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Bachelor of Arts in English | Undergraduate Degree Program

Bachelor of Arts in English


Are you looking for online degrees in English? As a student of our accelerated, online Bachelors in 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. Our unique English major is specifically designed to imbue students with sensitivity to multiculturalism and to the profound power of language.

Upper-level requirements for research and criticism prepare students intentionally for graduate school and professional careers. Close reading of a wide diversity of authors and texts, as well as specific attention to issues of peace and social/ environmental justice, provide flexibility to accommodate shifts in canonicity, theory, and pedagogical research while supporting individual exploration. By identifying the techniques and impact of successful writers, students develop their own expressive abilities, identify important personal issues, increase empathy for others, and discover their own voices and styles through written discourse.

For curriculum and English studies course descriptions, please download a program overview.

Education and Qualifications

As English degree holders may apply their abilities to a broad range of careers, an equally broad range of courses should be taken as part of a degree-seeking program. Interpersonal communication and writing skills should be given particular consideration, as employers are looking for individuals that can conceptualize and deliver a wide range of messages to their constituents and clients. Many careers open to English majors may require a master’s degree or other professional certification, such as teacher education training. In fact, our Master of Arts in Education programs are so popular that we have several concentrations to choose from, which include our online Masters in Educational Technology and online Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.

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.

Career Outlook

While there are a wide variety of lucrative careers one may pursue with an online, accelerated degree in English, the field of technical writing is particularly booming. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, technical writers prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. Most technical writers work full time. Although technical writers work in a variety of industries, they are concentrated in the computer and management, scientific, and technical industries.

A college degree is usually required for a position as a technical writer. In addition, knowledge of or experience with a technical subject, such as science or engineering, is beneficial. The median annual wage for technical writers was $74,650 in May 2020. Employment of technical writers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by the continuing expansion of scientific and technical products. An increase in Web-based product support should also increase demand for technical writers. Job opportunities, especially for applicants with technical skills, are expected to be good.

Why Choose Ottawa

The courses in Ottawa University's English degree program are 100% online and accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. We make it easy for you to transfer credits in order to help keep tuition costs down. We also offer courses in accelerated 8-week terms in order to reduce your time to completion. These are just a few of the reasons why we are proud to be the best, fastest, and most affordable option locally in the Kansas City, Phoenix, and Milwaukee areas, as well as serving students nationally through our online degrees.

For more information on our online Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, contact us today!

See Also:

Online Masters in Educational Technology

Online Masters in Curriculum and Instruction

You may also be interested in our Online Education Blog Spot.

English Major Courses

Introductory Course (one required)

Contemporary Literature | 
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.

Introduction to Literature | 
Survey of the major genres of literature (short story, poetry, drama) with emphasis on the organizational principles that give artistic structure or integrity. Intensive studies of such elements as characterization, plot, setting, tone, symbolism, etc conducted.

Survey Courses:

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

From Voltaire to Victoria | 
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 Weilin | 
Engages the student in primary analysis and response to significant literature from late nineteenth century Modernism through post-colonial and post-modern configurations.

Linguistics Courses:

The English Language | 
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 | 
Refinement of expository writing skills through analysis of models and writing practice.

Creative Writing | 
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 | 
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 | 
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 | 
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.

Peace Literature | 
Literature, from ancient to modern times, has taken up themes of peace and sought to examine the fragile
dynamics of the human community. This course will explore the literature that offers reflections, sorrowful
and hopeful, pragmatic and prophetic, on peace.

Literature of Personal Discovery |
Questions of identity and self-definition, from agonizing to liberating, in the work of such writers as Dante, Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Kate Chopin, Simone de Beauvoir, Ralph Ellison and Anne Sexton.


Shakespeare Seminar | 
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 American Literature | 
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 | 
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.

Full Degree Catalog
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