Why study English language and literature?

Because reading and writing shape the world.

KU's English Department is at the core of the humanities, highlighting the "human" through our individual, one-on-one interactions with our students, our emphasis on community and global engagement, and our abiding interest in our shared humanity through the stories of others. We seek to challenge the mind and to engage the imagination of our students, to teach them to ask questions and to seek for answers.  We encourage them to grapple with the complexity of a culturally and commercially interconnected world and the global networks and processes of cultural exchange. We believe that words and ideas will shape the world. We teach our students life-long skills, so that they learn to write clearly, creatively, and effectively—discovering themselves even as they lay a solid foundation for professional success. 

A commitment to teaching and learning.

Our department is renowned for its tradition of excellence in teaching.  The vast majority of our undergraduate classes have 20-35 students, and much of the class time is dedicated to active learning and engagement with texts and ideas. In the last ten years, faculty members in the department of English have won ten Kemper Fellowships for Excellence in Teaching, two Chancellors Club Teaching Professorships, a Career Achievement Teaching Award, and a wide variety of other university-level teaching and advising awards, and the department as a whole received the Center of Teaching Excellence (CTE) award for Department Excellence in Teaching at the University of Kansas. 

A variety of career and life paths.

The Literature, Language, and Writing program at the Edwards campus helps to prepare undergraduate students for a variety of professions, including law, scholarship, publishing, library science, and marketing--as well as any number of other fields that value clear communication, interpretive skill, and critical and creative thinking.  

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Literature, Language, and Writing Major

KU Edwards Campus

The undergraduate program in literature, language, and writing is offered in its entirety only at the KU Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, KS 66213. This program is designed for students who have earned an associate’s degree or equivalent hours and wish to complete the upper-level courses necessary for a bachelor’s degree.

Literature, Language, and Writing Program

The program includes professional writing courses. Internship opportunities may be pursued as credit toward the major, offering students the opportunity to develop communication skills in specific professional contexts.

In today’s rapidly changing work environment, employers are seeking people who can deal with concepts and abstractions, who are imaginative and creative, and who have good communication and people skills. A degree in English can help develop these skills, and it is good preparation for a variety of advanced professional degrees in areas such as business and law. English majors pursue a range of careers including editing, technical writing, advertising and public relations, teaching, market research, retail management, teaching English as a second language, nonprofit fund-raising and/or advocacy, Web design, speech writing, sales, video production, script reading, radio and television, and many others. Some career paths require an advanced degree or specialized post-graduate training, but an undergraduate degree in English is an excellent base from which to explore career options.

Contact the CLAS undergraduate advisor on the Edwards Campus, Dan Mueller, dmueller@ku.edu, 864-8659 (from Lawrence) or 913-897-8659 (outside of Lawrence) for more information.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

Course Requirements

Literature, Language and Writing Core Knowledge and Skills (12)
Majors must complete a total of 4 courses (12 hours) satisfying the distribution indicated in each of the following 3 areas:12
Literature Before 1900. Satisfied by two courses (6 hours) from the following:
Topics in British Literature to 1800: _____
The British Novel
Major British Writers to 1800
Major British Writers after 1800
Studies in British Literature
Introduction to Major American Writers
Topics in American Literature to 1865: _____
American Literature I
American Literature II
Chaucer
Shakespeare
Advanced Topics in British Literature 1800: _____
Shakespeare: _____
Whitman and Dickinson
The Gothic Tradition
American Literary Environmentalism
Advanced Topics in American Literature to 1865: _____
The Literature of England to 1500
Renaissance English Literature: _____
Milton
British Literature, 1600-1800: _____
Romantic Literature: _____
Victorian LIterature: ______
British Literature. Satisfied by one course (3 hours) from the following:
Topics in British Literature to 1800: _____
Topics in British Literature Since 1800: _____
The British Novel
Major British Writers to 1800
Major British Writers after 1800
Studies in British Literature
Chaucer
Shakespeare
Advanced Topics in British Literature 1800: _____
Advanced Topics in British Literature After 1800: ______
Shakespeare: _____
Irish Literature and Culture: _____
British Literature of the 20th Century: _____
The Gothic Tradition
The Literature of England to 1500
Renaissance English Literature: _____
Milton
British Literature, 1600-1800: _____
Romantic Literature: _____
Victorian LIterature: ______
Studies in: _____
American Literature. Satisfied by one course (3 hours) from the following:
Introduction to Major American Writers
American Literature I
American Literature II
Recent Popular Literature
Jewish American Literature and Culture
Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
Introduction to African-American Literature
Topics in U.S. Ethnic Literature: _____
American Literature of Social Justice
Whitman and Dickinson
William Faulkner
American Literary Environmentalism
Topics in American Literature: _____
American Indian Literature: _____
African American Literature: _____
Literature of the American South
Advanced Topics in American Literature to 1865: _____
Advanced Topics in American Literature Since 1865: _____
Poetry, 1900-1945
Poetry since 1945
Writing or English Language Required Electives (9)
Majors must complete a total of 3 courses (9 hours) of writing and/or English language courses.9
English Required Elective (9)
Majors must complete 3 courses (9 hours) of junior/senior level ENGL courses. Up to 6 credits combined of ENGL 494 (Research Internship) or ENGL 495 (Directed Study) may be applied as major electives; they may not count as English core equivalents. Up to 3 credit hours of ENGL 496 (Internship) or ENGL 497 (Service Learning Internship) can be applied as major elective credit. In addition, the following courses offered in other CLAS departments may be selected: HUM 304, HUM 308, HUM 312, FMS 373, FMS 773.9
Total Hours30

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 30 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 30 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

 

A sample 4-year plan for the BA degree in Literature, Language, and Writing can be found here: Literature, Language and Writing, or by using the left-side navigation.

A sample 4-year plan for the BGS degree in Literature, Language, and Writing can be found using the left-side navigation.

Departmental Honors

To be admitted to the English Honors major program, an undergraduate student must have earned a 3.25 overall grade-point average, and a 3.5 grade-point average in English courses. The student should declare an English major, if enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, or an English concentration, if enrolled in the School of Business or the School of Education.

Honors English majors must complete at least 1 section of ENGL 598 Honors Proseminar: _____ and ENGL 599 Honors Essay. This requirement, in effect, adds 3 hours of capstone-level coursework to the student’s emphasis.