The Bachelor’s Degree

The B.A. in English prepares students for a life appreciating the power and beauty of language. It also prepares students for a variety of careers in many sectors, including Education, Business, Law, and Healthcare, through a focus on creative, cultural, and critical thinking skills. When English majors graduate, they have the skills and opportunities to excel in almost any field. 


All English majors or minors are assigned academic advisors. Academic advisors assist students in developing appropriate, individualized courses of study. Students may choose a different academic advisor at any time to ensure they are fulfilling all degree requirements. Students should consult with academic advisors each semester and especially before enrolling for their final semester. Doing otherwise could result in delaying progress toward graduation. Please note that students pursuing teaching licensure must consult regularly with the Teacher Education Program (TEP) faculty liaison in the Department of English and Modern Languages as well as with the academic advisor in the Teacher Education Program during their entire course of study.

NOTE about ECCE Courses:

As general education courses, most ECCE courses may not be used to fulfill requirements for the English major or minor. Only ENG 368 will be allowed to fulfill a requirement for the English major. Students need to obtain approval through a Student Petition.

Transfer Policy

The department will assess the records of incoming transfer students to determine an appropriate degree plan. This plan may include taking lower-division classes to prepare students for the rigor of upper-division course work.  Requests for transfer credit for upper-division course work will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Grading Policy

Faculty members assign course grades according to campus policy and the grading criteria of each individual course. Students must complete ENG 303 with a C or better to proceed to 400-level course work.

Honors in English

In order to be eligible for admission to the English Honors Program, students must have:

  • Completed 72 credit hours towards their B.A.;
  • Completed Research Methods in English with a full B or better;
  • A 3.50 overall GPA at UIS;
  • A 3.60 GPA in English.

Students who meet these eligibility requirements can apply to be admitted to the Department Honors Program by submitting a proposal (200-250 words) to the department chair that outlines the honors project the student hopes to complete in ENG 498 Honors Project with a faculty mentor from the English Department. The submission deadline is March 1 for fall graduation and October 1 for spring and summer graduation. Students should apply for admission no later than their second-to-last semester. In order to receive the honors designation, a student must complete ENG 498 with an A, maintain a 3.5 overall GPA at UIS at the time of graduation, and maintain a 3.6 GPA in English at the time of graduation.

Degree Requirements for On-Campus and Online Majors

All majors require foundational knowledge in literature, writing and linguistics. UIS courses that satisfy the foundation requirements are listed below. Course work equivalent to the foundation requirements taken at other institutions may be approved by petition. 

Foundation Requirements
ENG 137 Introduction to Literature 3
ENG 272 Introduction to Creative Writing 3
Select two (2) of the following literary history courses: 6
Introduction to World Literature
Survey of African American Literature
Early British Literature
British Literature Since 1600
Early American Literature
American Literature-1865 to the Present
Core Requirements
ENG 303 Research Methods in English Studies 3
ENG 489 Capstone 3
Select one (1) Engagement Experience (Professionalization, Internship, Applied Study, or Study Away) 3
Elective Requirements
Six (6) of the total 18 hours must be designated as “diversity” and six (6) of the 18 hours must be designated as “digital.”
Select three courses in Writing, Linguistics, or Publishing: 9
ENG 308
Professional Writing
ENG 312
Topics in Creative Writing I
Topics in English Studies
ECCE: Creative Writing, Publishing, and Community
Creative Writing Poetry
Fiction Writing
Writing in New Media
History of English Language
Editing (Editing)
Rhetoric and Composition in Digital Media
Topics in Composition or Linguistics
Digital Technologies in English Studies
Topics in Creative Writing II
Creative Writing: Nonfiction
Select three (3) courses in Literature 9
Topics in World Literature I
European Cinema
Topics in American Literature I
Women Playwrights
Contemporary American Novel
The American Novel, 1865-1915
Playing Shakespeare
The British Victorian Novel
Children’s and Young Adult Literature
Introduction to Literary Genres
Graphic Novel
Topics in World Literature II
Topics in American Literature II
Literature and Culture of Early America
American Literature 1820-1865
ENG 437
African-American Literature
Major Figures in American Literature Since 1900
Chaucer and His Era
ENG 444
ENG 445
Arthurian Literature
The Shakespeare Project
The British Romantics
Topics in British Literature II
Poetry and Prose of the Victorian Age
Modern British Literature
Contemporary British Literature
Themes in Literature
Major Women Writers
ENG 464
Topics in Genre Study
Diversity Courses (other courses may be petitioned for the diversity designator): ENG 320, ENG 332, ENG 420, ENG 438, ENG 461
Digital Courses (other courses may be petitioned for the digital designator): ENG 373, ENG 409, ENG 420, ENG 466
Total Hours 39