2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

English, B.A.

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The English major is for students who enjoy reading, writing, and thinking about questions reflected on by writers through the ages and around the world. The English major develops competence in the analysis, discussion and criticism of literature.  In addition to the traditional writing and literature track, the major offers three optional tracks including Narrative Arts, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Video Literacy.

Students interested in teaching English/ Language Arts should see the Education, B.A. - Middle School English/Language Arts (Grades 5-9) and English Double Major  or Education, B.A. - Secondary/High School English (Grades 9-12) and English Double Major  pages. Professional certification is granted after completion of the programs.

In addition to preparing students for teaching, the English major has proven to be excellent preparation for law and for other careers that require critical thinking, analytical writing, and creativity.  The track in Narrative Arts includes specific preparation for writing for digital media.

English Majors also have the option of a dual major in Communication and English Dual Major, B.A.    The dual major in Communication and English is designed for students who are interested in developing the skills of a professional writer as well as the liberal arts foundation in literature, creative writing, and critical analysis that compliments career goals in public relations, advertising, marketing, or publishing. This dual major offers students a broad curriculum that builds skills in writing, research, and critical thinking.

General Education Requirements

(48 credits)


(5 courses)

Social Science

(3 courses)

  • American History or Political Science elective
  • Two social science electives

Natural Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning

(2 courses)

  • Science elective
  • Science or Math elective


(2 courses)

  • Two electives from within the College of Arts and Sciences

Requirements for the Major

(39 credits)

A minor is required for a B.A. in English.

A minimum of 39 credit hours, at least 27 of which must be from courses at the 300/400 level, including ENGL 316, ENGL 317, and ENGL 498.  An internship is required as part of the 39-credit hour major. (ENGL 101 and ENGL 104 may not be counted toward the major.)

Portfolio Review:

English majors must participate in the process of portfolio review in the final semester of their program. Throughout their program, English majors will collect their most significant work produced for a University class (either from Maryville or from another transferred institution) into a digital portfolio. Material that is produced outside of a class may be considered with guidance from their faculty advisor. This collected material (e.g. research papers, creative writing, non-fiction) must reflect the scholarly work that best represents their academic interests and development. In their last semester, English majors will present their portfolio to the Humanities faculty by enrolling in and submitting their materials through ENGL 490 – Portfolio Review. The purpose of this review is to allow students to receive feedback concerning their progress and body of creative work and to have a digital record of their best, most representative professional materials.

English Electives

(24 credits, 18 must be upper level)

Studies may range widely in the literatures of America, England, the Continent and non-Western cultures. These courses aim to enrich the student’s understanding of various literary, artistic, and historical traditions and their contemporary expressions. Because these courses include discussion and the writing of essays, English majors enhance their skills in communication, critical thinking, research, and analysis. The English faculty strongly recommend that the English major select at least one upper division writing course.

Optional Tracks

(requires at least 9 credits from the track)

English majors have the option of including 9 credits from one of the following interdisciplinary tracks for a secondary exploration in the English major.  For example, a student may graduate with a major in English and a Narrative Arts track.

Graduation Requirements

  • 128 credit hours minimum (last 30 hours in residency)
  • A minimum half the major credit hours in residency
  • A minimum half the minor credit hours in residency
  • ​60 credit hours must be completed at a 4-year institution 

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