Brigham Young University Homepage

Undergraduate Catalog

2012 - 2013


Edward Smith Cutler, Chair
4198A JFSB, (801) 422-4938

Brett C. McInelly, Coordinator, University Writing
4110C JFSB, (801) 422-3565

College of Humanities Advisement Center
1175 JFSB, (801) 422-4789

Admission to Degree Program

All degree programs in the Department of English are open enrollment. However, special enrollment limitations apply for English teaching majors.

The Discipline

The English major provides a detailed knowledge of the English language and of literature written in English. English majors approach language and literature as a source of knowledge and aesthetic pleasure, a mode of encountering and evaluating diverse minds and attitudes, a vehicle for art and action, a means of historical understanding, and a source of spiritual insight. English majors use writing as their primary means (1) of knowing, understanding, and evaluating their experience and their reading and (2) of sharing their insight with others. In keeping with the long-standing ideals of a liberal arts education, the English Department aims to cultivate in its students those foundational skills in writing, awareness, and judgment upon which lives of wisdom, service, and an ever-increasing love for learning might be built.

Career Opportunities

With a firm grounding in the liberal arts, English majors are prepared for any career that requires perceptive reading, orderly and clear thinking, intellectual maturity, and effective writing. Many career opportunities for English majors exist in teaching, professional writing and editing, law, business, communications, or government service. English majors can certify to teach secondary-school English, or they can prepare for graduate study in English and college teaching. When combined with prerequisite courses in other departments, the English major provides excellent preparation for graduate work in law, business, library science, medicine, humanities, or religion. By selecting areas of concentration, some English majors prepare for careers in technical and professional communication, editing, creative writing, and related fields. By supplementing their English major with computer classes, some find work in information technology. The skills and knowledge acquired by an English major also provide good preparation for government service, especially when combined with the study of foreign languages, economics, political science, and history.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The university core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (See University Core for details. For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see the current class schedule.)
  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
  • Earn a minimum of 120 credit hours
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Undergraduate Programs and Degrees

Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.

Graduate Programs and Degrees

    MA in English
    MFA in English

For more information see the BYU 2012–2013 Graduate Catalog.

General Information

The Department of English strongly recommends that StDev 317, a 1-credit-hour course, be taken at the end of the sophomore year or the beginning of the junior year. Because liberal arts degrees provide preparation in a variety of useful fields rather than a single career track, this course is recommended to help liberal arts students focus on specific educational and occupational goals and to identify the career options or educational opportunities available to them. The course will introduce them to the resources needed for accessing information about graduate schools, internships, careers, and career development. Students will learn basic employment strategies, including the steps necessary for obtaining employment related to their own specialty.