The 21st century English major builds on the traditional strengths of the English major–critically interpreting literature within cultural, historical, artistic, and theoretical contexts–and reflects the digital turn. You will gain a range of critical, digital, technical and creative skills.
Degree Type: BA

You might be drawn to the English major because you love books. But that’s just a starting place. CBU’s BA in English is designed with the understanding that the traditional skills of the English major–critical thinking, analytical reading, clear and insightful writing, and out of the box problem solving–remain important for society and appealing for employers. Even more, we recognize that the digital turn in English studies also equips students with the computing skills for work in a digital age. Think of all the things you can do as someone who can communicate effectively and code or develop critical Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps.

The BA in English includes a professional pathways section, which asks you to take a course in a related area such as leadership, law, computer science, sustainability, medical ethics, or visual arts to support your transition into post-baccalaureate options for English majors. Our recent graduates work for major tech companies, industrial manufacturers, national and local nonprofits, and schools; others have continued their education in graduate studies in English and law.

When we read literature from the past and present, we study literary and cultural history as critical readers in ways that prepare us to shape the future.

You might pair your major with CBU’s minor in Humanities Computing, which will fit right in with your degree program and allow you to finish in 4 years. You might use that to work in communications, marketing, the nonprofit sector, or in developing your own business. The major also pairs well with CBU’s minors in Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Studies and Sustainability Studies.

Program Highlights

The English major requires 122 credit hours:

  • 22 credits: General Education. Math, English, religious studies, social science or history, natural or physical science
  • 30 credits: Liberal Arts. Foreign language, the humanities and social sciences
  • 9 credits: School of Arts Support Requirement
  • 46 credits: Major Requirements.
  • 15 credits: Major-Specific Electives

The academic catalog lists all course requirements for this program.

View English Course Requirements


  • English — 18 credits in upper level English courses
  • Creative Writing — 18 credits in English and creating writing courses. These courses also contribute to interdisciplinary minors in American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Sustainability Studies, and Peace Studies.
  • Foreign Language — 12 credits in Chinese, French, German, Greek, Latin, Russian, or Spanish

Professional Writing Certificate

CBU offers a professional writing certificate that allows students from majors across the university to combine four courses to add to their credentials as proficient and career-ready communicators. Courses include business communications, advanced composition, creative writing, art, and creative nonfiction.

Meet the Faculty

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