English - BS, BA

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

About This Degree

The Department of English is the largest arts and humanities unit on the USU campus and features a wide variety of courses that cover a broad curriculum in literature, creative writing, English education, technical writing, and more.

What You Will Learn

With its small class sizes and nationally published faculty members, the English Department helps students develop skills in analysis, production, and understanding of texts in the English language. Students learn to write, think, and communicate effectively in a technologically and culturally complex world. Students develop skills in the areas most valued by employers, including critical thinking, teamwork, and oral and written communication, which will prepare them to enter into a wide range of career options.

Because the English Department is home to faculty that are heavily involved in research, students are provided with numerous opportunities to pursue undergraduate research projects and creative projects with individual attention from professors.

Students receive a by completing all required courses in the major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.


Creative Writing:

The creative writing program gives students exposure to poetry, nonfiction, and creative nonfiction writing and then allows them to specialize in their chosen area(s). Through literature and writing courses, students develop critical and cognitive writing skills applicable in numerous professional fields.

English Teaching or English Teaching Composite:

Students emphasizing in English teaching prepare to teach secondary level English in the public school system. Students take a wide range of literature, writing, and teaching courses that prepare them to teach language arts in secondary education classrooms.


Literary studies students read, analyze, and research texts and writers in American, British, and other world literatures as well as their cultural contexts. Students in literary studies develop critical thinking and communication skills that prepare them for a variety of careers.

General English:

The General English major option allows students to take classes with subjects in literature, creative writing, professional/technical writing, folklore, and/or English teaching, but without a focus in any one area. Students should meet with the advisor to determine the most appropriate course of study, and students should be prepared to articulate their educational and career goals.

Education Component

This is for the english teaching emphasis only. In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Student must apply to the School of TEAL the semester before taking STEP courses. This is usually the fall of their junior year. Students learn subject content through the English Department, and spend the last year or two studying education techniques through the STEP program.

Students in the English teaching program are required to select an approved teaching minor in order to expand their career options.

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

With a degree in English, students may be qualified for a variety of careers, including:

  • Author
  • Editor
  • Secondary educator
  • Technical Writer
  • Proposal and grant writer
  • Website designer
  • Lawyer
  • Publisher
  • Researcher
  • Administrator
  • Advertising executive
  • Copywriter
  • Freelance writer
  • Journalist
  • Marketer
  • Press aide
  • UX/UI designer
  • Multimedia specialist


Each emphasis in the English Department also has its own specific job interests:

Literary Studies Emphasis

  • Information analyst
  • Freelance writing
  • Press aid
  • Editor

Professional and Technical Writing Emphasis

  • Technical writer
  • Grant/proposal writer
  • Web master
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Documentation specialist
  • Manual/brochure creator
  • Design specialist

English Teaching Emphasis

  • Secondary education

Creative Writing Emphasis

  • Author
  • Book critic
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Filmmaker
  • Reporter

Job Outlook



We will build on your goals and experiences while working together to design an individualized semester-by-semester plan. Your personalized plan will help you see a path from where you are now on to graduation. Even if you are unsure of the major you would like to pursue, we can help with resources and ideas.

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USU Locations


*This degree is available at various USU locations.

Students attending one of USU's Statewide Campuses can complete the English Teaching emphasis or the General English major option. Students planning to complete the Creative Writing, Professional/Technical Writing, or Literature emphases must attend classes at the Logan Campus.


Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the English Department has additional requirements:

  • Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.75 total GPA for admission to this major.
  • STEP Requirements (English teaching emphasis only): In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
    • Complete 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75
    • Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
    • Complete a speech and hearing test
    • Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
    • Provide an unofficial copy of  your transcript
    • Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)

International students have additional admissions requirements.

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