Jul 21, 2024  
2021-2022 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2027 
2021-2022 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2027 [Archived Catalog]

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; and
  • crossing borders, imagining different worlds, and exploring human expression in order to better understand their own and other cultural conditions.

Through this work students pursuing the B.A. in English at Truman develop the habits of thought needed to make intelligent and humane decisions, to communicate those decisions to diverse communities, and to lead others. They should emerge from our program as committed lifelong learners, ready to pursue meaningful lives as they enter the world of work and pursue graduate or professional studies.

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.

Note for Students interested in Creative Writing
It is not permitted to earn both a BA degree in English and a BFA degree in Creative Writing. You should read the description of both major programs and consult with English and Creative Writing faculty and your advisor before making your decision. You may, however, combine a major and a minor in these fields, as long as no more than 6 hours of coursework counting toward the major also counts toward the minor.


All English majors will develop their skills as speakers and as writers. In our paired Introduction to English courses (ENG 209 and ENG 230), students gain experience with developing literary arguments and analysis, finding and ethically citing sources, and following MLA style (the style guide for the discipline). Our senior capstone seminar is both Writing- and Speaking-Enhanced, as students undertake a semester-long research project that involves multiple stages and revisions and that culminates in a public presentation at the English and Linguistics Senior Seminar. In preparation for this presentation, students practice in front of and receive feedback from their classmates and professor to ensure effective organization, visual support, and delivery. English major courses require students to complete writing projects, which may range from short response papers to seminar papers. In addition, many English classes involve presentations, including group presentations and video presentations, in some cases.


English majors who have maintained a 3.50 or better overall GPA and a 3.75 or better GPA in the major are eligible to be nominated for departmental honors by faculty who deem their work exceptional.


Dialogues Requirements: 42-61 Credits

Missouri Statute (1-4 credits)

Bachelor of Arts Requirement: 0-8 Credits

  • Intermediate Proficiency in ONE foreign language

Major Requirements: 34 Credits Minimum

  • A minimum of 20 credits must be at the 300-level or above.
  • No grade of “D” in major courses is accepted toward an English degree.
  • No more than 6 combined credits of ENG/CRWT/LING 327, 451, or 452 may count toward the BA English major.

B.A. English Major Required Courses: 18 Credits

A two-course introductory sequence allows English majors to develop individual readings of literary texts from multiple genres, construct persuasive arguments about what they have read, present appropriate textual evidence to support those arguments using recognized literary concepts and terminology, and to engage the discourse of larger reading communities by utilizing critical frameworks and literary scholarship to inform, deepen, and clarify their own interpretations. English majors and minors should enroll in this sequence as early as it practical, preferably beginning their first semester at Truman.

Two upper-level cultural diversities in literature texts and/or language courses:

Students will take two upper-level courses that will acquaint them with cultural diversities in literary texts and/or language, both geographically (with relations among, between, and within global, national, and/or regional literatures) and historically. Students will take a course to fulfill each of these areas:

Aesthetic Literature Requirement: 7 Credits Minimum

Complete at least seven credits from this list. This requirement extends students’ knowledge of literary texts through the study of writing from select literary periods, literary movements, and/or national literatures; the study of representative texts spanning successive literary periods; the study of literary genres; and/or topic-based inquiries into literary texts. The English department encourages majors to explore literature from a variety of cultural traditions.

Literature courses from Classics, French, German, Russian, Theater, Spanish, or another department may (with the approval from the English department chair) be substituted toward this requirement.

B.A. English Electives: 0-9 Credits

Select a combination of (a) ENG, CRWT or LING courses at or above the 200-level, and/or (b) any film or literature course from another program for which you receive a substitution (see below), to total a minimum of 34 credits in the English major.

This area of the major (which includes courses in theory, literature, language, and culture) encourages students to focus their coursework - in consultation with their advisor and their instructors - on their distinct professional, intellectual, scholarly, and creative goals and passions.

With the approval of the Chair of the Department of English and Linguistics, film courses from programs other than English and/or literature courses from Classics, French, German, Russian, Theater, or Spanish may be substituted in this area of the major.

Electives to Total: 120 Credits

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