Embrace your love of words with a bachelor’s degree in English

Discover the transformative power of literature with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Our English degree program immerses you in the world of great literary works and equips you with exceptional writing skills to become a critical consumer and creator of digital content.

The Department of English offers a rich educational experience that spans classic British and American literature to contemporary, multifaceted narratives. Through classroom learning, research, internships and creative projects, you’ll explore diverse literary themes and develop sought-after analytical and communication skills for a broad range of career paths.

As an UMSL English major, you’ll learn to wield language for the greater good, engaging with texts that challenge, entertain and transform. You’ll not only develop a deep love for words but also learn to use them to advocate for awareness and change.

Add a writing specialization to your English degree

Unleash your inner wordsmith by complementing your bachelor’s degree in English with one of three writing certificates:

  • Creative Writing: Ignite your imagination and explore fiction, poetry, playwriting and more, all while developing your unique voice.
  • Professional Writing: Build persuasive, informative and analytical writing skills to excel in careers like marketing, communications, grant writing and more.
  • Technical Writing: Master the art of clear and concise communication by crafting user manuals, proposals and other technical documents.


Program type:

Major, BA



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Why earn your English degree at UMSL?

UMSL’s BA in English equips you with in-demand expertise for a wide variety of professions. Program highlights include:

  • Diverse academics: Explore diverse literary genres, including Irish, American and British literature, and unique courses such as the Rhetoric of Horror, Sport Literature and Disability Studies.
  • Focused writing studies: Customize your English degree with a specialization in creative, professional or technical writing. Explore publishing with courses like Writers at Work and contribute to Litmag , our award-winning, student-run literary and arts journal.
  • Dedicated faculty: Learn from award-winning faculty with diverse research and teaching interests. Our faculty are committed to excellence in teaching and mentorship.
  • A supportive learning environment: Our Department of English offers small classes that foster collaborative learning. We also offer numerous scholarships for English majors.

What an you do with an English degree?

You can pursue many careers with a degree in English. Our Bachelor of Arts in English prepares you for diverse opportunities in administrative, commercial, nonprofit, training and other settings that demand strong critical thinking, writing, analytical, communication and rhetorical abilities.

Our English majors excel in traditional writing roles, crafting resumes, proposals, grants and technical documents or contributing to literary journals. Many graduates also leverage the adaptability of their English degree in areas such as project management, instructional design, real estate, game design, museum curation, banking and entrepreneurial endeavors.

With an emphasis on communication, our bachelor’s degree in English also translates seamlessly to the digital world, where our English majors are highly sought after for their social media management, content creation and marketing expertise.

Additionally, UMSL English majors consistently score well on the LSAT, GMAT and GRE, making them strong candidates for graduate programs. Our English degree provides a solid foundation for graduate study in English, rhetoric/composition, public policy, library science and law. This opens doors to a variety of exciting career paths, from research and teaching roles to specialized professions.

The all-around skills of English majors make graduates perennially sought after by organizations and businesses for a wide range of career opportunities. This includes positions such as technical writer, with a median annual salary of $75,930 and 4% job growth through 2032, according to wage and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2032

Career Opportunities

  • Author
  • Content Manager
  • Copywriter or Editor
  • Educator
  • Grant Writer
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Journalist
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Social Media Manager
  • Technical Writer

Plan of study

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements Review Sample Four-Year Plan Download 4-Year Academic Map

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Student organizations

Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations. Here are several opportunities you may be interested in as an English major:

The Department of English publishes two literary magazines, one of which, Litmag, is edited by undergraduate English majors and features art, poetry and fiction from the UMSL community. In addition, the English department staffs and administers the campus Writing Center, providing students across campus with face-to-face and online tutoring appointments.

Honors College

The UMSL Honors College is a certificate program that can be paired with any major without adding extra classes or extending time to graduate. Classes in the Honors College are seminar-style, meaning that they are based in reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking. This unique class format fosters an intellectual climate centered around democracy, diversity, civility and academic excellence.

Undergraduate research

We encourage and support students as they engage in exciting activities in and outside of the classroom that enrich their academic and professional understanding of their chosen area of study. All majors are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to produce discipline-specific intellectual or creative innovations to their field.