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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 45 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 Creative Writing and Publishing, English Studies, English Studies Pedagogy, Film and New Media, Global English Studies, Literary Studies, Writing and Editing in Professional Environments, and Public Writing and Rhetoric.

The Creative Writing and Publishing Concentration features the study and generation of multiple literary art forms with emphasis on craft and development of creative and critical thinking and communication skills.

English Studies provides a traditional, flexible BA program designed to accommodate pre-professional students and students who wish to build a program with courses across several concentrations.

The English Studies Pedagogy Concentration is a required concentration for students pursuing a B.S.Ed. in Secondary and Special Subject Teaching (grades 9-12)  English Education. It is also relevant to students interested in pedagogy-centered careers, such as teaching internationally, by providing them with the content knowledge and teaching method skills needed for success.

This program does not lead to licensure. Only students who also complete the B.S.Ed. in Secondary and Special Subject Teaching (grades 9-12) English may be recommended for NC Teaching Licensure in English Language Arts.

Concentration focuses on analysis of film and film genres, and video in the context of changes in the media landscape during the past few decades.

Concentration highlights the vitality and interconnectedness of literary traditions across the globe, and the relevance of global learning and approaches to everyday life.

In this concentration, students explore written and visual texts from both critical and creative perspectives in their cultural contexts. They also develop writing and analytical skills including research, collaboration, and facility with relevant new technologies.

Students in this concentration will sharpen their writing skills, learn to adapt to the changing demands of the marketplace, and prepare for careers in a variety of fields, including law, marketing, and public relations; print, broadcast, and electronic media; technical writing, editing, and publishing; creative writing, magazine writing, and consulting; and they work with non-profit organizations and government agencies. 

Concentration highlights the historical, cultural, and ethical contexts of rhetorical language and writing in public settings and for public advocacy.


For majors enrolled before Fall 2022, please use the concentration requirements below.

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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