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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English

Our BA Program gives students a solid foundation in the fundamentals of writing, language, and literature with the flexibility to focus on a particular area of interest. To complete the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program, a total of 40 hours is required, including a minor, second major, or other approved program and general electives. Students must take at least 32 hours at the junior-senior level at WCU to satisfy general university degree requirements.


Students who pursue a B.A. in English can choose from concentrations in Literature, Motion Picture Studies, Professional Writing, or English Studies Pedagogy.

Studying literature means much more than reading the texts of great authors. Students of literature encounter one of the humanities’ most versatile and complex fields, delving into literature from before Chaucer to modern authors from countries throughout the world.

Literature majors receive an extensive background in English and American literature, and are offered numerous upper-division courses concentrating on African-American writings, Post-Colonial authors, gender and literature, Appalachian and Southern literature, poetry, novels, short stories, and modern drama. Majors also become familiar with several critical approaches to literary texts, understanding and employing literary theory to illuminate works across and outside the canon.

To learn more about the concentration in Literature, contact Program Director Mae Claxton at or 828.227.3920.

Motion picture studies combine the verbal and written skills of an English degree with media literacy: the ability to engage critically with visual media, and read and write about it.

We live in a visual age. Both the public and private sectors require employees with media literacy, and students who take motion picture studies courses will understand visual culture as a means of expression, persuasion and entertainment.

With a motion picture studies concentration, you will be prepared for jobs in advertising, politics, the military, business and government; institutions that use visual productions (as well as traditional texts) to promote products, sway voters, and engage audiences.

Film screenings, visiting filmmakers, interdisciplinary opportunities, a low student-faculty ratio, classes with film scholars, and an opportunity to take screenwriting and production courses provide a stimulating and enriching educational environment.

To learn more about the concentration in Motion Picture Studies, contact Program Director Dr. Margaret Bruder at or 828.227.3918.

Like all English majors, students concentrating in professional writing are sharp critical and creative thinkers. As a professional writing student, you’ll hone your writing skills and learn to adapt to the changing demands of the marketplace, preparing for a career in a variety of fields, including marketing, public relations, print, broadcast and electronic media, technical writing, editing and publishing, creative writing and consulting, and work with non-profit and government agencies. Professional writing students also have the option to take several creative writing workshops throughout their program, focusing on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. 

To learn more about the concentration in Professional Writing, contact Program Director Drew Virtue at (828)227-3936 or

In addition to serving as the customary choice for students pursuing our dual degree program for licensed teachers, the English concentration in English Studies Pedagogy also is available as a free standing concentration that provides students with great options if they wish to take a non-licensure path towards a teaching-related career. Students can pursue lateral entry positions, opportunities to teach overseas, graduate school, and a host of other jobs that require the content knowledge, writing, and teaching skills that students learn in this concentration.

To learn more about the concentration in English Studies Pedagogy, contact program Director Dr. Michael Boatright at

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