The Bachelor of Arts degree in English allows students to develop their own areas of expertise by creating a concentration in such areas as literature, composition and rhetoric, creative writing, science fiction and fantasy studies, and film. In completing this degree, students will learn how to communication effectively and persuasively; they will improve their writing skills and may choose to learn technical and/or creative writing; they will learn textual analysis and effective research methods; how to build effective arguments and strengthen their critical thinking skills. This degree prepares students for careers in education, law, technical writing, publishing, entertainment, management, marketing and advertising, counseling and medicine.
5-Year B.A. and M.A. in English
The Department of English offers a five-year joint degree program that provides the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in English. In this program, the undergraduate degree requirements are slightly modified to require more theory and methods courses in an effort to prepare students for the more rigorous masters-level coursework. Students interested in this program will apply during the spring of their junior year and, if admitted, begin taking masters-level courses in the fall of their senior year with an undergraduate classification.
At the end of your sophomore year, you should make appointments with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Director of Undergraduate Studies to discuss your intention to apply for the program, and to determine what requirements you need to fulfill before the end of your junior year. To be eligible to apply, you must have an overall GPA of 3.5 and a major GPA of 3.7. The actual application to the program will be submitted in the spring of your junior year. If you meet the GPA requirements and have consulted with both Directors, you will be able to access an online application.
As part of this application, you will need to upload:
- A statement of purpose, no longer than two pages, double-spaced, indicating your goals for the next two years, your ideas about what you want to study, and your reasons for pursuing the joint BA/MA degree.
- A writing sample of 10-12 pages. This should be a paper you wrote for an English class. It should be a critical analysis, using research, and it should be very carefully edited and proofread. We strongly encourage you to revise the paper, to show that you can respond to faculty feedback, and to expand it if necessary, based on the guidelines.
You must also ask for letters of recommendation from two faculty members in English, preferably Graduate faculty members. Graduate faculty regularly teach graduate courses and so are in the best position to assess your readiness to succeed in our graduate classes. If you need help determining who these faculty are, please consult the English Graduate Office. Letters can be sent directly to the Director of Graduate Studies. Your application will be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee, who might ask you to come in for an interview.
B.A. English, Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification
This teaching plan builds upon the required coursework in the Bachelor of Arts degree in order to prepare students for admission to the Texas A&M post-baccalaureate teacher certification program or other programs offered by colleges, educational service centers, or independent school districts. The department’s Option II Teaching Field Plan requires students to complete 27 hours of English, linguistics, and professional education coursework. All hours should fit the B.A. degree plan if the student declares his or her interest upon entering the major. A second teaching field of approximately 24-30 credit hours may be added to make the candidate more viable in the job market. However, a second teaching field may cause the total hours for the degree to exceed the 120 hours required to earn a B.A. in English. Please note that students must graduate with a 2.75 or higher GPA in order to obtain a teaching certificate.
B.A. English, Middle School Teaching Certification
The Department of English offers a degree and certification program in English language arts and reading for prospective middle school teachers, grades 4-8. This program requires 33 hours of major coursework in English and 33 hours of specialized supporting coursework in areas of educational planning and teaching. This degree prepares students to become middle school teachers by specializing in teaching-specific studies, developing excellent communication skills, and understanding the social and intellectual development of children. This certification is a field-based program that requires students to spend extensive time in local middle schools. Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA to qualify for the degree plan and certificate, with no grade below “C” in the major, teaching field, or professional education courses.