The English department offers or participates in offering the B.A. in English, the B.A. in English with certification for secondary teaching, and the B.S. in secondary education with an emphasis area in English. The department also offers a minor in English. Additionally, students with any major in the university may earn a Certificate in Writing so that they may demonstrate evidence of training in creative, journalistic, or technical writing.
The department has a graduate program leading to the Master of Arts degree. Students may pursue a literature track where they acquire a broad coverage in British and American writers or a writing track where half of the course work deals with composition and writing theory. The department also offers the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, in which half of the courses are writing workshops and independent writing projects. In addition, the department of English participates in a Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing.
Recipients of the undergraduate degree will demonstrate the following outcomes:
Demonstrate advanced skills in reading and analyzing texts and a knowledge of literary and rhetorical terms and concepts.
Demonstrate mastery of content in at least three specific fields in language, literature, and written literacy.
Demonstrate knowledge of historical and critical context for these fields and the relevance to them of a variety of critical approaches.
Understand the role played by gender, race, class, and ethnicity (where appropriate) in language, literature, and literacy.
Demonstrate the ability to write clear analytical essays incorporating both primary textual evidence and secondary scholarly and critical sources.
Candidates for departmental honors in English must achieve a 3.2 average in English at graduation and complete an undergraduate or graduate seminar in English, the final paper for which must be acceptable to the instructor as an honors thesis.
In addition to traditional employment as teachers at the primary, secondary, and community-college levels, recent UMSL graduates in English are working in journalism, editing, advertising, public relations, and other fields that place a premium upon creation and interpretation of the written word. Numerous recent English majors have successfully entered law school.