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. Your degree can prepare you for jobs in education, law, publishing, journalism, public relations, business, or management. If you are intrigued by the study of language and literature, the English major may be right for you.

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

  • Interpret literature and apply language in a thoughtful and articulate way to reflect on the human condition in today's world
  • Apply models from literature that reflect diversity and cultural competence to promote fair and inclusive interactions in the workplace and society
  • Apply models from literature to ethical leadership and strategic management in for-profit and nonprofit organizations
  • Access, research, and analyze information using technologies and library resources
  • Create professional written and oral communications
  • Provide feedback on grammatical and stylistic conventions

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 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 406
  • ENGL 495

General Education Requirements

Writing and Communication Classes | 12 Credits

No more than 3 credits in writing can be earned by exam.

Introductory Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • WRTG 101
  • WRTG 101S

This requirement must be completed within the first 18 credits. A placement test is not required for WRTG 101. The requirement cannot be met through course challenge exams.

Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • WRTG 293 or any 3-credit WRTG class EXCEPT for
    • WRTG 486A
    • WRTG 486B
  • ENGL 102
  • JOUR 201

Communication, Writing, or Speech Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for English Bachelor's Degree

COMM 202

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in COMM, SPCH, or WRTG
  • ENGL 102
  • ENGL 281
  • JOUR 201

Advanced Writing Class (Upper Level) | 3 Credits

Recommended for English Bachelor's Degree

WRTG 391

All Available Options
  • WRTG 391
  • WRTG 393
  • WRTG 394

Research Class | 1 Credit

LIBS 150

Arts and Humanities Classes | 6 Credits

Classes must be from different disciplines.

Historical Perspective Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for English Bachelor's Degree

HIST 125

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH or HIST

Arts and Humanities Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for English Bachelor's Degree

HUMN 100

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH, ARTT, ASTD, ENGL, GRCO, HIST, HUMN, MUSC, PHIL, THET, dance, literature, or foreign language

Behavioral and Social Science Classes | 6 Credits

Classes must be from different disciplines.

Behavioral and Social Sciences Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for English Bachelor's Degree

ECON 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in ANTH, BEHS, ECON, GEOG, GERO, GVPT, PSYC, or SOCY
  • AASP 201
  • CCJS 100
  • CCJS 105
  • CCJS 350
  • CCJS 360
  • CCJS 461
  • WMST 200

Behavioral and Social Sciences Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for English Bachelor's Degree

BEHS 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in ANTH, BEHS, ECON, GEOG, GERO, GVPT, PSYC, or SOCY
  • AASP 201
  • CCJS 100
  • CCJS 105
  • CCJS 350
  • CCJS 360
  • CCJS 461
  • WMST 200

Biological and Physical Sciences Classes | 7 Credits

Laboratory Science Class | 4 Credits

Recommended for English Bachelor's Degree

BIOL 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit science lecture class with a related 1-credit lab
  • A 4-credit science class combining lecture and lab chosen from ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, or zoology

Science Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for English Bachelor's Degree

NSCI 100

All Available Options
  • NUTR 100
  • A 3-credit class in ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, or zoology

Math Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for English Bachelor's Degree

MATH 106

All Available Options
  • MATH 106
  • MATH 107
  • A 3-credit MATH class at or above the level of college algebra

Computing Classes | 6 Credits

Computing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • IFSM 201
  • CMST 301

Computing Class Appropriate to Your Major | 3 Credits

Recommended for English Bachelor's Degree
  • CMIS 111
  • IFSM 300
All Available Options
  • ACCT 326
  • A 3-credit class in CMIS, CMIT, CMSC, CMST, CSIA, IFSM, or SDEV

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. 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.

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.