Welcome to the Undergraduate Program in English!

The English Department at MU offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study with dedicated teachers who are prominent scholars and writers. With highly approachable teachers and generally small class sizes, our students enjoy a learning environment that encourages them to think critically and express themselves effectively. This is one of the many reasons that English continues to rank among the most popular majors on campus!

Thinking of applying to MU and interested in English?

The English Department is eager to make your trip to campus as great as possible, so please make sure to ask the Admission Office to set you up with a faculty member, our Academic Advisor, or with a class to observe!

Also, be aware that we offer some great scholarships for incoming students:

Carson Scholarship (up to $10,000)

  • For a full-time student majoring in English
  • Award provides tuition, room and board, and books for up to 2 years
  • Based on academic record, promise, and financial need

Vontz Scholarship ($1,200)

  • For an undergraduate student in the College of Arts & Science, with a preference for incoming or transfer students majoring in English
  • Must be a Missouri resident; based on financial need

To apply for these, or if you simply have any questions, feel free to email Professor Sam Cohen, Director of Undergraduate Studies, at cohenss@missouri.edu.

What Courses Do I Need To Take To Be an English Major?

Check out our recently-revised requirements to see what classes you need to take and to start making some exciting decisions about the breadth and depth of your study. You can take classes in literature, creative writing, linguistics, folklore, film studies, and more!

What will I learn as an English Major?

Learning Objectives for English Majors
Majors in the department will learn:

  • the terminology, methods, and major theories (e.g., feminism, formalism, poststructuralism) of literary criticism.
  • the conventions of different genres (e.g., poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction prose).
  • the research methods (use of primary and secondary sources, fieldwork, etc.) commonly employed by scholars in English studies, including, for example, literary criticism, folklore and oral tradition, film studies, theory, diaspora studies, rhetoric and composition, linguistics.
  • the writing process, including conceptualizing, organizing, drafting, conducting peer review, and revising.
  • the range and diversity of texts over time and based on race, gender and sexualities, culture, nationality, etc.
  • the professional and career choices for English majors.
  • to critique arguments used in literary and cultural criticism.
  • to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences, in both oral and written forms.
  • to analyze, to interpret, and to explain verbal, oral, digital, and visual texts.

Is there money available to support English majors?

Every year the English Department awards many scholarships and prizes. These go to everyone from incoming students to graduating seniors. Make sure to check out our “Scholarships and Prizes” page, where you will find deadlines, application guidelines, and award amounts.

What can you do with an English major?

English majors have a variety of jobs and careers open to them upon graduation. Everything from advertising executive to teacher, from lawyer to app designer. Check out our “Careers” page, where you will find a list of “Most Common Professions for English Majors,” some profiles of recent graduates, and information about our 1-credit “Careers and English” class, which students often take in their junior or senior years.

I want to be an English major.  What do I do now?

Read about the requirements of the English major on our website.

Call the English Department to make an appointment to speak to an advisor: 573-882-6421.  You can also email us at muasenglishadvising@missouri.edu.