With a bachelor's degree in English, gain the analytical, critical, and communication skills to help you succeed in graduate study or an in-demand career.

Like other liberal arts degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Maryland University College offers a solid base of critical thinking on which to build a career or further graduate study. If you are intrigued by the study of language and literature, the English major may be right for you.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2017–2018 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the English Bachelor's Degree

In the online English bachelor's degree program, you'll study literature and writing, improving your cultural literacy and your ability to recognize and appreciate great works of literature. By following a critical approach to the study of literature, you'll learn to articulate ideas with clarity, conduct original research, and convey complex information in logical, accessible language.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of English-language literary texts, genres, and terms
  • Analyze literary texts to explain stylistic, historical, sociocultural, and ethical significance
  • Apply critical theory to literary texts to enhance interpretation and analysis
  • Conduct effective research across a range of media
  • Create writing that effectively argues, persuades, illuminates, and/or informs
  • Create presentations in various media to demonstrate the results of academic inquiry

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Use critical thinking skills and primary texts to write letters, dialogue, presentations, and other assignments using examples and arguments from books and plays studied in class
  • Create a Facebook page for an author like Shakespeare
  • Create a digital narrative illustrating the differences between English language in Chaucer's time and the present
  • Add a voiceover to a map of different regions of the United States, illustrating how pronunciation changes throughout the region

English Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

  • ENGL 240
  • ENGL 281
  • ENGL 303
  • ENGL 386 or any upper-level ENGL course
  • ENGL 310
  • ENGL 311 or any upper-level ENGL course
  • ENGL 312 or any upper-level ENGL course
  • ENGL 430
  • ENGL 433
  • ENGL 441 or any upper-level ENGL course
  • ENGL 495

General Education Requirements

Research Course

  • LIBS 150
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)  

Writing and Communication Courses 

  • WRTG 101
  • WRTG 293 or other writing course 
  • COMM 202 or other communication, writing, or speech course 
  • WRTG 391 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Arts and Humanities Courses

  • HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course 
  • HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences Courses 

  • ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses

  • BIOL 103 or other science lecture and laboratory course(s) 
  • NSCI 100 or other science lecture course 

Math Course 

  • MATH 106 or other 3-credit approved math or statistics course

Computing Courses

  • IFSM 201 or CMST 301 
  • CMIS 111 or another computing course appropriate to the academic major

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
    • At least half of the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in advanced writing
  • The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions counselor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. Contact an admissions counselor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you for jobs in education, law, publishing, journalism, public relations, business, and management.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

We recommend you have strong communication and presentation skills.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Humanities and English Club

Type: Academic club
Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate

The Humanities and English Club provides students with the opportunity to speak to faculty members about classes, graduate schools, and professional opportunities. The club regularly hosts symposiums and guest speakers for English majors and offers discussions in which students can discuss their favorite authors. A staple of this student organization is a writing workshop in which students critique one another's creative writing.

Sigma Tau Delta

Type: Honor society
Available To: Undergraduate

Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, has more than 880 active chapters located in the United States and abroad. Nationally recognized, its purpose is to provide opportunities to associate with students, alumni, and faculty members who have a common interest in writing and in English language and literature.