Majors in English

BA or BS in English

English majors can earn either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. Both degrees prepare students for continued study in advanced programs, for teaching, or for entry into various professions where critical and creative thinking, writing, and problem-solving skills are valued and in demand.

Designed to afford students an integrated, comprehensive learning program, the English major teaches students the fundamental ways of organizing knowledge in the discipline of English Studies. The major also provides students with a core of knowledge and skills essential to career choices in teaching, professional writing, public relations, social media content management, publishing, or other work in business and industry that requires creative thinking and excellent communication skills.

The English major incorporates a writing-intensive requirement that integrates instruction in writing and the use of writing as a powerful learning tool into the whole curriculum, following a sequenced and coordinated plan. Students take four writing-intensive courses throughout the major: ENGL 300 (Introduction to English Studies), ENGL 420 (Literary Criticism), ENGL 470 (The Author in Context) or ENGL 472 (Readings in Shakespeare), and ENGL 496 (Senior Seminar).

English Major Requirements

  • ENGL 230: British and Commonwealth Literature I
  • ENGL 231: British and Commonwealth Literature II
  • ENGL 240: American Literature 
  • ENGL 300: Introduction to English Studies
  • One 400-level literature before 1825 course
  • One 400-level literature after 1825 course
  • ENGL 420: Introduction to Literary Criticism
  • One Advanced Author Study Course (English Education concentrators must take ENGL 472: Readings in Shakespeare)
  • One course in Multicultural, Gender-Specific, or Regional Literature
  • ENGL 496: Senior Seminar                                                     
  • Four elective English courses


Four elective English courses are required. Elective courses may be selected from other alternatives for the requirements above, or a variety of courses in creative writing, practical writing skills, or genre studies.


Students may choose to dedicate their elective hours to a concentration in Professional Writing, Creative Writing, or English Education, which results in teacher licensure for grades 6-12. The department places students with these interests with appropriate faculty advisors at the time they declare the English major.