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

A literature and culture bachelor's degree can be used in many occupational fields. With a B.A. in Literature and Culture, students can explore careers in everything from science to business, or continue their education at the doctorate level.

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. Specializations include communication, philosophy, and women's studies. The majority of these programs are offered in a traditional on-campus format.

Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Culture

As with most bachelor's degree programs, students can expect to spend four years earning their degree. Programs generally consist of 120 credit hours. Special admissions requirements are rare; students usually only need a high school diploma. 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
  • Creative writing
  • Microeconomic principles
  • Global foundations of business
  • Narrative forms

Career Information

While the knowledge and skills gained in a B.A. in Literature and Culture can be applied to multiple fields and occupations, common career options include professions involving teaching, writing, and editing.

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. College professors can expect a promising job market, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimating 177,000 total openings from 2014-2024. In 2015, the BLS reported that elementary school teachers averaged roughly $57,730 per year. English language and literature postsecondary teachers earned an average salary of about $71,210.

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 a 5% decline in job growth for editors from 2014 to 2024. The average salary for writers was about $69,130 in 2015, while editors averaged approximately $64,910.

A four-year literature and culture bachelor's degree program typically has coursework that includes cultural studies and creative writing. Students gain skills such as writing clearly and researching.

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