The Bachelor of Arts in English prepares students for a rapidly changing world by helping them become more aware of the social and historical forces that have shaped and continue to reconfigure human cultures throughout the world. Our transnational focus and our emphasis on the diversity of human experiences deepen the developing and always invaluable skills of our students who think, read, speak, write, and design with eye to creativity and critical interpretation. Literature and literary culture represent and create the human ties that connect us, and help us navigate the increasing complexities of a global society.
"Studying literature and writing has helped me to understand the human experience so much better. To write well requires knowledge of meaning and perception. To read well requires empathy. As I study English, I find myself understanding the people around me better—even those I have nothing in common with."
Students gain foundational concepts and skills that prepare them for advanced work in English concentrations. See the Michigan Tech undergraduate course catalog for additional information on these and other undergraduate courses.
Major Core Courses
- Ways of Reading
- Introduction to Film
- Introduction to Literature
- Introduction to Creative Writing
- Literary Theory and Criticism
- Senior Seminar in English
- Major Electives: 18 credits in literature and modern language
- Free Electives: 44 credits
- General Education Courses: 39 credits
In this program, students will acquire knowledge of a wide range of literature, including British, American, and World literatures. They will develop tools for understanding how to analyze and critique literature while also learning how to apply methods to their own writing practice. Students will be expected to demonstrate competency in the following areas:
- Historical grounding and cultural impact of literary works in various cultures.
- Focused study of genres, forms, and modes of writing, such as the novel, drama, or lyrical poetry.
- Focused study of specific movements and periods, such as the Avant-Garde, Romanticism, or Modernism.
- Focused attention on studying the “body of work” of select influential writers.
By exposing students to various forms of communication, students will be able to understand how and when to apply different tools to engage others.
Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning
Focused attention will be placed on the cultural values reflected in literary works. Students will also engage the social and ethical implications of literary works and its creative production.
Students will demonstrate:
- the ability to differentiate cultural traditions, ideas, and practices while recognizing shared characteristics and human concerns.
- the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in cross-cultural contexts.
- basic literacy in a modern language and understand its cultural significance.
Critical and Creative Thinking
- learn to apply different theoretical concepts to literary interpretations.
- learn to read texts closely, identifying multiple interpretations that broaden comprehension.
- demonstrate the ability to analyze themes or contextualize works from a variety of sources alongside literature and writing practices. This may include social media, film, journalism, etc.
- demonstrate the use of multiple research methods to develop critical analyses theses, and writing projects.
- understand how to access, evaluate, and use information ethically and legally.
For specific information about degree requirements, please contact Humanities Undergraduate Advisor, Maria Bergstrom.
Students also have the opportunity to enrich their studies in the major by participating in a variety of study abroad programs.
Students may also choose to enrich their study of literature by participating in Summer Track B Study Abroad program in northern England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Professional Development Opportunities
Only a small part of your education at Michigan Tech takes place within the formal setting of a classroom. In addition to working with Career Services to build and maintain your résumé and portfolio, Michigan Tech offers a number of extracurricular opportunities to hone your critical-thinking and interpersonal communication skills and build your confidence. Students can get involved by:
- Working as a Coach in the Michigan Tech Writing Center
- Working in other Learning Centers around campus
- Writing or working for the Michigan Tech Lode or another campus publication
- Working as a Consultant in the Humanities Digital Media Zone (HDMZ)
- Working as a DJ at WMTU
- Joining Cin/Optic Communication and Media Enterprise
- Participating in a dramatic production
- Teaching for Summer Youth Programs
- Volunteering in a local school or with a community service organization
- Securing an internship
English majors have a wide range of career trajectories and are highly sought after professionals. Their strengths as analysts, researchers, creative thinkers, along with their oral and written communication skills make them strong candidates for advanced degrees in literature, creative writing, medicine, law, and business. They are also well prepared to pursue opportunities in the public, private, and non-profit sectors as, amongst other things, teachers and educators, editors, entrepreneurs, journalists, librarians, researchers, effective administrators, and as social and political advocates.