English Department Majors

Tom Strawman, Chair
PH 302

Elvira Casal, Associate Chair. Director of Upper Division
PH 323

General Information

We are very proud of our upper division English program. We offer five undergraduate major programs, all leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree: The traditional English major, the English major with concentrations in Writing, Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, or the English major with a concentration in Secondary Education Teaching Licensure.

Students wishing for more information than what is included below, or wanting to visit the department before enrolling should contact the Upper-Division Office 898-2576 for an appointment.

Majoring in English

The non-teaching, traditional Bachelor of Arts in English is designed to give students a well-rounded background in the study of the English language and its literature. The four concentrations allow students to pursue special career and/or intellectual interests.

The main goal of the Cultural Studies concentration is to provide students with the opportunity to examine culture through the study of texts within an interdisciplinary framework. Students may choose a general cultural studies curriculum or they may specialize within the concentration by choosing courses in an area such as women in literature, popular literature, folklore, world literature, children's literature, multicultural literature, etc. The course of study is designed to help students broaden their understanding of the relationship between culture and literature.

The Literary Studies concentration is designed to provide students with the opportunity to take a greater number of advanced courses in literature and to focus on their interests within specific areas of English studies. Students may choose to emphasize a period, an author, or a genre or they may choose to increase their general knowledge of the field. Many students choose the Literary Studies concentration as a preparation for graduate or professional school.

The Secondary Education Teacher Licensure concentration is for students who wish to teach English in grades 7-12. English department courses in this concentration are chosen to provide students with a strong background in the subject they will be teaching. Students pursuing this curriculum along with the requirements of the licensure program will be prepared to teach 7-12 English in the state of Tennessee. (Please note that this is not the program for students whose plan is to apply to graduate school in English in order to teach at the university level eventually. University faculty do not need a state teaching license. Graduate programs will provide teaching education preparation for college level instructors.)

The Writing concentration gives students who are interested in developing themselves as writers the opportunity to do so while pursuing a major in English. Students may choose a general writing curriculum or they may specialize within the concentration by choosing courses in one area such as creative or professional writing.

Students in the English program have gone on to careers in editing, teaching, public relations, management, public service, and many other areas that value clarity of expression and logical thinking. In addition, many students have gone on to graduate programs, law school, and other professional education.

All our students are assigned advisors at the time that they declare English majors. These advisors work closely with our students to help them develop individualized programs while at the same time satisfying requirements in a timely fashion.

Transfer advising is typically done by Dr. Jimmie Cain , Director of Advising or Dr. Elvira Casal , Associate Chair and Director of Upper-Division.

A Special Note to Prospective Transfer Students

The English department is happy to give transfer credit for upper division courses taken at other accredited institution. Even when a course does not have a close equivalent in our program, courses taken at other institutions may satisfy our area requirements.

However, it is important to distinguish between lower division (1000 and 2000 level) courses and upper-division (3000 and 4000) level courses. Though course titles may sound similar, the work in a lower-division course at another institution is not considered comparable to the work required in an upper-division course. Therefore, lower-division courses cannot be given credit towards the major. They are accepted as pre-requisites and electives.

Students expecting to transfer to MTSU to pursue a concentration in teaching English should be particularly conscious of the importance of choosing their courses wisely. We urge community college students in particular to contact us before the beginning of their sophomore year to ensure that they will make the best choices of major and minor courses.

For a description of individual courses, see the University Course Catalog