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Department of English
University of Mississippi

B.A. in English

English majors go 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.

English is a relevant and adaptable undergraduate degree. 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. These are the most desired skills, according to employers, 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.

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.


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:

  • ENG 299, an introduction to literary studies that prepares students for advanced coursework in English
  • At least one 300-level or above course from each of the following categories:
      • Literatures of the Medieval Period
      • Literatures of the Early Modern Period
      • Literatures of the 18th and 19th Centuries
      • Literatures of the 20th and 21st Centuries
      • Counter-Canons and Critical Issues
  • 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

At least 24 hours must be upper-division, including at least 12 hours at the 400 or 500 level. ENG 199 (Introduction to Creative Writing) and ENG 299 are the only 100- or 200-level courses that may be counted towards the major. No more than 3 hours of Z-graded coursework may be applied to the major.

Whereas 300-level courses are usually organized around a single literary movement, period, cultural tradition, genre, or critical theme, 400-level courses narrow further. They offer in-depth consideration of a literary topic and set of critical questions, and students typically read both primary and secondary texts.

In the creative writing curriculum, 300-level courses introduce students to terms and techniques and then allow students to narrow their focus to one genre. 400-level courses expand and deepen students’ thinking concerning methods of creating, revising, and responding to original work in a particular genre.


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 Emphasis
Students can pursue 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)
Students can pursue an optional editing, writing, and publishing emphasis 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 can pursue an optional literature, justice, and society emphasis as part of their major coursework through electives. This emphasis consists of 12 hours of counter-canon and critical issues 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 Majors
ENG 399: Internship Application
ENG 496: Directed Reading Application
Degree Application Review Checklist
English Course Level Overview
College of Liberal Arts Advising Information


Sample Four-Year Academic Course Plans

for students enrolling as freshmen
with Creative Writing Emphasis for students enrolling as freshmen
for 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 Caroline Wigginton
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of English
The University of Mississippi
C128 Bondurant Hall
University, MS 38677
(662) 915-7439