Bachelor's Degree in English Language: Program Overview

Students enrolled in an English language bachelor's degree program can focus on many areas, such as linguistics, literature or education. Learn more about common courses of study, plus career, and continuing education opportunities for degree holders.

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Essential Information

A four-year bachelor's degree program in English language can focus on different aspects of the subject. Some courses look at the history, grammar, and ancient forms of English, such as classes that relate to linguistics. Students can also concentrate on literature courses covering particular genres or time periods. Creative writing may be another area of interest within English language programs. Individuals who wish to teach English will need to take additional education courses in order to obtain a teaching license.

Students entering an English language program typically need a high school diploma, strong writing and reading skills, and may be required to complete general education courses. Some colleges and universities offer online degree programs in this subject area.

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  • American Literature
  • British Literature

Bachelor's Degree in English Language

The study of linguistics covers such topics as etymology and phonetics, while literature courses look at writing styles throughout history. Courses may focus on specific areas of literature, such as African-American poetry, 20th-century novels, and Shakespearean plays. Some common courses for an English language program are included below.

  • English grammar and usage
  • Syntactic structure
  • British literature
  • Applied linguistics and literary theory
  • Expository writing and English composition
  • Studies in rhetoric

Popular Career Options

Individuals who graduate with a bachelor's degree in English language have a variety of employment opportunities to choose from. Possible industries include, but aren't limited to, law, media, and business. Some English language graduates find employment in public relations and communications, while others enter the fields of education and journalism.

  • English teacher
  • Copywriter
  • Editorial assistant
  • Reporter
  • Managing editor or technical writer
  • Speechwriter

Continuing Education

A bachelor's degree in English language is a good foundation for students applying to graduate or professional programs. Law school is a popular option for many English language graduates, but master's degrees in English are also available. A Doctor of Philosophy in English is offered by a large number of universities. Some institutions even allow graduate students to earn their English degrees online.

A bachelor's degree program in English language offers several course specializations, such as literature, linguistics, education, and creative writing. Graduates of these programs may go on to pursue master's or doctoral degrees, or find careers in fields like writing, teaching, and journalism.

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