Bachelor of Arts (BA): Literature and Culture Degree Overview

A literature and culture bachelor's degree program provides a broad base and critical thinking skills sought after by employers in virtually every occupational field. With a B.A. in Literature and Culture, graduates can explore careers in everything from science to business, or continue their education to the doctorate level. Please read on to find out more.

Essential Information

A Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Culture program can provide students with a greater understanding of themselves and of others, of different cultures and times, and of the world in which they live. In this program, students study the writing, music, history, language and social fabric of many cultures, both ancient and contemporary. Many colleges and universities offer focused programs on a particular region, people or era, and may offer a literature and culture concentration within an English major. Students might also find specific specializations, such as ancient, cinematic, or regional studies, within a culture and literature program. The majority of these programs are offered in a traditional on-campus format.

Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Culture Coursework

Major courses typically are interdisciplinary and delve into the art, literature and languages of one or more cultures. Depending on the program, students might study creative writing styles, classical and contemporary arts, film, mythology and history of a people, country or region. Some common course topics include:

  • Cultural studies
  • Ancient history
  • Anthropology and archaeology
  • Art history
  • Foreign languages
  • Regional literature
  • Communication and Language


While enrolled in a B.A. in Literature and Culture program, students develop skills in the key areas of problem solving, written communication, interpersonal understanding and critical thinking. In addition, they expand their literacy skills, gain fluency in written and oral communication, and learn to develop research, analytical and presentation tools, as well as understand the importance of cultural differences. Each of these skills are highly applicable to the workforce, since reading, writing, communication, decision-making and interpersonal relationship building are valued in every industry.

Career Information

While the knowledge and skills gained in a B.A. in Literature and Culture can be applied to multiple fields and occupations, here are a few common career options graduates might consider.


A bachelor's degree qualifies graduates for a teaching license or certification, which is necessary for teaching in public elementary, middle and high schools. Some postsecondary colleges and schools might accept a bachelor's degree to get a teaching job, though a master's or doctoral degree is usually required, especially at the university level. Most new teaching jobs are expected to be created at the elementary school level, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimating 167,900 openings from 2012-2022. In 2012, the BLS reported that elementary school teachers earned roughly $56,100. Only around 10,600 new jobs were anticipated for English language and literature postsecondary teachers, though they earned greater salaries of about $68,000.

Writing and Editing

Whether writing books, articles, film scripts or other publications, a bachelor's degree program in literature and culture can help writers create clear, relevant works and employ research skills necessary to complete the job. Editors also need a cultural awareness and grammar skills to proofread, correct, make suggestions and rewrite copy for novels, news stories, advertisements or other written pieces. The BLS projected 3,800 new writing jobs from 2012 through 2022, though there should be a decline in editing jobs for those not familiar with online media. The average salary for writers was about $68,400 in 2012, while editors averaged approximately $62,400.

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