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Our department is pleased to announce new curriculum requirements starting Fall 2021. Degree plans are availble for both new and existing curricula.

English, B.A.

Welty Portrait in Painter Hall

English majors study the literatures of the English speaking world, linguistics, literary theory, creative and expository writing, and the history of the language. An English major learns and polishes skills that are always in demand by employers, such as critical thinking and creative problem-solving, focused research, sophisticated written and oral communication, the ability to appreciate differences, as well as the capacity to explain complex issues. An English degree offers flexibility in choice of major and elective courses while, providing students with the practical skills to adapt to employment in the rapidly changing world. While many English graduates move into the workforce immediately after graduation, many use this degree to prepare for graduate school in the humanities or professional careers in law, media, publishing, communication, public policy, medicine, information systems and business. The department offers a B.A. in English with concentrations in African American Literature, Creative Writing, Literature, Professional Writing or Teacher Certification. All concentrations take a core of English classes that includes two literature surveys, one early literature class, one diversity literature class, one advanced writing class, and one language or theory class, and English Capstone. Other requirements vary by concentration. We also offer minors in English and Cretive Writing and a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language.

English Major Word Cloud

English Major, Concentration in African American Literature

The African Amereican Literature concentration focuses on African American literature and its influence and influences around the world. In addition to the English core classes, students choose from literature classes in African American Literature, Black Women Writers, Ethnic American Literatures, Native American Literature and Religion, or Literature in the Postcolonial World. We are planning to offer more classes in this area, and see the African American Literature concentration as a step towards an African American Studies program. 

English Major, Concentration in Creative Writing

The Concentration in Creative Writing begins with a four-genre introduction to creative writing and includes advanced classes in Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Playwriting, and Digital Writing, where students can explore their creativity in multiple genres. Students also explore literature in the core English classes and electives, and complete their program with a Senior Portfolio of their creative work. The concentration provides excellent preparation for writing careers or graduate work in Creative Writing or English.

Creative Writing Concentration

English Major, Concentration in Literature

The Concentration in Literature allows students to explore American, English, and World literatures from Classical and Medieval periods to the present. Student gain a thorough background in textual interpretation, along with an understandig of literary periods. Many of our Literature students have gone on to graduate school in English or professional degrees such as law or library science, or have gone on to careers in writing, nonprofits, or other fields. 

English Major, Concentration in Professional Writing

The Concentration in Professional Writing focuses on academic and other forms of expository writing with a foundational course in Professional Writing, along with Technical Writing, Digital Writing, and Nonfiction. Creative writing courses may also be applied to the concentration. Students also get a thorough grounding in textual interpretation and analysis in their core English classes and literature electives. This is an excellent concentration for those who want to go on in technical writing or other writing-related fields. 

English Major, Secondary Education Certification

Teacher Certification in Secondary English provides prospective teachers with the attitudes, content, pedagogical knowledge and skills necessary for a teaching career in middle or high school. The curriculum immerses students in the English Language Arts content area, balancing preparatory pedagogical courses with direct application of knowledge and skills through meaningful field experiences.


Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate

The Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) prepares students to teach English to non-native speakers. The certificate is an ideal choice for students interested in teaching in elementary, middle or high schools, in teaching abroad, or in teaching adults in the workplace. Junior or senior status and completion of at least six hours of core English classes are required before beginning the twelve hours of certificate coursework.


Creative Writing Minor

To complete a Concentration in Creative Writing, students take at least three creative writing courses and develop a senior portfolio along with their coursework for the English major. The creative writing program offers introductory courses in Creative Writing and Non-fiction Prose as well as advanced workshops in fiction and poetry. Technical and Business Writing and Seminar for Playwrights (offered by the Department of Theatre) can also be applied toward the concentration.

Students may also earn a minor in English by completing nine hours of English core classes and fifteen additional hours of other English courses.

Creative Writing Minor Creative Writing Low-Residency MFA