Program Description

As a major, English offers a varied and soundly based program that unifies the study of composition, language, and literature. It prepares the student for a career in business, communications media, teaching, and for advanced study in graduate and professional schools. It is truly a versatile major.

Within the English major, students may concentrate their programs of study in either literature or in language and linguistics.

Our programs seek to develop skills applicable not only to all professional disciplines but also to significant tasks of life: the ability to read perceptively, write effectively and think critically. The senior seminar, English 490: Seminar in Literature, offers an integrative experience in which students work not only toward the fullest development of their skills as readers, writers and thinkers, but also toward their development as professional scholars.

Both undergraduate and graduate programs are offered during the day and in the evenings so that students may expect to complete the master of arts or the undergraduate major by attending either day or evening classes exclusively.

Students may prepare for a career in teaching English at the secondary level (junior high or high school) by completing an approved "Subject Matter Preparation Program." Completion of such a program is the first step in meeting the state requirements for a teaching credential. As the program requirements for the "Subject Matter Preparation Program" in English have changed recently, interested students should consult the departmentally designated advisor for current information. Click here to read the Program Philosophy for the Subject Matter Preparation Program in English.

The program leading to the Master of Arts Degree in English is a 30-semester-unit curriculum. Opportunities for emphasis in British literature, American literature, English language and linguistics, rhetoric and composition, and Teaching English as a Second Language exist in a flexible curriculum.

The Master of Arts in English prepares students for doctoral degrees or for community college teaching positions. The concentration in rhetoric and composition specifically prepares students to teach composition at the community college level; it also improves the instructional skills of in-service teachers of English in the secondary schools. Many students have discovered that work on both the undergraduate and graduate levels has provided them with the skills that enable them to succeed in business, industry, and the professions.

Within the graduate program leading to the Master of Arts, students may choose to complete a concentration in either the Teaching of English as a Second Language (TESL) or Rhetoric and Composition. Graduate students also may elect to do all of their work in the study of literature. The program is designed carefully to offer both breadth and depth and will give students a solid understanding of their discipline.