English (BA)


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. It is available at the St. Louis main campus and at the Athens campus.

Program Description

In this major, students engage not only with the aesthetic dimensions of literature, but also with the values, views, and dynamics of a given and historical context. In small classes and seminars, students are given multiple opportunities to develop their skills in literary analysis, critical writing, and oral expression. Outstanding student essays are selected by faculty to be published each spring in our literary journal, The Mercury.

Students interested in focusing on dramatic literature can choose the drama and playwriting emphasis, available only at the St. Louis main campus.

See also the English Department website (external to catalog).

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). 
  • 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)

Required Courses by Category* (24 hours)

Genre (3 hours)

  • ENGL 2035 History of the Novel (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2300 Worlds of Romance (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2400 The Short Story (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2500 Global Dramatic Literature (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3030 Topics in Poetry (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3040 Topics in Fiction (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 3300 20th Century American Poetry (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3900 Myth and Classical Literature (3 hours)

Author (3 hours)

  • ENGL 4130 Seminar in a Single Author (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4150 Shakespeare (3 hours)

Social Issues (3 hours)

  • ENGL 2086 U.S. Literature of Diversity (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2120 Literature of Oppression and Resistance (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3140 Women and Literature (3 hours)

Global (3 hours)

  • ENGL 2300 Worlds of Romance (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2500 Global Dramatic Literature (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2600 Introduction to Linguistics (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3190 Comedy and Satire (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3900 Myth and Classical Literature (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4000 Myth and Modern Literature (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4030 Literature of Latin America (3 hours)

History and Criticism (3 hours)

  • ENGL 4190 The Story of English (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4500 Literary Criticism (3 hours)

Advanced Writing (3 hours)

  • Any course with the WRIT prefix at the 2000-level or above, except WRIT 2000.

ENGL Electives (6 hours)

  • Any courses with the ENGL prefix.

*ENGL 2110, ENGL 2210 and ENGL 3500 may be used for any category with an appropriate topic. 


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.