Writing, English (BA)

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major: English
Concentration: Writing
Program Code: 3215

About This Major . . .

This program is no longer accepting new students.

The English Program offers concentrations leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Literature, Creative Writing, and Secondary Education. The skills a student develops as an English major, such as writing, editing, problem solving, and critical thinking and analysis, are highly prized by employers in nearly every profession. The English Program is proud of what it offers – cultural experiences, unique and interesting courses and instruction, committed faculty and support staff, and a desire to provide the best liberal arts education possible.

Many occupations require individuals who can write and speak well, solve problems, learn new information quickly, and work well with others on a team. This means that English graduates use their education in a wide variety of fields, and your future career may relate more to your personal career interests, work values, and transferable skills than anything specific to the content of your major. Who hires English Majors? Book publishers, magazines, arts organizations, political offices, large corporations, radio/television stations, advertising agencies, social service agencies, chambers of commerce, research institutions, marketing consultants, newspapers, greeting card publishers, law firms, public interest organizations, consumer action groups, health organizations, educational institutions, literary agencies, theaters, printing firms, high tech firms, tutoring services, public and corporate libraries, government agencies, and public relations firms.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Express themselves effectively in a variety of forms. (Specialized Knowledge)
  2. Support interpretive claims about a variety of texts. (Critical Thinking)
  3. Identify the salient features of literary texts from a broad range of English and American literary periods. (Specialized Knowledge)
  4. Employ knowledge of literary traditions to produce imaginative writing. (Communication Fluency/Applied Learning)
  5. Use research to assist in problem-solving. (Critical Thinking)
  6. Apply standard conventions of English grammar and punctuation and explain grammatical structures using relevant terminology. (Specialized Knowledge)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below. If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 110Mathematical Investigations-GTMA13
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 2
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Must receive a grade of “C” or better and must be completed by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


One course must include a lab.

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Essential Learning Capstone must be taken after completion of the Essential Learning English and Mathematics requirements, and when a student has earned between 45 and 75 hours.

Foundation Courses

(24 semester hours, must pass each course with a grade of “C” or higher.)

ENGL 210Introduction to Literary Studies3
ENGL 250Introduction to Creative Writing3
ENGL 254Survey of English Literature I-GTAH23
ENGL 255Survey of English Literature II-GTAH23
ENGL 261Survey of American Literature I-GTAH23
ENGL 262Survey of American Literature II-GTAH23
Select two consecutive classes in the same foreign language 16
Total Semester Credit Hours24

FLAS 114 & FLAS 115 will NOT fulfill this requirement.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(30 semester hours, must pass each course with a grade of “C” or higher and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher in coursework in this area.

English Core
ENGL 421Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism3
ENGL 494Seminar in Literature 13
Required Concentration Courses
ENGL 386Roots of Modern Rhetoric3
ENGL 492Seminar in Writing3
ENGL 440History of the English Language3
or ENGL 451 Understanding and Using English Grammar
Literary Backgrounds
Early Literature
Select one of the following courses:3
Classical Greek and Latin Literature
English Medieval Literature
English Renaissance Literature
The Bible as Literature
18th Century British Literature
Later Literature
Select one of the following courses:3
American Literature to 1830
American Literature 1830-1870
American Literature 1870-1900
Women in World Thought and Literature
American Literature 1900-1945
American Literature 1945-Present
Ethnic Experiences in U.S. Literature
British Romanticism
Victorian Literature
20th Century British Literature
Writing Concentration Electives
Select 9 semester hours of the following:9
Memoir and Creative Non-Fiction
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Crafting Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry
The Art of the Essay
Technical and Professional Writing
Creative Writing: Crafting Poetry
Introduction to Copy Editing
Total Semester Credit Hours30

ENGL 494 must be taken after 90 semester hours have been accumulated.  A student may take the seminar in the junior year, but must take it again in the senior year.  The junior-year class will count as an elective.

General Electives

All college level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours, including 40 upper division hours. 29 semester hours; 10 hours of upper division may be needed.

Select electives29
Total Semester Credit Hours29
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 110 Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 3
Foundation Course - Foreign Language 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Science 3
Essential Learning - History 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
ENGL 250 Introduction to Creative Writing 3
Foundation Course - Foreign Language 3
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
 Semester Credit Hours16
Second Year
Fall Semester
ENGL 261 Survey of American Literature I-GTAH2 3
ENGL 254 Survey of English Literature I-GTAH2 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Science 3
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
ENGL 210 Introduction to Literary Studies 3
KINA Activity 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
ENGL 262 Survey of American Literature II-GTAH2 3
ENGL 255 Survey of English Literature II-GTAH2 3
Upper Division Writing Elective 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Third Year
Fall Semester
ENGL 386 Roots of Modern Rhetoric 3
ENGL 355 Shakespeare 3
ENGL 440
History of the English Language
or Understanding and Using English Grammar
Upper Division Writing Elective 3
Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
Elective (4 courses) 12
Upper Division Elective 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
ENGL 384 The Art of the Essay 3
ENGL 492 Seminar in Writing 3
ENGL 421 Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism 3
Upper Division Elective 3
Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ENGL 494 Seminar in Literature 3
Upper Division Elective 2 3
Upper Division Elective 3
Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours12
 Total Semester Credit Hours121

ENGL 385 recommended.


ENGL 383 recommended.

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for their intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/registrar/graduation.html.

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be their responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.