- Offered as:
- Graduate program
English is the study of the English language in its many forms, including its literatures, technologies, and cultural functions. Study in English involves applied skills in reading, critical thinking, and various kinds of writing—creative, professional, and analytical—in a range of contexts, including print and electronic media.
Specialization tracks available
- Strengths of the program
- Experience courses that emphasize small group discussion and provide opportunities to work closely with award-winning faculty.
- Enjoy the flexibility of focusing on particular areas of interest or pursuing second majors in other departments.
- The English department prepares students for work after graduation through internship opportunities and certificate programs in professional writing, professional science and technology writing, and editing and publishing.
- Develop high-level skills in critical thinking, analysis, research, and writing, which are all vital to academic success and effective leadership careers.
- A recent study published in the journal Science (October 2013) says that reading literary fiction improves theory of mind (empathy), which is a highly valuable social skill.
- The English department operates the state-of-the-art Avery Microcomputer Lab, equipped with Macs for undergraduate writing classes.
- Options in the major
The bachelor of arts in English is one of the most flexible and customizable degrees at WSU.
As an English major, you'll choose an emphasis from among four broad options, each with its own set of core courses. Each option provides room to choose at least five advanced English electives, so you can shape your major to match your own interests and goals.
Emphasizes literature, critical thinking, and writing. Ideal preparation for graduate education in English or literary studies; can also serve as preparation for careers in editing, publishing, and related areas. Also works well as a double major or in conjunction with a minor in another department.
Rhetoric and professional writing
Tailored to students preparing for careers in business, public service, law, or other professions requiring strong writing and reading skills. Also prepares students for graduate study and for careers in higher education specializing in rhetoric and composition.
Specific training in the teaching of language and literature at the secondary-school level. Courses are coordinated with the Department of Teaching and Learning, and can lead to teacher certification in the state of Washington.
Focuses on creative writing in various forms (poetry, fiction, nonfiction prose). Can also serve as preparation for careers in editing, publishing, and related areas.
- Professional writing
- TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages)
- Professional science and technology certificate
- Certificate in editing and publishing (forthcoming)
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
For English 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 University-level scholarships and for over $50,000 in scholarships awarded by the College of Liberal Arts.
For all students
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.
- Careers in English
What you can do with a degree in English
• Creative and professional writing
• Publishing and editing
• Advertising and public relations
• Web content development
• Communications management
• Educational programming
• Media planning
• Public affairs and information
• Research and grant writing
Skills you can market with a degree in English
• Ability to explore meaning and express ideas
• Analytical talent
• Creative and critical thinking
• Effective oral and written communication
• Intellectual curiosity and cultural sensitivity
• Ability to work independently or collaborate with team members on research projects
- Student clubs
- Sigma Tau Delta is a national organization that has a local chapter at WSU.
- The English Club hosts events of interest to English students, such as talks with faculty and English graduate students on publishing, graduate school, and jobs for English majors; poetry slams and other venues for students to read creative work; and poetry workshops, trivia nights, etc.
- LandEscapes Literary and Arts Journal is an undergraduate publication meant to represent the creativity, ingenuity, and skill of all students at WSU. The journal is published once a year in the spring and contains fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, music, and graphic media created by students.