Bachelor of Arts in English

English Bachelor of Arts Overivew

Literature Option

  • The Literature Option is designed for students wishing to specialize in the study of literature as preparation for graduate work or for general education. The study of literature helps students solve problems, think clearly, and support ideas with evidence. This option is small enough that students get to know their faculty well, while being large enough for students to have a range of peers and faculty. The Literature Option leaves students with enough electives to obtain a minor or even another major, such as History or the Writing Option.

    Literature by itself doesn’t prepare students for a specific job, as nursing would. However, it gives students a strong foundation to build on through on-the-job career training and advancement or additional specialized education. A literature degree is great preparation for graduate study in law, library science, museum science, and further literary studies. After graduation, students are prepared for entry level positions in publishing and editing, human resources, non-profit humanities organizations, and corporate careers requiring an understanding of complex problems and their effects on individuals and groups.

Teaching Option

  • The English Teaching Option major is designed for students who wish to become licensed to teach English in grades 5 - 12. Upon completion of the degree, students are eligible for licensure in the state of Montana.

    Our English education program examines place, people, and text while centering youth. Both of our faculty have a particular interest in rural education. After graduation, most of our Teaching Option students begin teaching in middle school and high school English classrooms across Montana and beyond. Our students are competitive on the job market. Some students go right to graduate school, and a few have moved overseas to teach.

    Secondary education students are encouraged to pursue a teaching minor in an additional content area and should contact an advisor for details. Obtaining a teaching minor will require more than eight semesters. The Teacher Education Program provides admission information regarding the program, Student Teaching, Licensure, Professional Expectations and more.


Writing Option

  • Writing Option majors study and practice writing, rhetoric, and rhetorical theory in a range of contexts. This option both prepares the student for future professions and informs and enriches their personal and civic lives. Courses include those in rhetoric, technical communications, professional writing, rhetorical theory, and creative writing.  Students go on to pursue careers in technical and professional writing in business, nonprofit, and government sectors and in journalism and publishing. Students also pursue graduate studies in related fields.

    Recent revisions to Writing Option requirements center on students using catalog year 2022-2023. Students in the Writing Option major take a total of 42 credits: six (6) foundational courses, five (5) writing electives and three (3) literature electives. The Writing Option now has an 18-credit common intellectual experience centered on foundations in rhetorical theory, applied rhetoric (courses in technical, professional or civic writing), and creative writing in addition to the introduction to the major, internship, and capstone courses. This common intellectual experience reflects the breadth valued in the option:

    CRWR 240 Intro to Creative Writing
    WRIT 205 Intro to Writing Studies
    WRIT 300 Introduction to Rhetorical Theory for Writing Studies
    WRIT 310 Researched Writing
    WRIT 498 Internship
    WRIT 494 Capstone

    While this common intellectual experience maintains the characteristic and desired breadth of courses in the Writing Option, there is increased flexibility for student choice of electives. A student might then focus on taking more creative writing courses or applied rhetoric courses rather than being required to do more upper level classes in both areas.

    Students in the Writing Option are encouraged to complete a double major or minor. Many students combine majors in film, social sciences, or natural sciences with the Writing Option. Students also complete minors in fields ranging from Literature or Hispanic Studies to Global Studies and Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship. Students then may choose their electives to support these other areas of study.

Undergraduate Minors

Writing (Non-Teaching)
Literature (Non-Teaching)

Courses Offered

Creative Writing


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