English degree overview

Bachelor of Arts in English

As a student of our online English program, you’ll explore the profound power of language, learn to appreciate the ways in which creative writing can capture the essence of the human condition and identify the techniques and impacts of successful writers. Then you’ll bring it all together to develop your own expressive abilities and voice through written word.

The classes you take as you complete your Bachelor's degree in English promote understanding, analysis and evaluation of a wide range of authors, characters, themes, plots and styles in world and English literature and include the following:
  • Advanced Expository Writing
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Environmental Literature
  • Literary Criticism
  • Literature of Personal Discovery
  • Multicultural Literature
  • Peace Literature
  • Protest Literature
  • The English Language


Careers for English Majors

With an undergraduate degree in English, you will develop strong literacy skills and become a better writer and communicator, which are valuable skills in a variety of careers. In fact, communication and writing skills are critical foundations for careers in law, journalism, publishing, advertising, editing, education, government and more!

Additionally, employment of salaried writers and editors is expected to increase as demand grows for web-based publications. Technical writing, blogging and other writing for interactive media that provide readers with nearly real-time information will offer opportunities for writers.

Discover the Benefits of Ottawa University

  • Generous credit transfer policy – Get credit where credit is due with Ottawa University’s generous credit transfer policy that honors past experience – up to 80 credit hours
  • Rich, established history – For almost 150 years, Ottawa University has educated students for lifetimes of enlightened faith, exemplary service, inspired leadership and personal growth and significance. Today, we remain an inclusive learning community grounded in faith and focused on the career needs of the future
  • Life-friendly online learning options – At Ottawa University, we’re committed to your professional growth and development – no matter where you are in life. That’s why we offer life-friendly degree programs for working adults, military personnel and their families, or anyone looking for a flexible and convenient program that can be completed outside the classroom
  • A supportive learning environment – As an online student at Ottawa University, you will collaborate with and draw upon the expertise and support of faculty members and ministry professionals who are dedicated to your success
For more information on our online Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, contact us today.

For curriculum and English studies course descriptions please download a program overview.
For detailed curriculum and more please visit the University Catalog entry for this program.

English Major Courses

Introductory Course

Contemporary Literature | ENG 10223
Consists of analytical and reflective reading of contemporary (since 1945) American fiction, poetry and drama. Attention to developing techniques for critical reading and writing. Basic course for literature majors and study in the humanities and liberal arts.

Survey Courses

From Homer to Herrick | ENG 26023
Engages in primary analysis and response to significant literature from antiquity through the Renaissance.

From Voltaire to Victoria | ENG 27023
Engages in primary analysis and response to significant literature from the era of Confucius and the Enlightenment through the late nineteenth century.

From Wilde to Wai-Lin | ENG 28023
Engages the student in primary analysis and response to significant literature from late nineteenth century Modernism through post-colonial and post-modern configurations.

Linguistics Course

The English Language | ENG 32523
Treats history and development of the English language with special attention to grammar, syntax and phonetics. Applies various linguistic approaches to the task of understanding evolution and system of
the language. Not designed to treat special problems in speaking or writing English.

Writing Course (one required)

Advanced Expository Writing | ENG 31023
Refinement of expository writing skills through analysis of models and writing practice.

Creative Writing | ENG 32723
Course development skills in writing drama, poetry and fiction. Develops critical skills and encourages students to develop tools to refine expression.

Theme-Based Courses (three required)

Multicultural Literature | ENG 31723
Study of works by African-American, Hispanic, Native American, female and other historically marginalized authors specifically to address issues of culture, value and self-development. Literature poses critical issues that arise in the increasingly diverse societies of our shrinking world.

Environmental Literature | ENG 33523
An examination of a variety of literary works from several genres, focusing on the portrayal of physical environments and the connections between these environments and human spheres of influence. This course will explore how human beings relate to the natural world, and how that relation influences the way we read texts and the world around us, Authors to be studied might include Leopold, Thoreau, Defoe, the Brontes, Wordsworth, Merwin, Snyder and Kingsolver.

Protest Literature | ENG 34023
A study of the literature of social protest, emphasizing the relationship between aesthetics and politics, or the political purposes of literature. This course will examine how various authors assault the status quo of an often inhumane, brutal, and repressive society. Readings might include works by Richard Wright, Upton Sinclair and Nelson Algren.

Literary Criticism | ENG 40123
Identifies major trends in the history of critical thought from Plato to Derrida. Seeks to discover the position of literary criticism and to apply various critical theories. Library research and writing. 

Seminars (*required; choose one other)

Shakespeare Seminar | ENG 41823
Examines major dramas to discover questions and themes central to individual plays and to the work as a whole. Attention is given to the historical and cultural context of the plays, but the course is primarily concerned with assisting students in reading and exploring the texts.

Seminar in British Literature | ENG 45123
Analyzes major British literature with emphasis on genre, period or author, to gain understanding of the critical approaches necessary for a thorough investigation of literature.

Seminar in American Literature* | ENG 45023
Analyzes major American literature with emphasis on genre, period or author, to gain understanding of the critical approaches necessary for a thorough investigation of literature.

Capstone Course

Integrative Seminar in Criticism | ENG 49201
Capstone course that guides student in development of an integrative project that demonstrates achievement of the learning outcomes in the English major. Course is organized around the major trends in critical thought and application of literary criticism theories within and across periods and genres.

For detailed curriculum and more please visit the Course Catalog entryfor this program.

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