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Department of English Studies

Stack of classic books in front of the Alumni Tower


Why study English Studies?

In today’s "high-text" careers, those who get ahead have mastered critical thinking and clear communication. They have creativity, passion, and vision.

At WCU, when you study English Studies, you will be joining one of the most vibrant programs at the university, where our students and faculty engage in the life of the mind and yet are committed to putting ideas into action.

The Department of English Studies offers exciting courses that will help you see the connection between academics and a successful and meaningful life beyond the classroom.

Our concentrations and minors

An English major opens doors. Through our coursework in motion-picture studies, literature, professional writing and teacher education, you’ll explore an unexpected range of fulfilling careers. You’ll gain the intellectual and real-world tools to succeed: Business-ready skills in research, writing and editing, and media and textual interpretation.

  • With a concentration in professional writing, you'll pursue creative and professional writing, editing and publishing, and become an expert in document and media design.
  • With a concentration in literature or motion picture studies, you’ll study the great authors--and the great auteurs--of literature and film, and the great authors and auteurs who challenged the status quo. And still learn how to write a great resume.
  • As a teacher-educator, you’ll gain the confidence and resiliency to change the world, one student at a time.

English Studies is a great companion major or minor. Graduates who majored in everything from engineering to law and criminal justice tell us our minors in professional writing, creative writing, teaching English as a second language, film, and literature have enriched their lives inside and outside of the workplace.

Learn More about Undergraduate Programs

Graduate degrees and certificates

Our graduate programs appeal to teachers trying to expand their portfolios, community college instructors, and professionals who need to be better writers, editors, and creators of documentation. Some come for the chance to reinvent themselves, studying with poets and prose writers like Ron Rash and Pamela Duncan.

We offer a Master of Arts in English with concentrations in literature, professional writing, and rhetoric and composition, a Master of Arts in Education, and a Master of Arts in Teaching, as well as a Certificate in Professional Writing.


Writing, Rhetoric, and Critical Studies (WRCS)

WRCS instructors teach ENGL 101: Rhetoric and Writing and ENGL 202: Writing and Critical Inquiry. Together these classes form the C1 Writing component of WCU's Liberal Studies Curriculum. Our classes teach students how to analyze texts critically and how to write for college, for their careers, and for their lives as citizens.  The WRCS program is staffed by experts in writing and argumentation who are committed to teaching students how to write everything from traditional essays to dynamic webtexts that reflect our changing media landscape.



Our professors are not just experts, they're enthusiasts. They're not just renowned writers and thinkers like novelist Ron Rash,writer Pam Duncan, and eco-colonialist Laura Wright. They're banjo players, bikers, Trekkies, actors, marathoners, bloggers, activists, and chefs. Whether your passion is Hawthorne or Heinlein, Garcia Marquez or graphic novels, irony or Iron Chef, you'll find a kindred spirit here.

Our Faculty

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