Majors, minors & more
College of Arts and Sciences
- Offered as:
- Specialization track in English
Literary studies, an option in the English major, provides a general liberal arts education emphasizing literature, critical thinking, and writing.
The program of study is flexible and allows English majors to pursue electives, minors, and second majors in other departments; to focus on areas of special interest within the major; and to tailor their studies according to personal and professional interests.
Literary studies students can pursue interdisciplinary focus areas such as international literature, philosophy, art, architecture, and music by taking advantage of courses offered jointly by the foreign languages department and English department.
Many English courses provide direct experience and training in computer tools, software, and multimedia modes for research, writing, and publication.
- Strengths of the program
- Learn from professors who make important contributions to the fields of literary studies, linguistics, and writing.
- Develop high-level skills in critical thinking, analysis, and writing, which are all vital to academic success and effective leadership careers.
- Enjoy the flexibility of focusing on particular areas of interest or pursuing second majors in other departments.
- Experience courses that emphasize small discussion and provide opportunities to work closely with faculty.
- The English department operates the Avery Microcomputer Lab, equipped with the latest in computers and software and reserved for use by English majors and students in writing classes.
- Courses you could take
Literary studies in the English major
This flexible program emphasizes the study of literature, critical thinking, and writing, while providing plenty of opportunities to pursue what interests you the most.
Literary studies core
Introduction to English Studies
The Making of "English": Literature, Language, and Culture Before 1600
17th and 18th Century Transnational Literature in English
19th Century Literature of the British Empire and the Americas
20th and 21st Century Global Literatures in English
The literary studies option includes seven English electives, which gives you plenty of space to delve into your own interests and goals.
Here are just a few examples of the many courses you can choose from:
British Literature (many different courses)
American Literature (many different courses)
Principles of Rhetoric
Intro to Literary Criticism
Intro to Linguistics
Film as Literature
Technical and Professional Writing
Creative Writing (prose, poetry, nonfiction)
Literary Editing and Publishing
Asian/Pacific American Literature
African American Literature
Gay and Lesbian Literature
Young Adult Literature
You're also encouraged to seek out courses in American and world cultures, history, and society to round out the liberal arts education that prepares you for graduate school and for careers in writing, editing, publishing, and related fields.
Note: See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Suggested interests for incoming students
• Strong reading and writing skills, or a willingness to develop such skills
• Interest in language, literature, and culture
• Interest in language as a written record of the human experience, and in how discourse can persuade, convey ideas, and define culture
- Scholarships and financial aid
For English and literary studies
The Department of English offers undergraduate scholarships from four different endowed funds, most providing $1,000 tuition stipends annually.
In addition, all English majors may apply for more than $50,000 in scholarships awarded by the College of Liberal Arts.
Available to all students at WSU
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs. Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
Students should complete the Washington State University general scholarship application and the FAFSA to ensure their eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.
For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.
- Facilities and technology
The Department of English operates the state-of-the-art Avery Microcomputer Lab (AML). Equipped with Apple computers, the lab is open to English majors and to all students taking English courses. The AML supports the department’s emphasis on multimedia and web authoring with the latest software and technology.
The English department also collaborates in the operation of the WSU Writing Center, which provides writing help to all WSU students. English majors have the opportunity to put their talent and training to use as consultants at the Writing Center.
- Student organizations and activities
The English department sponsors the campus literary magazine, LandEscapes, which is entirely student-run.
The English Club gathers interested students together from across the University and sponsors forums and discussions featuring respected scholars.
English majors and minors are encouraged to participate in the English Honor Society (Tau Delta Sigma) and in the internship, service learning, and tutoring experiences available through the WSU Center for Civic Engagement and the WSU Writing Center.
- Careers in English
An English degree provides excellent preparation for careers that demand strong skills in writing, analysis, and critical thinking. Such skills are vital to effective careers and leadership positions in publishing, journalism, law, business, and public service.
With the flexibility of the English degree at WSU, you can add a minor in nearly anything you wish, preparing you to be competitive in the job market.
An English degree also provides strong preparation for graduate and professional studies. A literary studies emphasis in English is ideal preparation for graduate education in English composition, rhetoric, or literary studies.