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    Truman State University
  Feb 21, 2018
2017-2018 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2023

English (BA)

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Affiliation: School of Arts and Letters

Studying language and texts is at the core of the liberal arts tradition. Students in the B.A. English program participate in this tradition by:

  • analyzing the content, form, and techniques authors use in literary works, criticism, and other texts.
  • examining words and texts in order to develop their literacies and foster their own power to communicate and participate in communities.
  • developing their aesthetic appreciation of diverse texts, pursuing personal enrichment through their work with these texts, and actively seeking opportunities for professional development.
  • crossing borders, imagining different worlds, and exploring human expression in order to better understand their own and other cultural conditions.

The English major is structured around five core classes that focus on language, writing skills, and the theoretical, cultural, and historical diversities that shape literary tradition: ENG 209 Applying Literary Theory, ENG 498 Senior English Seminar, and one course in each of the major’s three “Axes of Textual Analysis” (Geography, History, and Theory). The three “axis” courses focus on the geographical, historical and theoretical diversities that shape literary tradition. Together, these five core classes ask students to hone the craft of textual analysis and develop an advanced understanding of literature.

The other courses in the major–the “Literature, Language, and Culture Requirement”–examine words and texts as living parts of a culture. These courses expose students to traditional pedagogical and theoretical approaches to textual study as well as many of the crossdisciplinary and interdisciplinary methods that are redefining literary history, genres, language and contemporary scholarship.

Note for Students interested in the Master of Arts in Education
B.A. English majors interested in pursuing an advanced degree in secondary English teaching at Truman State University must meet the requirements for admission to the Master of Arts in Education program as stated in the Education section of this catalog. These requirements are consistent with the standards set forth by the National Council of Teachers of English and should provide a strong foundation for teacher preparation for those pursuing certification or a degree here or elsewhere. Missouri state certification requirements are also listed in the Education section. Close consultation with an English academic advisor as well as with the secondary English Master of Arts in Education program coordinator is strongly recommended for students interested in the Master of Arts in Education.


Seniors who wish to graduate with Honors in English must meet these requirements and follow the procedure below:


  • 3.50 or better overall GPA
  • 3.75 or better GPA in the major
  • A 15-page paper (or the equivalent) supervised by a mentor and approved by the English Honors Committee


  1. Eligible student chooses a faculty member with expertise in the topic for the 15-page paper or project and asks that faculty member to mentor the student in the paper or project.
  2. Student, under guidance of the mentor, writes a formal abstract of the paper/project to be submitted to the English Honors Committee no later than April 15 for December graduates; October 1 for May graduates; and February 15 for August graduates.
  3. Student works with mentor on the approved paper/project.
  4. Student submits paper/project to the English Honors Committee by November 1 for December graduates; April 1 for May graduates; and July 1 for August graduates.


Liberal Studies Program Requirements: 31-57 Credits

Bachelor of Arts Requirement: 0-6 Credits

  • Intermediate Proficiency in ONE foreign language

Major Requirements: 33 Credits Minimum

  • A minimum of 21 credits must be at the 300-level or above.
  • A minimum of 21 credits must have an ENG prefix.
  • No grade of “D” in major courses is accepted toward an English degree.

Required Courses: 7 Credits

Geography Axis: 4 Credits

Select at least one course from this list. This requirement acquaints students in the B.A. English program with the cultural diversities in texts as well as with relations between global, national, or regional literatures.

History Axis: 4 Credits

Select at least one course from this list. This requirement exposes students in the B.A. English program to contexts, developments, or changes in genres or literature across time.

Theory Axis: 4 Credits

Select at least one course from this list. This requirement develops the facility of students in the B.A. English Program with diverse methods in textual analysis. ENG 209 Applying Literary Theory is a prerequisite for most courses in the Theory Axis. 

Literature, Language, and Culture Requirement

Select a combination of additional courses that total to a minimum of 33 credits from (a) the Three Axes of Textual Analysis above and/or (b) the courses listed below.  This requirement provides students the opportunity to pursue coursework in existing areas of interest and explore unfamiliar areas of the major.

Electives to Total: 120 Credits

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