please check the Exeter School of English website to find updated material on available courses (see especially the listings of Level 2 and Level 3 modules in the website’s left sidebar).