B.A. in English
Explore the power of texts in human cultures and imaginations.
English majors at the University of Mississippi encounter novels, poems, stories, epics, plays, films, autobiographies and more from the year 449 CE to today. Students will navigate the stimulating and diverse world of English-language literatures. They may also select an emphasis in creative writing where they develop their own voice. Students complete a literary interpretation course, courses across five literature periods or groups, and a capstone course with a significant research and writing component.
The annual John and Renee Grisham Fellowship and the Summer Poet in Residence program bring renowned creative writers to campus to join our nationally acclaimed faculty. From hosting the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference to attending book readings at the Thacker Mountain Radio Show on the Square, students and faculty members see themselves as heirs to the rich literary history of Oxford.
A liberal arts education empowers and prepares graduates to deal with complexity and change through a broad knowledge of the world. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with a diverse group of people. Related careers to English include journalism, education, marketing and social media, professional and creative writing, information technology and science, editing and publishing, medicine, public relations, law, communications, politics, advertising, activism, and more.
Our creative writing and academic essay contests provide scholarships and allow students to showcase their talents outside as well as in the classroom. Students have been recognized in the Southern Literary Festival, Mississippi Review competition, & the UM Cinema Competition. They publish in the undergraduate literary magazine, Hyperbole, and work for various student media outlets.
B.A. in English Faculty
Students will find many decorated scholars among our 42 faculty members in the Department of English at the University of Mississippi including Karen Raber, current Executive Director of the Shakespeare Association of America, novelist and screenwriter Chris Offutt (True Blood, Treme, Weeds, Country Dark), Mississippi's Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly, memoirist and essayist Kiese Laymon (Heavy), poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil (winner of the Pushcart Prize), and the award-winning novelist Tom Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter).
A major in English for the B.A. degree consists of 30 hours beyond the 200-level literature courses (Eng 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226) required by the College of Liberal Arts. English majors must take Eng 299 (Literary Interpretation) as well as 27 upper-division hours, including at least 12 hours at the 400 or 500 level. In addition to Eng 299, students must take one course in each of five categories: Medieval Period, Early Modern Period, 18th and 19th Centuries, 20th and 21st Centuries, and Counter-Canon and Critical Issues. The same course may satisfy more than one category, but students must still complete the total hours for the major. One of the 400-level courses must be a capstone seminar. English majors may choose a creative writing emphasis by taking 12 hours of creative writing classes. The creative writing emphasis consists of Eng 300 (Introduction to Creative Writing) and three of the following courses: Eng 301, 302, 303, 304, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405.
Admission requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in English program are the same as the general undergraduate admission requirements.
Julie (B.A. in biochemistry and English, 2011) participated in science research and explored Spanish, but turned to her love of English for the honors thesis where she examined songs in the plays of Shakespeare, exploring the meaning of song and music in Renaissance culture. She earned her medical degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, completed an internship in pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and is finishing a dermatology residency in Portland, Oregon. She is applying for a pediatric dermatology fellowship.
Why study English at UM?
"The study of English is multifaceted--you're learning literature, language, culture, art, philosophy--and you're honing your skills in speaking and writing. The ability to communicate is so valuable in life, and what better place to learn this than in Oxford, MS? The English Department is stellar, and there is something about this place that inspires development and creativity. I never did study abroad in the traditional sense, but my English classes definitely provided me with an opportunity to travel. I spent four years traveling through time and space and humanity with writers, professors and fellow students in our exploration of the English language. I stepped in and out of books and stories and essays, each time gaining an appreciation of how language is manipulated to create meaningful expression and convey ideas and truths about ourselves and our world. People may ask, 'Why a B.A. in English?' I tell them I like to travel."
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