Undergraduate students in our English program get the individual attention they need to grow and develop as teachers, writers and communicators. Program faculty members use teaching approaches that vary depending on the subject. Some courses are taught online while others use a workshop format, and a few include multimedia presentations.
The English program strives to make literature relevant for today’s students by offering courses in magic realism, Shakespeare’s plays, young adult literature, monsters in literature, film studies, literary theory and the British Enlightenment. Whether you are interested in the classics of literature and want to reach back thousands of years to unlock treasures from the past, or you want to examine the way literature is received today, we can help you find your way.
ASU English majors develop transferable skills that work in a wide range of job settings. In addition to learning how to write clearly and effectively, English students learn to research and analyze complex information and to problem-solve.
Bachelor of Arts in English
- Degree Plan
- Sample Four-Year Plan
- Sample Four-Year Plan Specializing in Creative Writing
- Sample Four-Year Plan Specializing in Technical and Business Writing
Bachelor of Arts in English with Teacher Certification
- Certificate in Technical Writing
- Certificate in Creative Writing: Fiction
- Certificate in Creative Writing: Poetry
Value of the English Major
Additional support for the value of the English major can be found in a number of recent articles, including “The Ideal English Major” by Mark Edmundson and “The Decline and Fall of the English Major” by Verlyn Klinkenborg.
Edmundson believes that English majors desire particular ways of learning:
Love for language, hunger for life, openness and a quest for truth: Those are the qualities of my English major in the ideal form. But of course now we’re talking about more than a mere academic major. We’re talking about a way of life. We’re talking about a way of living that places inquiry into how to live in the world—what to be, how to act, how to move through time—at its center.
And Klinkenborg claims that the English major prepares students with exceptional language and thinking abilities:
Parents have always worried when their children become English majors. What is an English major good for? In a way, the best answer has always been, wait and see — an answer that satisfies no one. And yet it is a real answer, one that reflects the versatility of thought and language that comes from studying literature. Former English majors turn up almost anywhere, in almost any career, and they nearly always bring with them a rich sense of the possibilities of language, literary and otherwise.
See also a more recent piece by Carolyn Gregoire in The Huffington Post titled “In Defense of the ‘Impractical’ English Major.” Here is an excerpt:
Much like philosophy majors, English students get a pretty bad rap, and are often taken to represent the impracticality and irrelevance of the humanities writ large.
But as Jordan Weissman pointed out in The Atlantic, English majors aren’t actually faring as poorly in the job market as the cultural dialogue would have us believe. According to 2010-2011 data from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, cited by The Atlantic, right after graduating, English and history majors reported 9.8 and 9.5 percent unemployment, respectively, while economics and political science graduates came in at 10.4 and 11.1 percent. “Practical” computer science degrees didn’t make graduates much more employable, with the comp sci unemployment rate coming in at 8.7 percent. And that’s just employment outcomes right after school; the picture may get rosier as time goes on, as employers generally prefer liberal arts grads, according to a 2012 survey.