• Professor Claudia Barnett is an
    award-winning
    playwright
  • Students are engaged in Professor Ron Kates' creative writing class
  • Thought-provoking
    discussions are part of MTSU
  • Karrick Howard found a good spot to prepare for his Gothic and Horror lit class

English

In English, we offer an exciting curriculum in literature, film, pop culture studies, rhetoric and composition, creative writing, and linguistics. Our diverse course offerings are designed to appeal to students with varying academic and professional goals. In fact, the skills students develop in our courses—analysis, writing, reading, research, and communication—well  prepare them for careers in writing and editing, publishing, law, advertising, public relations, education, management, public service, as well as the performing and creative arts.

Rethinking traditional writing in the 21st century

Rethinking traditional writing in the 21st century

Students who think that writing a traditional essay will be the only thing that happens in Dr. Eric Detweiler’s rhetoric and composition classes are likely in for a surprise.  Detweiler includes a variety of technology—especially sound related—to broaden perceptions of what writing is and what can be done with it. “As students get out into their professions and public life today, they quickly realize that there’s more to writing than that six-to-eight-paragraph essay,” he says; “I want them to become sensitive to these differences and realize that they can reach a broader audience as well as have fun.”  Along these lines, about two years ago, Detweiler started a podcast called Rhetoricity, reflecting the growing interest in the role sound plays historically and currently in rhetoric. Now he’s one of the organizers of a 2018 conference to be held partly at MTSU, the Symposium on Sound, Rhetoric, and Writing. Full disclosure: Detweiler emphasizes that traditional writing is very much a part of his classes—it’s just not the only part!

Taking English studies beyond the book

Taking English studies beyond the book

Film and popular culture studies are central to Dr. Elyce Rae Helford’s classroom and her research. Helford emphasizes close study of texts we think of as part of everyday life, from Hollywood cinema to social media. Recently, she took the role of senior editor of the bookThe Woman Fantastic in Contemporary American Media Culture (University Press of Mississippi, 2016), co-edited with former MTSU English graduate students Shiloh Carroll, Sarah Gray, and Michael Howard. The volume contains chapters by academic writers on images of “super” women in television, young adult literature, comics, and urban fantasy novels. Helford explains, “Understanding how popular culture shapes our world and worldview is vital to recognizing the sources of our pleasures as well as challenging negative impact. Study of the popular can help us create positive change in the world.” ​

Degrees in English increase opportunities for success in a constantly changing job market. An emphasis on clear and logical communication prepares students for a wide range of occupations, rather than emphasizing one or two vocational tracks. Students in the program have gone on to such positions as

  • Advertising/public relations executive
  • Content manager
  • Creative writer
  • Director/support staff for non-profit organizations
  • Editor
  • Lawyer (after law school)
  • Librarian
  • Manager
  • Professional/technical writer
  • Public servant
  • Publisher
  • Researcher
  • Reviewer
  • School administrator
  • Software developer
  • Teacher

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Aquinas College
  • Belmont University
  • Bryant College
  • C. S. Lewis Foundation
  • Calhoun Community College (Ala.)
  • Chattanooga State Community College
  • Cleveland State Community College
  • College of the Cumberlands (Ky.)
  • Columbia State Community College
  • Covenant College
  • David Lipscomb University
  • Education Networks of America
  • Fisk University
  • Franklin Road Academy
  • Kentucky Christian University
  • Michigan State University
  • Motlow State Community College
  • MTSU
  • Nashville State Community College
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Tennessee Board of Regents
  • Tennessee State Board of Education / Dept. of Education
  • Tennessee State University
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Medical School
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Volunteer State Community College
  • Western Kentucky University
  • Williamson County Schools

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

MTSU has five undergraduate major programs in English, all leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and offering students training to think and write, preparing them for a variety of fields that are looking for well-rounded individuals with good communication skills and the ability to learn and grow in their professions. These include the general English major (without concentration) or the English major with concentrations in Literary Studies, Film and Popular Culture, Writing Studies, Literature and Culture, and Secondary Education Teaching Licensure. 

The English Major (without a concentration) is designed for students interested in a broad experience of English studies. 

The English Major with a Teaching 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. It is the most proscribed of our concentrations, requiring students to take specific courses in six of the seven areas as well as an additional course in Teaching English (English 4900). In addition, students must complete a minor in Secondary Education (including a year of “residency”). Students successfully pursuing this curriculum along with the requirements of the licensure program will be prepared to teach 7-12 English in the state of Tennessee. (Note: 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.) This program consists of 32 or 33 hours of English studies along with 30 hours of education classes.

Literature and Culture Concentration is for students who want to study English in an interdisciplinary context. 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.

Literary Studies Concentration gives students contemplating academic or professional careers a focused training in theory and critical thinking. 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. 

Writing Studies Concentration is designed for students who want to focus on their writing. (Students may combine this with a minor in writing for even deeper, more interdisciplinary writing experiences.) The Writing concentration gives students 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. 

Film and Popular Culture Concentration will be available beginning Fall 2017.

The department also offers a flexible 15-credit minor in English.

The department coordinates four interdisciplinary minors: Film Studies, Great Books, Jewish and Holocaust Studies, and Writing, and participates in several interdisciplinary minors including African American Studies; American Culture; Classical Studies; Early Modern European Studies; Environment and Human Society; Global Studies; Jewish and Holocaust Studies; Latin American Studies; Linguistics Studies; Media, History, and Culture; Medieval Studies; Middle East Studies; Native American Studies; Russian Studies; Southern Studies; and Twentieth-Century European Studies.

Graduate programs include the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in English, one of the oldest in the state, and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in English.

English Literature and Culture Literary Studies WritingTeacher Licensure


English, B.A.

Department of English 
615-898-2595
Ron Kates, program coordinator
Ron.Kates@mtsu.edu

A major in English consists of 36 hours of which no more than six (6) may be lower-division hours.

  1. English major core: All majors, regardless of concentration, will take the following: ENGL 3000 or ENGL 3007; ENGL 3030; ENGL 3010 or ENGL 3020; and ENGL 3570, ENGL 4520, ENGL 4530, ENGL 4605, or ENGL 4670 (approved topics).
  2. When taught by an English faculty member, WGST, AAS, JHS, and certain interdisciplinary Honors seminars (UH 3500 and UH 4600) may be substituted with approval of advisor. No non-departmental lower division courses will be accepted.
  3. A maximum of six (6) hours of lower-division literature coursework (not counting the General Education requirements) may be taken toward the major. These hours will be appropriately assigned by the student's departmental advisor. No more than 3 hours (one course) may be taken to satisfy the core course requirement.
  4. Majors are expected to consult a member of the English faculty each semester regarding the selection and arrangement of electives.
  5. Recommended minors for English majors include a foreign language minor, Film Studies, History, Linguistic Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Theatre, Writing, Southern Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies, but students may choose a minor from those listed under the B.A. requirements (see Academic Policies and Procedures ) or from the interdisciplinary minors (see Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors).

Beginning with Fall 2012, English majors are instructed to keep the English 3000 or 3007 essay and two other essays from different upper-division classes for submission in the senior writing portfolio.  ENGL 4999 (senior writing portfolio) will be required of all English majors graduating under the 2012-13 or later catalogs.

Academic Map

Following is a printable, suggested four-year schedule of courses:

English, B.A., Academic Map  

Degree Requirements

General Education (41 hours)

General Education requirements include courses in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

Major Requirements (36 hours)

English Core (12 hours)

All majors, regardless of concentration, will take the following:

  • ENGL 3000 - Introduction to Literary Studies

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. An introduction to the study of literature. Focus on strategies for sophisticated reading, literary genres, literary criticism and research. Required for English majors.

  • ENGL 3007 - Writing and the Literary Imagination

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 2020 or ENGL 2030. Focuses on the relationship between literature, the imagination and culture, Uses different types of writing and reading to develop students' ability to think critically about literature. Required of English minors.

 

  • ENGL 3010 - British Literature I: Beginnings to 1700

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000 with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of British literature from the beginnings to the end of the seventeenth century. Emphasis on the literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

  • ENGL 3020 - British Literature II: 1700-1918

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000  with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of British literature from 1700 to 1918 with some reference to earlier and later works. Emphasis on literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

 

  • ENGL 3030 - American Literature: Colonial Era to the Present

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000 with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of American literature from colonial times to the present. Emphasis on the literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

  • ENGL 4999 - Senior Portfolio  0 credit hours  

    ENGL 4999 - Senior Portfolio

    0 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 3000, ENGL 3010, ENGL 3020, and ENGL 3030. Required of all English majors for graduation beginning Spring 2016. Open only to graduating seniors or to students who have completed 24 upper-division English hours. Students will compile and submit a portfolio of at least three different essays representing their progress through the program. Pass-Fail. 

One from the following:

  • ENGL 3570 - Introduction to Linguistics

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. Anatomy of sound production, levels of structure in language: phonological (sound), morphological (meaningful segments), syntactic (interrelation of words in a sentence). Various meanings of language.

  • ENGL 4520 - The Structure of English

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. Structure of modern English and overview of current syntactic theories.

  • ENGL 4530 - History of the English Language

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. Political, social, intellectual forces determining historical development of English; internal structural changes--sounds, inflections--resulting from those forces.

  • ENGL 4605 - Advanced Composition

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Completion of  1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better, and ENGL 1020 or ENGL 3605 with a B- or better. Approaches to various writing problems posed in advanced university studies and nontechnical professions: essays, proposals, critical reviews, analyses.

  • ENGL 4670 - Special Topics in Writing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. An intensive study in one specialized form of writing. The form of writing will vary with the instructor teaching the course.

(as approved by departmental advisor)

English Foundational Course (3 hours)

  • ENGL 3010 - British Literature I: Beginnings to 1700

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000 with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of British literature from the beginnings to the end of the seventeenth century. Emphasis on the literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

  • ENGL 3020 - British Literature II: 1700-1918

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000  with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of British literature from 1700 to 1918 with some reference to earlier and later works. Emphasis on literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

Whichever was not used for English Core credit

English Elective Courses (21 hours)

  • Seven ENGL 3000/4000 courses chosen in consultation with departmental advisor

Foreign Language (12 hours)

  • Complete 12 hours in a single foreign language, including 6 at the 2000 level

Minor (15-18 hours)

Electives (13-16 hours)

Total hours in program: 120

 

Recommended Curriculum: English

All students pursuing a major in English must complete the General Education requirements and the requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree. Students may not begin upper-division English studies until they have completed ENGL 1010, ENGL 1020, ENGL 2020, and ENGL 2030. Typically, students will begin upper-division English studies in the second semester of their sophomore year with  ENGL 3000 and one other English course.

The  Academic Maps provide examples of a recommended plan of studies for students who wish to complete their academic requirements within a four-year period. However, there is no single way to complete the program. The department is generally flexible about the order in which courses are taken so long as prerequisites are met. Each English major has an assigned academic advisor. Consulting this advisor regularly will help the student to individualize the program to his or her own needs and interests.

Curricular listings include General Education requirements in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

Freshman

 

  • ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing  3 credit hours  (Comm) 

    ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing

    3 credit hours

    The first General Education English course. Emphasis on learning to adapt composing processes to a variety of expository and analytic writing assignments. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • ENGL 1020 - Research and Argumentative Writing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 1010. The second General Education English course. Emphasis on analytic and argumentative writing and on locating, organizing, and using library resource materials in the writing. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • Natural Sciences 4 credit hours
  • Foreign Language (2000-level) 6 credit hours
  • Mathematics 3 credit hours
  • COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication  3 credit hours  (Comm) 

    COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication

    3 credit hours

    Principles and processes of effective public oral communication including researching, critical thinking, organizing, presenting, listening, and using appropriate language. Emphasis on informative, persuasive, special occasion, and extemporaneous (impromptu) speaking. Counts as part of the General Education Communication requirement.

  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours

Choose 6 hours from:

  • HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2030 - Tennessee History

    3 credit hours

    The role of the state in the development of the nation. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

Subtotal: 31 Hours

 

Sophomore

 

  • ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA)  OR 

    ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Traces a specific theme or idea through a number of literary texts that reflect different historical and cultural contexts. Subject will vary.

  • ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA) 

    ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. The reading of a variety of literary types which illuminate themes and experiences common to human existence.

 

  • ENGL 3000 - Introduction to Literary Studies

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. An introduction to the study of literature. Focus on strategies for sophisticated reading, literary genres, literary criticism and research. Required for English majors.

  • ENGL 3007 - Writing and the Literary Imagination

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 2020 or ENGL 2030. Focuses on the relationship between literature, the imagination and culture, Uses different types of writing and reading to develop students' ability to think critically about literature. Required of English minors.

 

  • Foreign Language or elective 6 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences (2 prefixes) 6 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences 4 credit hours
  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours
  • Minor course or electives 6 credit hours

Subtotal: 31 Hours

 

Junior

 

 

Choose two courses (6 hours):

  • ENGL 3010 - British Literature I: Beginnings to 1700

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000 with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of British literature from the beginnings to the end of the seventeenth century. Emphasis on the literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

  • ENGL 3020 - British Literature II: 1700-1918

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000  with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of British literature from 1700 to 1918 with some reference to earlier and later works. Emphasis on literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

  • ENGL 3030 - American Literature: Colonial Era to the Present

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000 with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of American literature from colonial times to the present. Emphasis on the literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

 

  • ENGL 3000/4000 level courses 12 credit hours
  • Minor courses or electives 9 credit hours

 

Choose one:

  • ENGL 3570 - Introduction to Linguistics

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. Anatomy of sound production, levels of structure in language: phonological (sound), morphological (meaningful segments), syntactic (interrelation of words in a sentence). Various meanings of language.

  • ENGL 4520 - The Structure of English

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. Structure of modern English and overview of current syntactic theories.

  • ENGL 4530 - History of the English Language

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. Political, social, intellectual forces determining historical development of English; internal structural changes--sounds, inflections--resulting from those forces.

  • ENGL 4605 - Advanced Composition

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Completion of  1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better, and ENGL 1020 or ENGL 3605 with a B- or better. Approaches to various writing problems posed in advanced university studies and nontechnical professions: essays, proposals, critical reviews, analyses.

  • ENGL 4670 - Special Topics in Writing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. An intensive study in one specialized form of writing. The form of writing will vary with the instructor teaching the course.

(as approved by departmental advisor)

Subtotal: 30 Hours

 

Senior

 

  • ENGL 4999 - Senior Portfolio  0 credit hours  

    ENGL 4999 - Senior Portfolio

    0 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 3000, ENGL 3010, ENGL 3020, and ENGL 3030. Required of all English majors for graduation beginning Spring 2016. Open only to graduating seniors or to students who have completed 24 upper-division English hours. Students will compile and submit a portfolio of at least three different essays representing their progress through the program. Pass-Fail. 

 

Choose one:

  • ENGL 3010 - British Literature I: Beginnings to 1700

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000 with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of British literature from the beginnings to the end of the seventeenth century. Emphasis on the literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

  • ENGL 3020 - British Literature II: 1700-1918

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000  with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of British literature from 1700 to 1918 with some reference to earlier and later works. Emphasis on literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

  • ENGL 3030 - American Literature: Colonial Era to the Present

    3 credit hours

    Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 3000 with a grade of C- or better. Building on knowledge acquired in ENGL 3000, applies the procedures and practices of literary study to the study of American literature from colonial times to the present. Emphasis on the literary tradition, genres, major figures, and relevant critical and theoretical approaches. Required for English majors.

 

  • ENGL 3000/4000 level elective courses 9 credit hours
  • Minor or elective courses 9 credit hours
  • Electives 7 credit hours

Subtotal: 28 Hours