Skip to main content

English: BA, BS


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. 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 BS 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.
  • Literature: 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.
  • Technical Communication and Rhetoric Emphasis: The professional and technical writing emphasis prepares students for various writing careers in communication, business, industry, and government as well as providing a basic knowledge of current communication technology and its uses in various fields. Visit our website for more information.
  • 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.

Additional Information:

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.

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

Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

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.

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

Society for Technical Communication:  This is an individual membership organization dedicated to advancing technical communication. STC provides an opportunity to network among students and professionals. The society brings professionals to speak to members and offers open forums for students to learn more about particular professions. Through the society’s efforts, students gain professional relationships which provide access to job opportunities and internships.

Sigma Tau Delta: As the honor society for English majors, Sigma Tau Delta allows their members to have the opportunity to share their love of literature and linguistics with like-minded peers, participate in rewarding activities, and be recognized for their accomplishments. The members can also apply, or in some cases instantly qualify, for one or more of the society's numerous awards and scholarships.

Labs, Centers, Research

With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.

Learning Suite: The Learning Suite is comprised of two student computer labs: the Teaching Lab and the Open-Access Lab. The Learning Suite strives to foster an environment where communication can develop between students, instructors, and their audiences. It supports communication as any expression through the medians of written text, graphics, sound, and still and moving images, and updates its technology to provide as much support as possible for these forms of communication.

Usability Research and Evaluation Laboratory: The Usability Research and Evaluation Lab allows for hands-on experience with usability testing for both classroom projects and outside contractors.

Writing Center: The Writing Center provides tutoring services for students across the university with either face-to-face or online help, allowing them to implement and improve upon concepts introduced in class. Students can work as tutors in the writing center which will help them gain experience in writing. Graduate instructors in the English Department are required to work two hours each week in the Writing Center.



Academic Advising

Susan Parkinson
Office: MAIN 106
Phone: (435) 797-3883

Schedule an Appointment

Michaelann Nelson
Assistant Professor / USU Eastern English Advisor
Office: WIB 247B
Phone: (435) 613-5215

Submit Edits/Updates for this degree