Bachelor in English


Program Description

Why major in English?

English majors tend to be readers or writers. Many are both. Through coursework in literature, writing, linguistics and the history of the English language, students explore a diverse range of texts with the goal of becoming thoughtful and knowledgeable readers, writers, thinkers, communicators, and artists.

In addition to reading and writing, students are introduced to the principles of linguistics, writing pedagogy, community literacies, publishing, workplace writing and creative writing. They read and engage in discussions about literary works, participate in literary criticism, write in a variety of analytical argumentative and creative genres, and are challenged to view language through artistic, social and scientific lenses.

Minor in English

A minor in English teaches students the foundations of American and English literature. Additionally, students will learn skills about creative writing, writing for professionals and playwriting. After taking the required courses, students can customize their minor from a list of approved electives. For a list of required courses, visit the academic catalog. This minor requires the completion of 24 credit hours.

Career opportunities

placement rate

91% of students who graduate with an English degree obtain employment or continue their education within six months after graduation. Job titles related to this major include:

  • Writer
  • Editor
  • Publisher
  • Copywriter
  • Technical writer
  • Speechwriter

*Based on self-reported data

Profession-based learning experience

GreenTower Press is a small press supported by the department and managed by two faculty members. GreenTower Press publishes a highly lauded literary magazine, The Laurel Review. Each term, student interns gain professional publishing experience with GreenTower Press and The Laurel Review. Students work as editors-in-training at The Laurel Review, where they read, judge and edit manuscripts for publication.

Medium Weight Forks is an arts and literary magazine published by students in the Publications Skills course every spring term.

The Writing Center provides tutoring and other services to all Northwest students, and many students from the department gain valuable experience as writing tutors and as student managers. Students also have the opportunity to work as writing fellows with faculty in classrooms.

Students in professional writing complete practicum-based exercises in genres of the workplace, including occasional real-world projects for regional businesses and organizations.

Students travel with faculty to conferences such as the Annual Conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the Comparative Drama Conference, and the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Student Organizations

Sigma Tau Delta, an English honorary society, annually sends students to a national conference to present critical and creative work. Sigma Tau Delta was established at Northwest in 1931.

Scribblers, Northwest’s creative writing club, meets weekly to share creative work and write together.

For a full list of student organizations within the department»

Career ready. Day one.

Northwest ensures students are career ready, day one through internships, field experiences and networking opportunities.
Read Korbin's story »


Although internships are not required with the English major, they are highly encouraged. Interns have worked with the following organizations:

  • GreenTower Press (Northwest campus)
  • KZLX radio station (Northwest campus)
  • Grant coordinator (Northwest campus)
  • Northwest Missourian (student newspaper)
  • Tower Yearbook
  • Better Homes and Gardens
  • Nodaway County Historical Society
  • A to Z Communications

Study abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their own academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available, Faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

The traditional program can be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.

The Northwest difference

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a traditional campus with more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in the middle of everywhere, Maryville is two hours from Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri and
2 ½ hours from Des Moines, Iowa.

  • The textbooks and laptop rental programs save students nearly $7,300 over four years.
  • Ranked as the top moderately selective regional university in the "25 Best Colleges" by U.S. News and World Report for the third time in four years.
  • The Bearcat Advantage provides out-of-state students the opportunity to earn in-state tuition rates that can save more than $6,000. With the average undergraduate financial aid award of $5,467 for in-state students and $8,286 for out-of-state students, Northwest offers a quality education at an affordable price.
  • At Northwest, the American Dream Grant covers 100% of the tuition and fees for Pell-eligible students.
  • Students organizations, internships, and profession-based learning experiences ensure students are Career Ready, Day One.
Last updated Sep 2018

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About the School

Originally established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university that also offers graduate degree programs. Northwest Missouri State University fo ... Read More

Originally established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university that also offers graduate degree programs. Northwest Missouri State University focuses on student success - every student, every day. It will be THE university of choice for a comprehensive, exceptional student experience. Read less