For Majors, Minors, and All Interested
- The B.A. in English
- Areas of Interest
- The English Minor
- Prospective Students
English as an Area of Study
The study of English gives students knowledge of the language and its literature, including familiarity with the literature that helped define past eras. Studying English also helps students develop their ability to read perceptively, think critically, analyze problems, and write persuasively. For these reasons, a major in English has traditionally been viewed as good training for careers in law, government, business, and publishing, as well as for careers in teaching and writing. Some of our recent graduates have achieved notable success in pursuing graduate school opportunities. The department has compiled some sources of Career information and suggestions.
Upper division classes, many survey level classes, and Honors sections are taught by our graduate faculty, all of whom are published scholars in their areas of expertise. Highly qualified, experienced instructors teach some survey literature classes. Our small class sizes (generally 30 or below) give students the maximum opportunity for individual interaction with their professors.
Program Goals (Departmental Document)
Overview of the departmental goals regarding the education of undergraduate students.
The Bachelor of Arts in English
The College of Arts and Sciences requires 124 semester hours for the B.A. degree. English majors are required to take thirty-nine hours (thirteen three-hour courses) of English, including six hours of English literature surveys, six hours of American literature survey, and four hours of advanced composition, in addition to six hours of advanced courses in British literature, six hours of advanced courses in American literature, and nine hours of electives in English (three of which must be at the advanced level).
These documents will help a student plan a rewarding and efficient course of study:
Students at either the undergraduate or graduate level can take a block of courses leading to a certificate in the teaching of English as a second language. Consult the department's TESOL certificate program requirements.
Students who are certain they want to teach English in the public school system after they graduate from Mississippi State usually major in Education. However, if public school teaching is just one career a student is considering, and/or if a student has a strong preference for majoring in English, there are methods for completing an English major and also becoming certified to teach in the public schools. Students seeking to meet both these goals should consult with advisors in both the English Department and the College of Education.
The English Department offers creative writing courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. The Creative Writing faculty include a number of successful poets and fiction writers who are also enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers.
Minoring in English
A Minor in English is a smart way to show coherence and focus to a secondary program of study as an undergraduate. An approved minor provides an official record of a serious intellectual interest on a student’s final transcript.
Requirements for a Minor in English:
- Completion of the freshman composition requirements for the major.
- Completion of 18 hours of English courses beyond the freshman composition requirement, including at least 6 hours at the 4000-level and no more than 6 hours of linguistics courses (i.e., courses that count toward the Linguistics Minor).
- A grade of C or higher in all courses used to earn the English minor.
- Approval by an English advisor of all English courses taken. Since most of the 4000-level courses are offered on a rotation schedule, please check with your advisor about what courses are available during which semester.
- Notification to the registrar’s office upon completion of the required coursework. This notification allows the Registrar officially to process the request for the Minor to appear on the student transcript.
To declare your intention to pursue the English Minor:
- Fill in the registration form and submit it to Dr. Ginger Pizer, Undergraduate Director of English (Lee 2305; firstname.lastname@example.org; or via the instructor of your English class).
- Contact Dr. Pizer with any questions about course selection.
- When you apply to graduate through Banner during your last semester, declare the
English minor in the appropriate section of that application.
Welcome, Prospective Students
Students seeking to enroll at Mississippi State should contact MSU Admissions.
Current Mississippi State students wishing to major in English should contact Dr. Ginger Pizer or the English Departmental office at 2000 Lee Hall.
In addition to financial aid opportunities offered by the University, the English Department offers a number of undergraduate awards and scholarships.
Students considering the field of English might enjoy a glance at these pages:
The Mitchell Memorial Library at Mississippi State contains more than a million volumes and subscribes to thousands of periodicals. In addition, full interlibrary loan facilities and Computer Assisted Information Retrieval Service give students access to millions of other research sources. The library's Special Collections division, which houses the University Archives, rare books, and manuscripts, has a number of holdings of particular interest to the student of Southern literature and culture, including the John C. Stennis, Turner Catledge, and Hodding Carter Collections.
The Writing Center on President's Circle is staffed primarily by English Department teaching assistants and provides free tutoring in writing to all Mississippi State students. The Writing Center has additional locations in Templeton Athletic Academic Center and a "mobile" unit in Colvard Student Union and Mitchell Memorial Library, as well as on-line tutoring.
Mississippi State University utilizes a Blackboard Learn system, locally called MyCourses, for online instruction. Many professors utilize MyCourses to enhance their efforts in traditional classes. These brief tutorials may help students navigate MyCourses.
- Some recommended general writing and literary resources.