English Majors

The purpose of Troy University's English major is to prepare undergraduate students to enter today's professions, public services, or graduate programs with literacy in English and American language. They also gain a knowledge of the world's literary culture adequate for success in today's global culture. They develop skills in formulating answers to questions through open-minded research. They also develop approaches to logical, critical, and creative thinking. Some of the other tangible goals sought in the program include:

  • A development of clarity, directness, and effective personal style in the spoken and written language that characterize a well-educated person in today's global community;
  • An appreciation and understanding of the long process of development behind the language and cultural configurations that define meaningful communication today, and an appreciation and understanding of the necessity for carrying this intellectual development forward in a responsible way;
  • An ability to use linguistic and literary facts, which form the actual substance of the various areas of the English discipline, as enjoyable as well as practical assets in today's occupations and leisure activities.
Advisors in the department help guide English majors to the courses they need in pedagogy, literary theory, and other specific areas of relevance in their curricular packages.

Required Courses for the English Major (36 hours)

Specialized General Studies Requirements

Area V
ENG 2211 (3) American Literature before 1875
ENG 2212 (3) American Literature after 1875
ENG 2244 (3) British Literature before 1785
ENG 2245 (3) British Literature after 1785
IS 2241 (3) Computer Concepts and Applications
TROY 1101 (1) University Orientation

Major Requirements
ENG 3341 (3) Advanced Grammar
ENG 4495 (3) Senior Seminar

Select an additional 30 hours of upper division courses, at least nine of which are at the 4000 level or above.

Students may elect to pursue the English Language Arts Program along with the English major. This track leads toward Alabama certification in English Language Arts for teaching in primary and secondary schools. Future teachers enjoy the benefits that are provided for all English majors, and the track is designed to prepare graduates to teach English, speech, drama, or journalism in secondary schools. It has four distinct and specific goals:

  • To deliver a solid body of factual knowledge in the areas of literature, language, composition, drama, speech, and journalism;
  • To provide effective methods for the instruction of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and presenting skills in effectively-integrated classroom programs in secondary schools;
  • To develop the teaching strategies necessary to accommodate the needs of students of varying aptitudes, interests, and cultural backgrounds;
  • To identify the strengths and weaknesses of our graduates as they complete their pre-service program.

The goals of the English major are in accordance with Troy University's mission statement and its long "historic role in the preparation of teachers."

Required Courses for the English Language Arts Program (139 hours)

Students seeking Alabama teacher certification should complete the English major and the required courses for language arts, in addition to selecting education as a second major. Students should consult their advisors concerning all certification requirements.

Specialized General Studies Requirements

See the general studies section of the university catalog for additional information.

Area II
COM 2241 (3) Fundamentals of Speech
DRA 2200 (2) Introduction to Drama
ENG 2205 (3) World Literature before 1660
ENG 2206 (3) World Literature after 1660
Select one of the following:
ART 1133 (2) Visual Arts
MUS 1131 (2) Music Appreciation

Area V
ENG 2211 (3) American Literature before 1875
ENG 2212 (3) American Literature after 1875
ENG 2244 (3) British Literature before 1785
ENG 2245 (3) British Literature after 1785
IS 2241 (3) Computer Concepts and Apps.
JRN 1101 (3) Intro. to Mass Communications
TROY 1101 (1) University Orientation

Required Courses for Language Arts
DRA 2211 (1) Theatre for Youth
DRA 2245 (1) Stagecraft Lab
DRA 3301 (2) Acting I
DRA 4451 (3) Directing I
ENG 3341 (3) Advanced Grammar
ENG 3371 (3) Literature for Young Adults
ENG 4405 (3) History of the English Language
ENG 4478 (3) Theory and Practice of Composition: Writing and Learning Across the Curriculum
JRN 3326 (3) Advising Student Publications
COM 3342 (3) Argumentation and Debate
COM 4441 (2) Oral Interpretation

Select twelve hours of upper division English electives, six of or which must be at the 4000 level, three of which may be upper-level creative writing.

The career opportunities for English majors who hold a B.S. degree from Troy University are more expansive than most people might realize. Practically every type of business values good communication skills in their employees, and as graduates of Troy University's College of Communication and Fine Arts, students are prepared for careers that require excellent language and communication skills. Upon graduation, students may wish to enter careers in publishing, writing, editing, law, theology, finance, entertainment, health care, instructional design, government service, the arts, and teaching.

Graduates who hold a B.S. degree in English Language Arts from Troy University are well prepared for a career in teaching, and most of Troy's ELA majors enter the teaching field. Feedback from these alumni indicates that they enjoy this profession, which generates community respect, a feeling of service, and a sense of accomplishment and civic pride. Teaching has long been a respectable profession, and since its foundation as a "teacher's college," Troy University has educated and will continue to educate the next generation of teachers.

The written form of English (long neglected in a society that communicated principally through the oral medium of the telephone) has assumed a professional importance in the digital age. At one time, a business office needed only one expert in written English (often a secretary who corrected all written communication to avoid embarrassing the company), but the digital era demands that everyone must possess good communication skills to succeed in today's global economy. An English major or minor can help graduates succeed in the computer age, where many professions such as online journalist, speech writer, video-scripter, technical and manual writer, and creative or freelance writer demand that applicants possess "Excellent Written and Oral Communication Skills," to borrow a phrase that has become almost a standard requisite among employers. Public relations, advertising firms, government agencies, consumer groups, TV news organizations, and market research companies – in fact, all groups dealing with corporate communications – are interested in English majors and minors because these graduates are well-trained in the essential skills of written and oral communication.

Finally, some English majors continue their studies in graduate programs around the country to prepare for a career in teaching at the community college or university level. Teaching, however, is not the only graduate school option for English majors; some English majors enroll in law school or medical school. Law students with a major in English have honed their written and verbal communication skills, which serve them well throughout their legal career, and some medical schools look favorably on applicants with a background in English because the schools believe that a grounding in the liberal arts helps future doctors maintain their professional perspective on humanity.

The career prospects for English majors and minors are not strictly limited to teaching, as once thought, but instead extend into many other aspects of society, including corporate America. The Department of English, therefore, invites you to study with us and consider a major or minor in English.

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