Make a difference in the fight for literacy.

High school English teachers use their love of words and literature to foster and develop verbal and written comprehension skills ensuring student literacy. They also instruct in the areas of grammar, writing, and analyzing works of literature, adapting content to suit students’ interests and abilities.

The UMSL English Education program emphasizes a strong content base in literature, writing, and language study. It also places a premium on professional, up-to-date approaches in literacy education. Excellent field-based experiences in area schools round out the program and make UMSL English Education graduates strong job candidates.


Program type:

Major, BSEd



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Student with Instructor

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education

English Emphasis

The BS in Secondary Education, with an emphasis in English, prepares students to teach in secondary school settings, grades 9-12. This program requires the selection and completion of required coursework in English and includes field and practicum experiences in high school settings, culminating in Missouri teacher certification. 

This program coordinates with the Department of English. Much of the discipline-specific coursework parallels the BA degree in English; however, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires specific coursework for teacher certification. 

Outcomes and Career Outlook

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to improve and enhance student learning; integrate technology to create meaningful student learning; create authentic and deep learning experiences; use learning science principles to design, implement and evaluate curriculum; foster effective working relationships; design and establish a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment; and use equitable frameworks and inclusive practices to create a variety of instructional and assessment opportunities adapted to diverse learners to encourage all students’ critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills.

Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow up to 1% to 2032, with a national median annual salary of $65,220, according to wage and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2032

Career Opportunities

  • Classroom English Teacher, High School


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

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 a secondary education major:

  • EduCATE: Collegiate Association of Teachers and Educators
  • The Writers Group
  • Kappa Delta Pi, Mu Iota Chapter
  • Student Government Association
  • Students of the University of Missouri

Internship opportunities

The College of Education hosts many centers and initiatives that enhance student experiences in our programs and work with more than 36 different public, private and charter schools throughout the region. We also sponsor eight charter schools.

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.