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Bachelor of Arts in English

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Spell Out Your Career Aspirations With a Versatile BA in English

A BA in English is an excellent starting point for a career in teaching, media, advertising, writing and publishing; for graduate or professional studies in English, communications, or law; and for advancement in any field in which communication skills are important.

National University’s Bachelor of Arts in English emphasizes literary analysis, diversity, critical thinking, and written and oral communication skills through a rigorous curriculum of literature, composition, language and linguistics, and communication studies.

NU’s curriculum is designed for students seeking a flexible way to earn their degree. Offered online in the four-week class format, you can complete the program at an accelerated pace under a supportive and dedicated faculty of active practitioners.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

Course Details

Program Requirements

  • 40 courses; 180 quarter units

Preparation for the Major

  • 1 course; 4.5 quarter units

Prerequisite: ENG 102

An overview of the main genres of literature, including fiction, poetry and drama. Examines literary language and different approaches to literary criticism designed to increase student confidence when responding to literature.

Requirements for the Major

  • 9 courses; 40.5 quarter units

Choose any FOUR of the following FIVE survey courses:

PrerequisiteENG 240 and; LIT 100

A survey of important British authors and literary trends from Chaucer through the middle of the 18th century.

PrerequisiteENG 240 and LIT 100

A survey of important British authors and literary trends from the late 18th century through the modern era, with a focus on Romantic, Victorian and Modernist writers and texts. Some attention will also be paid to colonial and post-colonial writing in English.

PrerequisiteENG 240 and LIT 100

A survey of important American authors and literary trends through the late 19th century. Texts will be situated in relation to cultural, philosophical, social and historical contexts, e.g., Puritanism and its legacies, varieties of American Romanticism, debates over slavery and gender roles, formation of national identities.

PrerequisiteENG 240 and LIT 100

A survey of important American authors and literary trends from the late 19th century through the present. Texts will be situated in relation to cultural, philosophical, social and historical contexts. Particular attention will be paid to the modernist canon and to works by women and authors of color that respond to American literary heritage and social conditions.

PrerequisiteENG 240 and LIT 100

A survey of major arguments about the nature of literature, literary expression, and literary experience from Plato through the mid-20th century.

An examination of major works of William Shakespeare.

PrerequisiteENG 240 and LIT 100

PrerequisiteENG 240 and LIT 100

A survey of important contemporary literary theories and their application to literary analysis and criticism.

PrerequisiteENG 240 and LIT 100

Study of contemporary literary works from diverse cultures outside the Anglo-American literary tradition.

Choose ONE of the following THREE courses:

PrerequisiteENG 240 and; LIT 100

Examination of important representative works by U.S. African-American writers and theoretical approaches relevant to studying that literature. Emphases may vary in different sections.

PrerequisiteLIT 100 and ENG 240

Examination of important representative works by U.S. Latino writers and theoretical approaches relevant to studying that literature. Emphases may vary in different sections.

PrerequisiteENG 240 and LIT 100

A study of the representations of gender in literature to better understand changing literary aesthetics. Discusses assumptions about the ways gender permeates language and discourse.

Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of 8 upper-division LIT courses

This course is designed as the culmination of the English B. A. program. Students will bring the skills in literary study, analysis, research and writing learned in the program to bear on an original work of literary scholarship. Students will also be given the opportunity to revisit and revise several papers written in previous classes in the major. This course is an eight-week Practicum. Grading is H, S, or U only.

Choose TWO additional upper division LIT courses

Upper-Division Electives for English Major

  • 7 courses; 31.5 quarter units

PrerequisiteENG 102

Survey of the art of cinema from the silent period to the present; examines film techniques and theories; explores film styles and genres, focusing on elements such as lighting, editing, and cinematography; establishes a basis by which students can make aesthetic judgments.

PrerequisiteENG 102 and COM 100, or COM 103, or COM 220

Basic theory, terminology, and practice essential to craft narrative formats in broadcast and digital media production. It covers conceptual, analytical and creative writing skills necessary to produce a script, and grasp contemporary narratives on multiple screens.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Provides a broad survey of the theoretical approaches employed in the study of communication. Focuses on theories relevant to many levels of interaction from interpersonal to mass and mediated communication. Also explores how and why theories are developed and how they can be evaluated.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduces learners to the principles, functions, and practices of social influence. Examines how to influence others’ attitudes, beliefs, opinions, values, and behaviors through communication. Explores scientifically established principles of persuasion that are used in contemporary media.

PrerequisiteENG 102

An exploration of the ways in which popular media represents our diverse and dynamic culture. The course focuses particularly on images and narratives of race and gender on television, in the movies and in popular culture. It also examines the cultural forces that influence how such representations are produced and perceived, their political and behavioral consequences, and various methods for analyzing and critiquing popular media.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduces the evolution of storytelling, from oral delivery to written and interactive texts, and transmedia publication. Examines the effects of this evolution on storytellers and participants. Offers hands-on creation of online identities and texts.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Teaches strategic writing and presentation for traditional and new media platforms. Provides students practice in creating content that meets organizational objectives, and in applying communication theory and persuasion techniques. Learners develop content for advertising, PR, and corporate communications.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Analysis of Modern English structure using the methods of traditional grammar. Topics studied: parts of speech, grammatical functions, phrase, clause, and sentence types, and nominal and verbal categories. Nature and usefulness of prescriptive rules of grammar. How to teach traditional grammar as presented in the secondary English curriculum. Instruction will encourage students to demonstrate critical understanding of traditional grammar, of contemporary syntactic analysis, and of the strengths and weaknesses of those systems in secondary education.

PrerequisiteENG 102

An introduction to contemporary linguistics. Covers the phonology, morphology and syntax of the English language with an emphasis on language acquisition as related to the developmental stages of childhood. The course is especially designed for students intending to teach elementary school students.

PrerequisiteENG 102; ENG 240, or ENG 334A

An advanced course for students interested in using writing as a means of exploring the natural world. This course surveys nature writing in its various forms (essays, articles, poetry, journals, etc.) as well as effective nature writing strategies. This course is designed to give students a basis for future personal creative work.

PrerequisiteENG 240

Examines how international cinema represents various aspects of societies and cultures outside the U.S. Representative films of Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Australia and Oceania, and Canada may be studied.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduces students to the concept and origins of popular culture and to social theories used by academics to analyze its impact on self and culture in modern consumer societies. Topics include mass media, TV, the internet, video games, sports, leisure, fashion, celebrity, shopping, advertising, and youth culture.

PrerequisiteENG 102

A critical examination of the complex relationship between film and society and the processes by which film both influences and is influenced by society. Emphasizes the importance of locating the meaning of film texts within social and historical perspective and identifies how the film industry influences the presentation of different groups of people and issues in society. Explores the interrelationship between film and technology, the impact of narrative and the institution of Hollywood on the sociological imagination and the nature of representation, particularly as it applies to race, class and gender.

And Any FOUR additional upper division courses in the College of Letters and Sciences.

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive the Bachelor of Arts in English degree, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level, and a minimum 69 units of the University General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree. The following courses are specific degree requirements. Students should refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information on admission and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.

English majors often go on to fulfill their professional goals in teaching, media, journalism, writing, public relations, and many other areas requiring solid written and oral communication skills. National University’s Bachelor of Arts in English can also help you develop the critical thinking and analytical skills needed to evaluate written materials, regardless of medium.

NU’s BA in English is designed for students looking to improve as a researcher or writer. For those who wish to enter the teaching profession, our curriculum provides the transferable expertise you’ll need to enter your grade-level of choice – and the committed support of our faculty to help you get there.

NU’s BA in English can be completed by taking four-week courses, one course at a time so that you can finish faster without sacrificing your family or work obligations.

National University’s BA in English is designed to help you develop the written and verbal skills that can help you become marketable in just about any field and any type of organization. Employers in every industry need professionals who are proficient in writing and communicating. With your English degree, you’ll be equipped with the qualifications to pursue positions* like:


  • Technical writers
  • Proposal Writers, Coordinators & Managers
  • Copywriters
  • Content Writers
  • Authors
  • News Analysts, Reporters & Editors

Communications, Public Relations Professionals

  • Marketing Coordinators & Specialists
  • Public Relations Managers
  • Marketing Product Managers
  • Social Media Coordinators, Specialists & Managers
  • Digital Marketing Specialists, Content Marketing Specialists
  • Communications Specialists, Coordinators, Managers
  • Fundraising Coordinators
  • Multimedia Journalists
  • Producers & Directors
  • Grant Writers

Administrative or Account Support Positions

  • Administrative Assistants & Executive Assistants
  • Account Coordinators & Managers
  • Project Coordinators Managers
  • Program Coordinators & Managers
  • Store Managers
  • Human Resource Assistants

Teaching & Tutoring at the K-12 level

Research roles

  • Research Associates, Assistants, Coordinators & Analysts

Paralegals & Legal Assistants

* SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at https://www.economicmodeling.com/company/ (Report viewed: May 3, 2022. DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

Students enrolled in the BA English program who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and are within six courses of completing the BA program may register for the BA English/MA English transition program. They do so by asking their academic advisor to submit a plan change into the transition program.

Students in the BA English/MA English transition program may take any one 600-level ENG course (excluding ENG 689 or ENG 699) as an elective within the BA English program. For students in the BA English/MA English transition program, the University will waive one MA English course taken as part of the BA degree if the grade earned is a “B” or higher.

No graduate units will be awarded; instead, the University will waive the MA English course taken as part of the BA degree. However, students must still meet the residency requirements for the MA English program (45 quarter units). Students must apply to and begin the MA English program within six months of completing the BA English program.

Program Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of National University’s Bachelor of Arts in English, you’ll understand how to:

  • Knowledgeably discuss the major writers, works, movements, and periods of the British and American literary traditions.
  • Apply close reading skills to analyze literary and other texts.
  • Critically examine the relevance of variables of human diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality to the understanding and cultural significance of literature.
  • Apply relevant cultural and historical information in the analysis of literary texts.
  • Critically evaluate the assumptions and implications of major critical approaches to literature.
  • Analyze the significance of genre conventions to the meanings and effects of literary works.
  • Explain and defend their own criteria for evaluating works of literature.
  • Collaborate with others to develop more complicated interpretations or arguments.
  • Compose sophisticated written arguments about works of literature, incorporating appropriate close reading, research, and writing skills.

Hear From Our Faculty

Watch Dr. Melinda Campbell explain how National University’s BA in English provides an excellent foundation for any professional field by developing communication and critical thinking skills sought by employers in every industry.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Earning a Master’s in Business Administration can further sharpen your critical thinking, decision-making, and leadership skills. An MBA is a globally recognized program that can have tremendous value in all sectors of the job market, and if you know where you want to drive your career, you can choose a program with a specialization in your particular area of interest.

In order to become a teacher, you’ll need to pass the required tests for teacher certification in the state where you live. NU’s BA in English provides the transferable expertise you need to enter your grade-level of choice – and the committed support of our faculty to help you get there. If you are interested in teaching English or Language Arts in middle or secondary schools, learn more here: Bachelor of Arts in English with Single Subject Matter Preparation and Inspired Teaching and Learning Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential (California).

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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.

*Positions may require additional experience, training, and other factors beyond successfully completing this degree program. Depending on where you reside, many positions may also require state licensure, and it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all licensure requirements are met. We encourage you to also review program-specific requirements. Any data provided on this page is for informational purposes only and does not guarantee that completion of any degree program will achieve the underlying occupation or commensurate salary.