skip to main content
Department of English
University of Mississippi

B.A. in English

B.A. in English

English is a uniquely adaptable undergraduate degree! You can find English majors everywhere: They build careers in journalism, education, marketing, professional and creative writing, entertainment, business, information technology, editing and publishing, medicine, public relations, law, communications, politics, activism, and more.

In this new information age, analyzing and interpreting complex information for a specific audience is a crucial skill. English majors learn to research, read and think critically, and make clear written and multimedia arguments about complex and expressive texts. According to numerous surveys, these are employers’ most desired skills, and are useful for almost any profession and pivotal for meaningful participation in a thriving economy and society. Gaining interpersonal and intellectual proficiencies sought in the workforce empowers students to navigate changing and diverse futures.

Majoring in English

A major in English consists of a minimum of 30 semester hours (10 courses) in addition to the two 200-level literature survey courses required for all students by the College of Liberal Arts. These 30 hours must include:

  • Four (4) core courses:
    • ENG 299, an introduction to literary studies that prepares students for advanced coursework in English
    • One course in literatures of the Medieval Period OR Early Modern Period (pre-1700)
    • One course in literatures of the 18th and 19th Centuries (1700s or 1800s)
    • One course in Diverse Perspectives , focusing on authors from groups that have been historically marginalized (by virtue of, for instance, race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, etc.)
  • A 400-level capstone seminar with a significant research component
  • English electives to explore other interests like creative writing, film, gender and sexuality studies, environmental studies, linguistics, the South, literary theory, world literatures, and popular culture
  • More details and checklists for the English major can be found here

In addition to our regularly-offered literature and creative writing courses, the English major also offers students the opportunity to earn up to 3 hours of English credit from writing-related internships in areas like publishing, journalism, and marketing and communications.

The B.A. in English degree is offered through the College of Liberal Arts. Consult the UM Undergraduate Catalog for complete and up-to-date degree requirements.

English Major Specializations

English majors may choose to specialize by using their English electives to add an emphasis. The overall degree requirements remain the same.

B.A. in English with a Creative Writing EmphasisStudents interested in developing their creative writing skills can choose an optional creative writing emphasis as part of their major coursework through electives. Students must take Eng 199 or 300 (Introduction to Creative Writing) and three of the following creative writing courses: Eng 301, 302, 303, 304, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405.

B.A. in English with an Editing, Writing, and Publishing Emphasis (starting Fall 2020)Interested in pursuing a career in publishing or editing—for a major publishing house, a small indie press, or an online magazine or journal? The Editing, Writing, and Publishing Emphasis was designed to help students develop professional editing and  publishing skills as part of their major coursework through electives. This emphasis consists of Eng 199 or 300 (Introduction to Creative Writing), Eng 308 (Introduction to Editing, Writing, and Publishing for the Digital Age), 3 hours of Eng 394 (Internship in Editing, Writing, and Publishing), and one of the following courses: Eng 301, 302, 303, 304, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405.

B.A. in English with a Literature, Justice, and Society Emphasis (starting Fall 2020)Students interested in issues of social justice or planning to pursue a career in law, social work, or activism can choose an optional literature, justice, and society emphasis as part of their major coursework through electives. This emphasis consists of 12 hours of Diverse Perspectives courses. Eligible courses are listed below on the Requirements Checklist for Majors and in the UM Undergraduate Catalog.

Advising Documents for Students and Advisors

Requirements Checklist for MajorsENG 399: Internship ApplicationENG 496: Directed Reading ApplicationDegree Application Review ChecklistEnglish Course Level OverviewCollege of Liberal Arts Advising Information

Sample Four-Year Academic Course Plans

for students enrolling as freshmenwith Creative Writing Emphasis for students enrolling as freshmenfor students enrolling as junior transfer students

Old Curriculum (for students enrolling before Fall 2013)

Requirements Checklist (old curriculum)Pre-1800s Course List

To learn more about majoring in English, contact:

Professor Scott MacKenzieDirector of Undergraduate StudiesDepartment of EnglishThe University of MississippiC128 Bondurant HallUniversity, MS 38677(662)