Our English Major | Our English Major with Teaching Licensure (Education Track) | Our English Minor | Declare an English Major or Minor | Standout English Major or Minor Student ExperiencesWhat Can I Do with an English Major? | English at UCA FAQs | Philosophy of Text and Topic Selection

Why Study English?

What Our Students Say:

I am currently a communications and marketing consultant working for the City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative. However, I have also written employee handbooks, training materials, social media posts, blogs, operations manuals, and work contracts. Every part of my job requires strong research and writing skills, and I simply wouldn’t be able to do this work without my degree in English. I am also the host of a sports podcast and have written many episodes from the ground up. The English degree not only taught me critical thinking skills, but also creativity and adaptability.”- Leisl Sakschewsky, MA graduate 2009

“I work in marketing for a local software company and am in charge of the Marketing Communications team. My BA and MA helped me hone my analyzing and writing skills, and how to communicate with an audience (tailor the message). It has also helped me provide constructive feedback to the team and department about our messaging and direction.”- M Thomas O’Banion, MA graduate 2009

What English Degrees do You Offer?

Graduate Degree: MA in English

At the graduate level, we offer an MA in English.

Visit the English MA Page to Learn More →

Undergraduate Degrees: BA in English

At the undergraduate level, we offer two different English majors and an English minor. If you either know you want to teach Secondary English or are at least thinking about it, consider the Education Track (with Licensure to teach grades 7–12).

BA, Major in English (no Licensure)

If you’re considering a major in English, you’re probably curious, engaged, interested in reading, writing, and thinking about topics you’re passionate about. Our English major courses are characterized not only by their rigorous instruction in critical reading and writing, but also by their dynamic, polyvocal nature. Students are the central pole around which all UCA English courses orbit; student voices are welcomed and developed inside and outside the classroom, and on the page.

Through the study of English, you will develop greater self-knowledge and self-confidence. By learning to read the stories of others carefully and generously, and by learning how those stories are crafted, you learn to read and write your own story. It is in this way that English becomes an especially practical pathway to a career and life about which you can be proud.

An English Major is designed to introduce you to a plurality of voices, genres, media, and places, but flexible enough to pair it with pursuing other passions you might have. You will need 39 credit hours with at least 24 hours of upper division credits.

BA, Major in English Education (with Teaching Licensure)

Dr. Melissa Smith Director of English Education

This major concentration is for you if you either know you want to teach Secondary English or are at least thinking about it. Though English majors can pursue almost any career path they choose, being a teacher is truly one of the most rewarding careers imaginable. Teachers do not simply teach; they inspire. The process by which you can be licensed to teach Secondary English (grades 7-12) in the state of Arkansas is rigorous but worthwhile.

Should you have any questions or want to talk through this major in more depth, contact the Director of English Education, Dr. Melissa Smith or stop by her office in Irby 317.

Students in this degree program complete: 42 credit hours of English major courses, 15 credit hours of internship (ENGL 4350 and 4T90), 17 credit hours for the teaching and learning minor, and 3 hours in a 2000-level foreign language.

Candidates for teaching licensure may earn no lower than a C in any English or professional education course. Candidates for teaching licensure must apply for admission to the teacher education program; you can see what that entails here.

Minor in English

Our English minor also complements any major, or even works well as a second minor! It’s 18 hours (6 courses) starting at the 2310 level and will ensure you have working proficiency and a good introduction to the cultures of places that speak French. A lot of French Minors attend our most popular study abroad program in France. After that program, you’re 2/3 of the way done with a French minor!

See the English Minor Requirements→

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Declaring A Major or Minor

Not yet an English major or minor, but want to declare one? Email Mrs. Deanne Murphey (dmurphey@uca.edu). She will help ensure the major or minor gets added and help you get connected to the right academic advisor to ensure you make degree progress!

Declare an English Major or Minor Now!

Standout English Major Student Experiences


Did you know you can earn course credit, test out possible careers, and build your resumé or portfolio? With an Internship in English–open to majors and minors– you can earn 3 hours of elective credit while exploring fields of publishing, theatre, creative writing, broadcasting, community activism, social support, and even law! Read more about Internships in English or get in touch with Dr. Paige Reynolds, who can help you explore possibilities!

UCA English Club: A Novel Bunch

Ready to meet “your people,” connect with a group, and have fun experiences?

Look no further than the UCA English Club: A Novel Bunch, our social organization for English majors, minors, grad students, and any student who loves stories of all kinds! That includes everything from novels and poems to film, graphic novels, and video games. Our goal is to promote community and conversation. We host UCA’s Banned Books week, we attend conferences, we’ve hosted readings, and gone to see movies.

No need to be an English major or minor to attend! To be added to the newsletter and never miss an event, email Dr. Katherine Conley.

To learn more about Sigma Tau Delta, the English national honorary society, reach out to Dr. Dwayne Coleman. And if you want to chat about how to get more involved in general in the life of the English program, talk to Dr. Ty Hawkins, Dr. Dwayne Coleman, or Dr. Katherine Conley.

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What Can I Do with an English Major?

Anything and everything!

If you’re pursuing the English major with teaching licensure, you likely want to teach English in US schools. But an English major–with or without licensure–prepares you with important intellectual and cultural skills valued in the 21st-century workplace. You will learn to: draw from cross-cultural sources and ideas, notice patterns and infer meaning, navigate ambiguity, distill complex information, propose persuasive ideas, and cultivate curiosity.

But what does that really mean?

Our alums work in communication, technology, business, public service, social work, education, law, and health fields. Featured careers include teachers of all kinds, entrepreneurs, business owners, diplomats, psychologists, audiologists, NGO founders; those who open coffee shops and those who go on to get a PhD.

Whatever your interests, English opens career doors.

Curious to hear more?

Career Ideas by Passion

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English at UCA FAQ

Are you hoping to teach English for grades 7-12 in Arkansas, or at least curious about it? If so, declare the English Education (with Licensure) major. If you’re not very motivated by the prospect of teaching in Arkansas schools, but are interested in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (in the US or in another country), check out our Linguistics Major with a TESOL concentration. If you’re most interested in reading, writing, and exploring diverse voices and genres, but without teaching, an English major is right for you.
Nope! You can take courses just because you’re interested, provided you meet the prerequisite requirements!
Of course! English is a very flexible major, and there are tons of options to study abroad, whether or not you speak the language spoken in your destination country. Learn more about studying abroad with the SLL.
Yes. We try to accommodate students’ various schedules and interests, so you will regularly find in-person, and online asynchronous classes. We also frequently offer 8-week accelerated courses at the lower levels.
That’s great! This official UCA AP score conversion chart will help you anticipate what you’re likely to get credit for. 

Philosophy of Text and Topic Selection

The UCA English Program shares the University’s commitment to cultivating learning environments that center diversity, belonging, inclusion, and equity for all of our students. Throughout students’ coursework, they will read texts that represent the breadth and depth of human experience, which may include violence, grief, trauma, hatred, joy, love, success, and triumph.  Some content, regardless of how one categorizes it, may prove unsettling to read. We approach our classes knowing that reactions to any individual text are not universal, and that what sparks discomfort for one person might resonate with another. We believe engaging with diverse viewpoints is one of the most beneficial approaches to any kind of literary analysis. We also believe that open dialogue strengthens the community within our program. To these ends, faculty choose texts of literary, historical, cultural, and linguistic significance. Our faculty select texts and topics that will:

  1. Facilitate our students’ development of sophisticated skills for reading, writing, research, and critical thinking

  2. Broaden and deepen our students’ knowledge and cultural awareness about literature, language, culture, and history

  3. Strengthen our students’ ability to communicate effectively and with cultural humility and agility. If you have questions about the assigned texts in your courses, please reach out to your professor to initiate a conversation.

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