Skip to main content

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English

Image of alum at Overmountain Vineyards

Sofia Lilly, alum and vintner at Overmountain Vineyards

Our BA Program gives students a solid foundation in the fundamentals of writing, language, and literature and 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 30 hours at the junior-senior level at WCU to satisfy general university degree requirements.


In this concentration, imagination, writing craft, and the publishing world are explored in workshops led by distinguished writers and scholars. Students write in courses focused on fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. They build creative and critical thinking skills which work both for emerging authors and for professionals in all fields requiring powerful writing.

Graduates often work as editors, publishers, communications consultants, critics, and novelists.

This concentration allows majors to customize the 18 hours they take beyond the 15-hour Core Curriculum.  Students create a plan with their faculty advisor, drawing from the full array of department course offerings. This concentration is ideal for students who need maximum flexibility in the major, such as those in pre-professional programs (pre-med or pre-law, for example) or those taking English as a second major. 

Students graduating in this concentration focus on shaping their job paths with their faculty advisor at the same time that they customize the direction their classes take them.

The English Studies Pedagogy Concentration, required for students pursuing a B.S.Ed. in Secondary and Special Subject Teaching (grades 9-12) English Education, can also be a stand-alone concentration for students interested in pedagogy-centered careers by providing them with the content knowledge and skills needed for success.

Although this robust concentration does not lead to a North Carolina teaching license, it is a gateway to such jobs as teaching abroad, educational software consultant, news/education correspondent, curriculum specialist, and director of children’s programming for a museum.

Students in the Film and New Media concentration analyze visual media texts in their cultural and economic contexts to understand how media shapes the stories we tell and informs our understanding of the world.

This concentration often leads to jobs in film and media studies, journalism, social media, media correspondent, and educational technology.

This concentration highlights the vitality and interconnectedness of historical and contemporary textual traditions from across the globe, and the relevance of global learning and approaches to everyday life. This focus provides students with the cultural studies tools that they need in order to make sense of parts of the world that may be unfamiliar to them, and they will engage in thinking critically about how global change has come about during their lifetimes.

Students graduating in this area often work in travel writing, investigative journalism, foreign service, and teaching positions abroad.

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.

Graduates often work in editing and publishing, journalism, content writing, public relations, museum curating, and non-profits, and some go on to study law, medicine, library science, and graduate English.

Students in this concentration will gain experience in planning for the public life of their writing—adapting messages for diverse audiences, planning for how audiences interact with writing, and using writing to intervene in our social and political worlds.

This concentration prepares students for careers in law, non-profit and advocacy organizations, public relations, politics, and speech writing.

Professional Writing students sharpen their writing skills and learn to adapt to the changing demands of the marketplace. Students will have opportunities to work on interdisciplinary teams, collaborate with community partners, and publish their work in digital environments.

Graduates are prepared for careers in technical writing, marketing and public relations, magazine writing, usability studies, and project management.



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


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.

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.

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. 

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.

Office of Web Services