Online BA in English CurriculumOnline BA in English CurriculumOnline BA in English Curriculum

Communicate solutions to real-world problems and explore the significance of storytelling with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English.

At Maryville University, our online English B.A. curriculum is designed to help you learn to analyze literature, persuade through rhetoric, tell compelling stories, think critically, and apply your creativity to the written word.

Many employers value graduates of English degree programs because they tend to be effective communicators, making them well-suited for potential jobs in sectors such as advertising, education, marketing, publishing, technology, public relations, and law.

Maryville University Online BA in English Curriculum

Maryville’s online Bachelor of Arts in English comprises 128 credit hours and includes coursework in general education, your English major, your minor, and general electives. Students also complete a capstone project and an internship.

English Major Courses

  • In this course, students engage in the writing process, drafting and revising their compositions. Students develop skills in writing clear, correct sentences and coherent, focused compositions.

  • This course furthers the work of ENGL 101, emphasizing the writing and careful editing of argumentative essays. Students practice techniques to enhance the clarity and persuasiveness of writing for a variety of purposes and audiences. The course includes an introduction to finding and evaluating sources for writing based on research. The major course project is a research paper.

  • Students develop an appreciation of the literary contributions of minority Americans, primarily of Chinese, African, Puerto Rican, Japanese, Mexican, and Native American heritage.

  • The course explains the art of storytelling through an analysis of narrative techniques in fiction, drama and film.

  • A course to develop skills in creative writing, particularly in writing fiction and poetry. Strategies of style, techniques of narrative writing, and forms of poetry are examined.

  • A study of the English and American traditions of literature by women. The course focuses on literary analysis and appreciation of fiction, poetry, memoirs, essays, and drama by classical and contemporary authors. The roles of women as authors and as characters will be considered within their historical and literary contexts.

  • Students will study in detail the dramatic and literary values of representative comedies, tragedies, histories and romances.

  • Broadly speaking, literature refers to many kinds of written, discipline-specific texts, such as artistic or literary writing, scientific articles and books, medical articles and journals, musical compositions and scholarship, etc. Protest literature reflects writing that argues strongly against a perceived injustice or a forced inadequacy; it may criticize, demand change, or express anger. In many respects, a great deal of African American literature is centered on a form of protest, whether directly stated or implied. This course will investigate the relationship between African American music and writing that gives voice to protest.

  • In this class, we will learn to read and discuss mythology as a unique kind of storytelling. While we will pay special attention to elements often shared in common by myths across the globe (the hero, the underworld, the trickster, etc.), we also will explore what myths can tell us about the unique cultures, histories, and political contexts of the people who produce them. Our readings (and viewings) will include a wide variety of works both ancient and modern, from The Odyssey and The Arabian Nights to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Required work will include participation in weekly online discussions, short analysis papers, and a multimedia presentation.

  • This class begins four thousand years ago, with the Epic of Gilgamesh, the first great work of world literature, and then moves through the ancient and medieval world up to the 17th century. Readings may draw from classic works such as The Odyssey, Greek tragedies and comedies, The Aeneid, Beowulf, The Divine Comedy, The Journey to the West, Narrow Road to the Interior, The Canterbury Tales, and Don Quixote. The class may also include writers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine, as well as selections from the Bible, the Koran, and the Bhagavad-Gita.

  • Individuality and personal freedom, or alienation and existential despair? This class explores the development of modernity as reflected and developed in the literatures of the world from the 18th century to the present. Readings will be drawn from various global traditions, and may include authors such as Goethe, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Baudelaire, Rilke, Lu Xun, Kafka, Akhmatova, Camus, Abe, and Allende.

  • This course examines the evolution of dramatic literature through the shared spectrum of major works of drama and the theatrical spaces upon which such plays were performed. Students will explore important plays from classical antiquity through modern drama, and study how conventions of the genre took shape from one playwright to another. Essential to these readings will be an appreciation of how theatre spaces themselves evolved along with the drama, oftentimes shaping the way that playwrights wrote their plays. Students will be encouraged to view drama not only from the perspective of literature, but also as works of performative art.

English Core Courses

  • Students develop skills in analyzing fiction, poetry, and drama.

  • A study of major authors and works of English literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to Shakespeare, this course is required for the English major.

  • A study of major authors and works of English literature from Neoclassicism to the present, this course is required for the English major.

  • A study of the development of literary criticism in the western intellectual tradition, the course examines the distinction between criticism concerned primarily with form and criticism concerning itself with evaluation. Pre-req = ENGL 101.

  • Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor Note: Up to six credits in ENGL 499 may be counted toward an English major.

To ensure the best possible educational experience for our students, we may update our curriculum to reflect emerging and changing employer and industry trends. Undergraduate programs and certificates are designed to be taken at a part-time pace. Please speak to your advisor for more details.

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What are some common skills and competencies gained through an English B.A. curriculum?

Bachelor’s degree programs in English can help you develop important skills that are applicable to a wide range of fields. These include:

  • Understanding of how classical and contemporary literature impacts our lives. The B.A. in English curriculum covers a breadth of authors spanning centuries and civilizations around the world. When you study English, you can gain familiarity with important writers and works of literature. By uncovering the works’ historical, social, and cultural context and significance, you can gain an expansive understanding of how literature has influenced our society. This skill can then be used to analyze the possible impact of modern works.
  • Creative application. When you earn your English degree, your curriculum won’t just immerse you in other authors’ creativity — it can inspire you to apply your own. Develop your original ideas, support them through research and analysis, and argue them persuasively. Skills surrounding creativity and creative application are important in a number of professions like law, advertising, marketing, and public relations.
  • Rhetoric and composition. Through the study of the craft of writing, you can become an eloquent communicator. In your coursework, you can discover how to write persuasive documents, leverage rhetorical devices, and structure compelling arguments. This ability is prized by many employers, who rely on graduates with English degrees to strengthen their organization’s communication, both internally and externally.
  • Creative, technical, and professional writing ability. Within an English bachelor’s degree program, you generally will have the opportunity to flex your writing muscles for a variety of purposes. While some courses will teach the craft of writing creatively to develop compelling stories, articles, and literature, others will teach professional writing skills used in businesses across a variety of industries.

What are some courses I can expect in my bachelor’s in English curriculum?

When you pursue your online English degree through Maryville University, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on areas you’re passionate about. As part of your curriculum, you can take part in the following classes, among others:

  • Writing for Rhetorical Situations. Strengthen your writing skills by deepening your understanding of grammar and sentence structure. In addition, explore composition and rhetoric and how to apply both in real-world scenarios. These in-demand skills can serve you well in any number of career paths.
  • Writing for Research and Argument. Courses in research and argumentative essays can teach you to craft clear, persuasive written communication that drives home a particular point of view. Through your English curriculum, you can elevate your existing skills by practicing persuasive writing techniques and grounding your stance in research. This requires an understanding of how to find, evaluate, and select reliable research sources, as well as how to cite and refer to them.
  • Multicultural Voices in American Literature. American literature reflects the diversity of the nation as a whole, and our English B.A. curriculum features a course that focuses on the artistic contributions of minority groups. That means you have the ability to expose yourself to important literary works penned by Americans of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Native American, Chinese, Japanese, and African descent or heritage. Through your studies, discover how diverse heritages and cultures influence literature and storytelling.
  • World Literature. Courses in world literature can take you across the globe and through history. Because of this, we offer two world literature courses that span multiple eras across the continents. In World Lit I, readings begin with the earliest pieces of world literature, drawing from ancient and classical works through the 17th century. In World Lit II, you can explore the development of modernity through literature from the 18th century to the present. Texts include religious tomes, novels, plays, poetry, and essays, among others.
  • Advanced Creative Writing. Through our creative writing course, you can step into the role of a great writer to tell your own story. Undertake projects in fiction, poetry, memoir writing, and more to discover which strategies and techniques make writing more effective, clear, and meaningful.

Learn more about earning an online B.A. in English.

If you’re excited by the prospect of stretching your creative writing skills and developing valuable communication skills, consider a Bachelor of Arts in English. At Maryville University, the curriculum of our English bachelor’s degree program is designed to push you to develop critical professional skills in writing, creativity, communication, analysis, research, and more.

Our online bachelor’s in English can provide you with skills that prepare you for a bright and rewarding future. Learn more about our online Bachelor of Arts in English and begin your journey today.

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