Mar 22, 2023  
2022-2023 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2028 
2022-2023 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2028

English (BA)

Affiliation: School of Arts and Letters


Combining a deep respect for tradition with enthusiastic innovation, Truman’s English BA program offers students a highly customizable learning experience. All students who complete the BA English program graduate with an understanding of how literary and cultural texts are created and how we can most meaningfully engage with them. Our English majors also develop a sophisticated set of tools for analytical reading, writing, and research.

The English program is designed to give students strong common experiences and skills while allowing room for students to select courses depending on their interests, passions, and plans for next steps after completing their undergraduate degrees. Some English majors choose to focus on canonical literature (a.k.a. “the great works”) with a sprinkling of less canonical work or the other way around. Some English students focus primarily on their development as insightful readers of literary texts, while others are deeply invested in their work as creative writers. Many English majors forge connections between their major program and minors in Creative Writing, Child Studies, Folklore, or Film Studies. The English program is also home to one of the largest groups of pre-MAE Secondary Certification students on campus.

Truman’s English majors develop strong working relationships with one another and with their faculty, beginning with ENG 216 - New Majors Seminar  and ending with ENG 498 - Senior English Capstone . In between, we offer several other courses that give students ways to explore their interests and hone their skills while receiving strong faculty mentorship, including ENG 327 - English Practicum , ENG 401 - Undergraduate Projects in English , and ENG 451 - Internship for English /ENG 452 - Internship Evaluation .

Woven throughout the BA English program is the faculty’s commitment to creating opportunities for the following:

  • development of excellent analytical reading, writing, and research skills
  • engaging with course assignments that invite growth in flexible thinking, problem-solving, and content creation
  • experience with many forms and genres of texts, including forms traditionally considered “literary” (ex. poetry, novels, plays, short stories, and essays) as well as other cultural texts (ex. movies, graphic novels, multigenre works, and experimental narrative forms)
  • exposure to a wide range of texts ranging from old to new, including everything from revered classics to new treasures
  • sensitive participation in important conversations about diverse human experiences and how those experiences are represented in literary and cultural texts
  • practice communicating effectively about how the skills, knowledge, and experiences developed in the English program can translate into life and work beyond college
  • learning to manage demands on time, respond to stress, and cope with challenging interpersonal interactions
  • regular meaning occasions for faculty and students to discuss the big questions that energize English studies



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

  • A minimum of 20 credits must be at the 300-level or above.
  • Only grades of “C” and above are accepted toward the English degree.
  • Up to 8 combined credits of practical application courses may count toward the BA English major. These courses included ENG 327 and CRWT/ENG/LING 451 & 452.


Coursework for the English major is divided into the following sections:

  • Part I: Common Experiences - three courses, 8 credit hours
  • Part II: Guided Exploration - three courses, 9-12 credit hours
  • Part III: Electives - additional 14-17 hours of approved coursework to total a minimum of 34 credits

Part I: Common Experiences (8 credits):

Complete both of these courses:

Part II: Guided Exploration (9-12 credits):

Note: although some courses appear in more than one category, each course may only count once in the English BA program.

Part III: Electives: (*additional 14-17 hours)

*Additional 14-17 hours of approved coursework to reach minimum of 34 hours in the major and 120 for the BA degree

Electives may be selected from the courses listed above when not used to meet another program requirement, or from the additional courses listed below. 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 discipline for which a student receives an approved program substitution, to total a minimum of 34 credits in the English major.

Remember that at least 20 credits in the major need to be at the 300-level or above.

Electives to Total: 120 Credits

Additional Information for Students

Note for Students Interested in Creative Writing

Because of significant overlap in coursework between the two programs, students are not allowed to earn both a BA degree in English and a BFA degree in Creative Writing. However, students may combine an English major and a Creative Writing Minor and up to 7 hours of coursework counting toward the English major may be applied to this minor. Students are invited to consult with faculty who teach in both programs for input on the best mix of courses given their particular strengths and interests.

Note for Students Interested in the Master of Arts in Education (MAE) Secondary English Certification

BA English major who plan to apply to the MAE for Secondary English Certification at Truman can find an advising guide on the Department of English and Linguistics webpage. This guide includes a chart showing all current Secondary English Certification requirements, as well as sample student semester-by-semester plans. Please keep in mind that the MAE has its own application process and other requirements, including pre-professional courses taught in the Education Department. Please note that catalog copy may not reflect current DESE mandates for secondary English certification, so 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. Courses that fulfill the requirements for Secondary English Certification are listed below.

Specific Undergraduate Courses Required for MAE Certification

All of these courses are required to meet certification requirement:

Approved Composition Courses
Select one of these courses to meet certification requirement:

Approved American Minority Literature Courses
Select one of these courses to meet certification requirement:

Approved American Literature Courses
Select one of these courses to meet certification requirement:

Approved British Literature Courses
Select one of these courses to meet certification requirement:

Approved World Literature Courses
Select one of these courses to meet certification requirement: