English (BA) with an Emphasis in Drama and Playwriting


Effective 1 June 2023 through 31 May 2024

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences/English Department and is only available at the St. Louis main campus.

Program Description

The English major with an emphasis in drama and playwriting provides students with the literary and analytical skills they will need as teachers, writers, scholars, and theatre professionals. Their literature and theatre history classes will ground them in our rich legacy of dramatic literature from the ancient to the modern eras, encompassing classic as well as contemporary dramatic work from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. In all their literature classes, students will engage not only with the aesthetic dimensions of literature, but also with the values, views, and dynamics of a given cultural and historical context. Playwriting workshops give them the opportunity to develop their own skills as writers and develop an appreciation for the craft of other writers.

Learning Outcomes

 Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of historical, cultural, and genre contexts in order to analyze the canonical works and major periods of American and British literature, as well as some lesser-known works within and outside that canon (including global literature). 
  • Interpret major works of dramatic literature from the ancient to the contemporary eras within and across historical and cultural contexts. 
  • Produce original dramatic work, thereby demonstrating the ability to put theory into practice.
  • Compose thesis-driven, textually-supported literary analysis that apply the conventions of literary study, including close reading and MLA style.
  • Identify and evaluate appropriate research sources, incorporate those sources into well-documented writing, and formulate their own arguments based at least in part on those sources.

Degree Requirements

For information on the general requirements for a degree, see Baccalaureate Degree Requirements under the Academic Policies and Information section of this catalog.

  • 36 required credit hours
  • 3 international language requirement credit hours
  • Applicable University Global Citizenship Program hours
  • Electives

English courses completed with a grade lower than C- do not count toward fulfilling the specific course requirements of the major.

Each student must complete at least 12 credit hours of courses for the major at the 3000-level or 4000-level.

At least 21 credit hours within the major must be completed at Webster University.

International Language Requirement

  • A minimum of three hours in a non-native language is required in addition to the requirements for the major. Courses used toward the international language requirement may also be used to fulfill general education requirements or a major/minor in a foreign language.
  • Transfer students who have completed their 3 credits at an institution of higher education are considered to have fulfilled the requirement, as are students who have scored a "3" or higher on an Advanced Placement exam in a non-native language.
  • For students whose native language is not English, a passing grade on the TOEFL will count as their foreign language requirement. Students who are from bilingual families but have no evidence of academic study of the second language on a transcript will need to take one course.


The 36 credit hours required for the English major include the following:

Core Courses (12 hours)

  • ENGL 1900 Introductory Seminar in Literary Analysis (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2020 British Literature I (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2030 British Literature II (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2050 U.S. Literature (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4600 Portfolio Review (in the final semester of study) (0 hours)

Drama and Playwriting Courses (24 hours)

  • ENGL 2500 Global Dramatic Literature (3 hours)
  • Playwriting (6 hours):
    ENGL 2170 Creative Writing: Playwriting (3 hours)
    and/or ENGL 4400 Advanced Creative Writing: Playwriting (1-3 hours)

15 credit hours from the following list*:

  • ENGL 2110 Perspectives (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2210 Adaptations (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2250 Literary London (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3050 Topics in Drama (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3100 Modern Drama (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3130 Contemporary Drama (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3190 Comedy and Satire (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3210 Tragic Themes (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3500 Contexts (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4150 Shakespeare (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4500 Literary Criticism (3 hours)
  • SCPT 3110 Script Analysis (3 hours)
  • THEA 2030 History of Theatre: Greeks to Elizabethan (3 hours)
  • THEA 2040 History of Theatre: Restoration to 1915 (3 hours)
  • THEA 2050 History of Theatre: 1915 to Present (3 hours)
  • THEA 3040 Topics in Theatre (3 hours)

*ENGL 2110 and ENGL 3500 may be used with an appropriate topic

Note: Theatre arts courses listed above are considered, for this emphasis, to be in the English department.


Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should see the Admission section of this catalog for general requirements. For more information, contact the English Department directly.