Bachelor of Arts in English

Develop skills in critical reading, writing, and research to prepare you to compete in the 21st century workforce.

PennWest offers full Bachelor of Arts programs at three traditional campuses and a variety of online and multi-modal courses. The B.A. in English is flexible and emphasizes student choice.

In the English program, you may focus your coursework in writing or literary and cultural studies, or you may choose to build your own B.A. program from a combination of courses in professional writing, literature, creative writing, and linguistics. Because courses are offered in a variety of modalities, you can combine on-campus and online courses to control of your own schedule. This allows you to easily participate in athletics, student organizations, and other co-curricular activities. The English program brings together a diverse faculty with broad expertise that covers a more extensive vision of the traditions and future of English Studies than is commonly available. Our faculty have an average of 15-20 years of classroom teaching experience, and they work closely with students to help them achieve their goals.

Our students often have a wide range of expertise, interests, and backgrounds, and our program provides them with opportunities beyond those offered at other area universities or within the State System. These opportunities include:  

  • Service-learning opportunities through the Community Learning Workshop and Heinz History Center.
  • Grant writing for local and regional organizations.  
  • Experience in developing publications, including a literary arts journal created as part of the capstone for the BA major.  
  • Internship opportunities at local and regional organizations

You also can add another credential to your degree with a 12-credit certificate in creative writing, professional writing, or literary and cultural studies.

View program details

Credits: 120

William Hunter

Three Degree Options

You’ll have three degree options including writing, literary and cultural studies and a general B.A. without a concentration.

Advanced coursework

You’ll take 42 credits of advanced coursework building skills in specific topics.

Add a certificate

Add a 12-15 credit certificate to further your studies in professional writing, creative writing or literature.

English (no concentration)
Literary and Cultural Studies
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Literary and Cultural Studies

Careers and Salaries

Graduates of PennWest’s B.A. in English report being well-prepared for graduate and pre-professional programs, as well as for employment in a variety of fields.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 64% of workers with a bachelor’s degree in English work in one of these fields:

  • Educational instruction and library occupations
  • Management
  • Art, design, entertainment, sports and media
  • Office and administrative support operations
  • Business and financial operations

Program Outcomes

  1. English majors will demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of texts and contexts, encompassing conventions and innovations in the history and different areas of the field, as well as a variety of historical periods, authors, genres, cultures, and media. 
  1. English majors will demonstrate knowledge of grammatical, rhetorical, literary, and critical terms and apply them appropriately to analyze the conventions and features of a variety of texts, including literary, informational, print, digital, and multi-modal. 
  1. English majors will apply appropriate rhetorical strategies (audience, purpose, context, style, tone, etc.)  to the composition of a variety of forms and genres, including print, digital, and multi-modal texts, to generate written work that is clear and engaging. 
  1. English majors will recognize, understand, and interpret elements of a text and its context, drawing logical conclusions on the basis of analysis and evaluation.
  1. English majors will gather, critically evaluate, and appropriately synthesize research from both academic and non-academic sources to develop thoughtful arguments and analyses.

The Power of PennWest

PennWest’s three campuses, California, Clarion and Edinboro universities, have been delivering award-winning online programs for more than 20 years. You’ll graduate with a degree from Pennsylvania Western University, completely supported by the expertise and community of learners on our brick-and-mortar campuses.

Flexible. Affordable.
Designed to Meet Your needs.