FB Pixel Skip to Main Content
English students

English

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Type

Major, Minor, Secondary Licensure

Department

Communication Arts, Language & Literature (CALL) Department

The study of English literature—from the medieval period—to present day offers a unique perspective of history, art, and culture. An academic background in English will set you up to thrive in many diverse and meaningful career paths.

Program Overview

Develop your ability to think critically, write succinctly and research thoroughly.

English is a discipline for those willing to take risks with their interpretations and provide support with text and theory-based evidence. In small classes, you’ll be encouraged to participate in stimulating discussions analyzing literature, practicing critical and creative writing and honing your critical-thinking abilities. Through an inclusive and supportive faculty-student dynamic, you’ll learn how to formulate arguments that reflect independent and provocative ideas and theories. As a graduate of our English program, you’ll be well-prepared for careers in teaching, advertising, publishing, public relations and government.

The program also offers a variety of immersive educational opportunities. You can gain practical insight from professional literary artists through our Contemporary Writer Series and perform original poetry at open mic nights hosted by Wordhorde. You can also work as a Teaching Assistant helping other students in writing courses or as a consultant at the Writing Center.

Find your voice

English students blend literature, theory and creative writing to foster a community where all written expressions and interpretations are valued.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

All standard majors require a minor in a second discipline or a second major.

English majors and minors must complete the required course ENG 250 Critical Approaches to Literature with a minimum grade of “C” before registering for upper-division courses in English.

A minimum of 39 credits is required, including a three-credit, upper-division literature elective, and the following:

ENG 161Introduction to Creative Writing3
ENG 250Critical Approaches to Literature3
ENG 358Global Literatures: Studies In: Topic Variable3
ENG 371Literary Theory and Criticism3
ENG 493Senior Seminar I: Studies in: Social Justice3
ENG 494Senior Seminar: Studies in: Planning Ahead3
Select one of the following:3
ENG 151
Borderlands: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality
ENG 152
Women and Literature
ENG 153
Literary Culture of the American West
ENG 230
Environmental Literature (GT-AH2)
ENG 255
Ancient World Literature (GT-AH2)
ENG 331
Literature and Ethnicity: Studies in:
ENG 337
Women Writers
ENG 370
Myth and Culture
Select one of the following:3
ENG 300
Creative Writing: Fiction
ENG 301
Creative Writing: Poetry
ENG 303
Creative Writing
ENG 305
Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction
Select two of the following:6
ENG 372
British Literature: Medieval and Renaissance Texts
ENG 373
British Literature: Milton through the Romantics
ENG 374
British Literature: The Victorians to the Present Day
ENG 463
Major British Authors: Cont. Lit. & Film
Select two of the following:6
ENG 384
American Literature Early to Civil War
ENG 385
American Literature-Civil War to Present
ENG 464
Major American Authors:
Total Credits36
Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
Essential Skills MATH 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
 Credits13
Spring
Elective Elective or minor course 3
ENG 161 Introduction to Creative Writing 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ENG 220 Grammar and the English Language 3
ENG 250 Critical Approaches to Literature 3
COM 202 Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2) 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENG ENG elective (200 level) 3
Elective Elective or minor course 8
ENG 358 Global Literatures: Studies In: Topic Variable 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences 3
 Credits17
Year Three
Fall
ENG Literature Elective 3
ENG Writing Elective 3
ENG 372
or ENG 373
or ENG 374
British Literature: Medieval and Renaissance Texts
or British Literature: Milton through the Romantics
or British Literature: The Victorians to the Present Day
3
Elective Elective or minor course 6
 Credits15
Spring
ENG 371 Literary Theory and Criticism 3
ENG 384
or ENG 385
American Literature Early to Civil War
or American Literature-Civil War to Present
3
Elective Elective or minor course 9
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
ENG 405 Advanced Writing 3
ENG 373
or ENG 372
or ENG 374
British Literature: Milton through the Romantics
or British Literature: Medieval and Renaissance Texts
or British Literature: The Victorians to the Present Day
3
ENG 493 Senior Seminar I: Studies in: Social Justice 3
Elective Elective or minor course 6
 Credits15
Spring
ENG 494 Senior Seminar: Studies in: Planning Ahead 3
ENG 384
or ENG 385
American Literature Early to Civil War
or American Literature-Civil War to Present
3
Elective Elective or minor course 9
 Credits15
 Total Credits120

Spotlight

English

Gabriel Portis

Student

“I love the ways both my majors have rewired my way of thinking and the way I can apply them to make myself happier and more successful.”

English

Zenda Olson

Student

“At Western I’m learning what I truly want to study, how to manage my money and how to manage myself."

English

Brenna Womer, MFA

Faculty

"One of Western's newest professors, Womer has created a new Magical Realism course after receiving suggestions from students."

Careers

Take the first steps toward your dream career.

Career preparation is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling role in hundreds of professional fields after graduation.

Ready to apply or learn more about Western today?

Apply Request Info

Find Your Career

The data is automatically collected by Lightcast, a firm that sources job market data. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Access to apply for scholarships through the portal is open through April 1.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Access to apply for scholarships through the portal is open through April 1.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2023. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Description

The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Make your education a life changing experience.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Contemporary Writer Series: Emerging and established literary artists visit campus and community venues.
  • Sigma Tau Delta: Join the international English honor society.
  • Teaching Assistantships: Students help fellow students in challenging writing courses.
  • WordHorde: This group hosts slam poetry and fiction at open mic nights.
  • Writing Center: Work as a writing consultant for the greater campus community.
  • Pathfinder Magazine: Publish your poems, stories, and essays in Western’s undergraduate journal of the arts.
  • Western Press Books: Gain experience in copyediting through Western’s undergraduate literary press.
  • Story Catcher Writing Retreat: Take a week in the summer to strengthen your skills by studying with some of the country’s best writers.

Writing workshops

Professor Brenna Womer conducts a journalism workshop for Western students in the Writing Center.

News & Research

uncomfortable conversations

Having an Uncomfortable Conversation

Read More about Having an Uncomfortable Conversation
Dr. Alina Luna, professor

English Professor, Alina Luna, Encourages Students to Take the Lead

Read More about English Professor, Alina Luna, Encourages Students to Take the Lead
Western student publishes article in High Country News

Western student publishes article in High Country News

Read More about Western student publishes article in High Country News
English professor publishes first book of poetry

English professor publishes first book of poetry

Read More about English professor publishes first book of poetry
Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus

Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus

Read More about Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus
Community invited to campus author presentation

Community invited to campus author presentation

Read More about Community invited to campus author presentation

Additional Resources

Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society Alpha Xi Pi Chapter, Western Colorado University UPCOMING EVENTS Presiding Officers      President: Bethany Eveleth      Vice President …

Learn More

Western Press Books

Western Press Books Western Press Books is housed in the undergraduate Creative Writing program in Communication Arts, Languages & Literature Department and is distributed through the University …

Learn More

Department Chairperson

Jack Lucido, MFA

Professor of Communication Arts, Director of Film Studies, Chair of CALL Department

Administrative Assistant

Cindy Petito

Administrative Assistant II

Contact Information

970.943.2025

cpetito@western.edu

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Taylor Hall 216
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

Take the Next Step

Apply to
Western

Apply to
Western

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Visit
Western

Visit
Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni
Community

Alumni
Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.

Request
Information

Request
Information

Want to discover more about Western? Request information today to get in touch with the admissions team.