English, Bachelor of Arts

Department of English

College of Arts and Letters

Through this plan, we seek to prepare you for any future that demands competence in literature, language, and writing. Our plans help you recognize the importance of logical thought in effective expression. They also help you strive for more persuasive or creative uses of English and appreciate the truth and quality of literature.

By studying the literature of different times and peoples, you can develop your historical and cultural imagination. Our plans can also prepare you to teach English in middle- and senior-high schools, pursue careers in the corporate world, and compete successfully in graduate and professional schools.

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 45 units of major requirements
  • At least 16 units of language requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements.

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA C
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Foreign Language Required
University Honors Program Optional
Progression Plan Link Not Available
Student Learning Outcomes

Purpose of the B.A. in English
The Bachelor of Arts in English prepares graduates for any future that demands proficiency in literature, language, and writing, as well as general excellence in resourceful, well-informed communication. Our graduates recognize the close weave of logical thought and effective expression, strive for more persuasive or more creative uses of English, possess the sense and insight to appreciate the value and quality of literature, have developed their historical and cultural imaginations by studying the marks of other times and diverse peoples in language and text, and recognize the global contexts of English as well as the social, civic, and environmental responsibilities that come with a liberal education. Our graduates have attained the high-level literacy skills and have practiced the research methods needed to compete in graduate and professional schools and to succeed in the workplace. With our help, they have prepared themselves to become productive, responsible members of the communities in which they live and work.

General Knowledge of English

  • Graduates will know about language as a system and about language change and variation. Students will be able to identify, describe, explain, or interpret such features as grammar, language patterns, language differences, the history of English, dialects, semantics, dictionaries and lexicons, idioms, or semiotic structures.
  • Graduates will know how effective writers and speakers adapt language to various purposes in school, the workplace, civic life, creative work, and elsewhere, and to the varying circumstances of interpersonal communication. Graduates will be able to describe and explain such discourse features as rhetorical situation (speaker, purpose, audience), performative language, orality vs. literacy, print literacy vs. media literacies, style, or word-choice. 
  • Graduates will know basic concepts and terminology in the study of literature, linguistics, rhetoric, and creative writing. Students will know how to use appropriate disciplinary and professional language.
  • Graduates will know about forms, designs, and genres, including appropriate traditions and histories. They will know how formal conventions, social contexts, and audience expectations affect purposes of discourses. Graduates will be able to describe and explain such things as literary and creative genres, canons, practical and professional writing formats and genres, types of rhetorical discourse, types of linguistic phenomena, or media and web formats and genres. 
  • Graduates will know how social, cultural, and historical contexts affect personal expression; the reception, comprehension, or study of texts; and specific communication purposes for both writers and readers. Graduates will be conversant with English in global settings and with the increasing impact of international forces—the history and politics of cultural and linguistic diversity, of environmental sustainability, and of globalization—on the discipline of English.
  • Graduates will know how to read and think critically in response to a variety of texts, drawing on appropriate knowledge, concepts, and terms from the study of literature, linguistics, rhetoric, and creative writing. Graduates will know how to focus these skills on the close interpretation of texts (which could include film, signs, encoded cultural forms or messages, or graphic art, in addition to printed works) or extend these skills to the close study of empirical data or information. Graduates will know how to draw inferences or conclusions from their reading or to formulate interpretive hypotheses or arguments from primary sources or researched information.
  • Graduates will know how to write effectively in several genres and for various purposes—with appropriate design, fluency, voice, style, vividness, self-awareness, and awareness of audience or reader. Graduates will know how to invent, find, develop, and support content relevant for their writing purposes.
  • Graduates will know how to critique and to augment, rework, or revise both their own writing and the writing of others. Graduates will know how to edit for style, for grammar, and for correct spelling and punctuation according to a work’s purpose, audience, and level or manner of discourse.
  • Graduates will know how to use appropriate principles and methods of research for a variety of purposes in literature, rhetoric, writing, and linguistics. Graduates will know how to determine effective research scope, to apply and refine search strategies, to analyze and evaluate information, to synthesize and apply information, and to use information responsibly.
Applications and Attitudes
  • Graduates will know how to apply advanced academic training in English to further schooling or to public, professional, or workplace settings that demand clear, efficiently organized information-sharing; lucid expressions of imaginative thinking; persuasive, well-documented discourse; or concise, accessible expository communication. Graduates will know where and how to seek opportunities for employment, publication, continued education, public service, or personal enrichment.
  • Graduates will benefit from the experience of English as a liberal arts discipline in studies that impart intellectual growth, empower imagination, and attune responsiveness to creative expression and artful communication. Students will cultivate habits of empathy, introspection, and ethical reasoning. Students will develop resourcefulness in communication, aptitude for creative problem solving, and openness to change, adaptation, and opportunity.

Major Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement
  • You must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English that is equivalent to four terms of university coursework in the same language. You may satisfy this requirement by taking language courses or by testing out of all or part of it by taking CLEP exams. 

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.