Majors, minors & more
English Teaching (English/Language Arts Certificate)
College of Education
College of Arts and Sciences
- Offered as:
- Specialization track in English
To teach English in middle school or high school, students must complete a bachelor’s degree in that subject. In addition to the classes for the declared major in English, students must complete the core professional education course work with the College of Education to earn teacher certification in that subject. The English major offers a specialization option teaching that coordinates with the teacher certification requirements.
- Strengths of the program
- The English department operates the state-of-the-art Avery Microcomputer Lab, equipped with Windows and Macintosh workstations for undergraduate writing classes.
- Many of WSU’s English courses emphasize small discussion and provide opportunities to work closely with faculty.
- Learn from English professors who make important contributions to the fields of literary studies, linguistics, and writing.
- Study and work with a diversity of young students that mirrors today’s classrooms.
- The U.S. Department of Education selected WSU for a grant of more than $11 million to create a model teacher education program centered on high-needs youths.
- WSU offers the state’s only teacher education program that provides practical classroom teaching opportunities in every region of Washington.
- Learn effective teaching at the state’s only undergraduate education degree program housed at a major research university.
- Teaching certification
To qualify to teach English in middle school and high school, you'll need a bachelor's degree in English with secondary education teacher certification.
The professional education course work begins with three prerequisite courses:
Writing and Research
Learning and Development
Initial Practicum Experience
After successfully completing the prerequisites, you can apply to the teacher education program in the College of Education.
Secondary education core requirements
The secondary education courses in the teacher education program prepare you to run a classroom of your own.
Here's an overview of the courses you'll most likely take:
Curriculum, Instruction, and Content Literacy Methods
Teaching English Language Learners for Secondary Teachers
Secondary Methods of Educational Technology
Adolescence, Community, and School
Classroom Assessment for Secondary Students
Special Education, Transition, and Classroom Management for Secondary General Education Teachers
For the full sequence of teacher certification courses, see the Teacher Education Program's web page.
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.
- The English major
The English program offers a specialized set of core courses that dovetail with the state certification requirements and prepare you for the subjects you'll teaching.
Core courses in English
As an English major on the teaching track, your core courses will look something like this.
Introduction to English Studies
Humanities in the Ancient World
At least one course from these electives:
Humanities in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
Humanities in the Modern World
The Bible as Literature
Sacred Texts and Cultures of World Religions
Love in the Arts
Three courses from transnational literature:
The Making of “English”: Literature, Language and Culture Before 1600
17th and 18th Century Transnational Literature in English
19th Century Literature of British Empire and the Americas
20th and 21st Century Global Literature in English
Introduction to Shakespeare
-or- Shakespeare (to 1600)
-or- Shakespeare (after 1600)
Twelve credit hours of electives in English or humanities
Approaches to the Teaching of English
Rhetoric and Composition for Teaching
Young Adult Literature
Applied Grammar for Teachers
For more about the English program, see the English major fact page or the English department website.
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.
- Scholarships and financial aid
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.
For education students
- 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 Arts and Sciences.
- The College of Education distributes funds from 13 endowed scholarships to approximately 100 teacher preparation students every semester. Some of the scholarships with multiple recipients include the College of Education Alumni Association Scholarship, the Louise H. Meyer Scholarship, the Don and Julia Lee Scholarship, and the Claude Simpson and Peggy Simpson Yates Scholarship. For more information, call the College of Education at 509-335-7843 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all students at WSU
To be eligible for scholarship consideration, you'll need to complete the Washington State University general scholarship application.
We also urge everyone to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so that you can be considered for aid that takes financial need into account.
For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.
- Campus organizations and activities
The Educators Club is a pre-professional organization run by education students for education students. The club is affiliated with the Student Washington Education Association (SWEA), which serves as the student program of the Washington Education Association and the National Education Association. All future teachers are invited to join and participate in club activities. More information is available here.
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
• Students in English should have strong reading and writing skills or a willingness to develop such skills.
• English teachers should have an interest in language, literature, and culture, and in how discourses can persuade, convey ideas, and define culture.
• Students should take two years of a foreign language in high school, which will also meet a WSU graduation requirement.
• Future teachers should care about children and have the desire to make a real difference in the world.
- Careers in teaching
English teachers may teach in public or private schools worldwide. Further study opens up possibilities as a coach, counselor, principal, or other administrative positions in schools.
During the 2014–2015 school year, the standard starting annual salary for a nine-month school year was $34,048 for Washington state teachers, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. With experience and additional education, salaries can be much higher.