English Undergraduate Studies
Bachelor of Arts in English
The English Program at Texas A&M University-San Antonio engages students’ intellectual imagination. We offer undergraduate degrees with three different emphases: Bachelor of Arts in English-Literature Emphasis; Bachelor of Arts in English-Teaching Emphasis; Bachelor of Arts in English-Rhetoric and Writing Emphasis. We also offer a minor in English. Students in the major all take the same foundational courses including Introduction to English Studies, Intersectional Shakespeare, Introduction to Rhetoric, Introduction to Critical Theory, and either African American literature or Latinx Literature. Once students have completed the course work for their emphasis, they will all take a capstone course appropriate for the emphasis.
Students who graduate from the English program are prepared for graduate and professional schools, as well as careers in teaching, technical and professional writing, editing and publishing, information services and technology, government and non-profit agencies, among other fields.
Majoring in English at Texas A&M University-San Antonio brings you into contact with a diverse body of texts from all historical periods and major genres. Engaging with these texts in our courses will sharpen your critical faculties and improve your writing skills. The English major connects your passion for literature, writing, and imaginative expression to highly marketable skills, including analytical writing, critical interpretation, original inquiry and research, and the ability to discuss, debate, and develop complex ideas.
Generally small class sizes mean you will work closely with our award-winning faculty, who display their passion for teaching in lively, student-centered, and discussion-based classes. In addition to teaching excellence, our faculty members are also active scholars in their fields, regularly presenting their research at national and international conferences and publishing in literary journals and critical anthologies. Recent class topics have included mythology and fairy tales, American horror stories, the study of comics and graphic novels, and Beyoncé and Black Feminisms. In rhetoric classes, students have enjoyed thinking about cultural geographies and composing across digital interfaces. Students can therefore expect cutting-edge course topics and designs, as well as teachers who introduce them to recent developments in literary and rhetorical criticism.
Who Should Apply?
To be or not to be an English major—that is the question. Students often wonder what an English degree entails, and whether or not studying is English is right for them. Certainly, being an avid reader and lover of literature is an incentive to join the program. The degree, however, entails more than finding pleasure in books. By studying English at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, you will learn and refine in-demand skills and become prepared for a wide range of careers or future graduate study. If you’re unsure about the value of a B.A in English, consider:
- Studying English cultivates valuable and marketable skills, namely excellence in reading, writing, critical thinking, and creative thinking.A USA Today survey lists “writing skills” as the #1 skill employers want (USA Today: “What Employers Want”) and Forbes lists “critical thinking” as the skill most likely to get you hired (“10 Skills That Will Get You Hired”).
- English majors are prepared for a wide range of careers, from teaching to copyediting and publishing, non-profit work, government service, marketing, and many others. The degree also serves as excellent preparation for graduate programs that require strong writing and critical thinking skills, such as law school.
- The English degree may very well be the degree for the twenty-first century. Studying literature, writing, and rhetoric will help you make sense of and navigate a modern world filled with constant reading and writing, from text messages to online content, social media communication, and other digital forms of expression. Contemporary life is filled with a stream of visual/verbal messages, and the critical reading and thinking skills of the English major empower you to be savvy critics and creators of such digital texts.
- Current neurological research suggests that reading and thinking about literature really does make you smarter! Engaging with literature deepens the neural networks that enable complex thought (Psychology Today: “Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function”), which is essential since employers want practical knowledge connected to “whole brain” skills: creativity, inquiry, effective written and oral communication, interpersonal skills, and the ability to think critically and analytically (Chronicle of Higher Education: “Skills Gap?”).
Why English at A&M-San Antonio?
Here are just a few of the many reasons why it’s great to be an English major at Texas A&M University-San Antonio:
- Small class sizes and an emphasis on student discussion and interaction
- Faculty committed to excellence in teaching and personalizing your education
- Degree plan that provides you with a comprehensive education in the discipline and prepares you for a wide range of careers
- A supportive and intellectually stimulating environment with plenty of opportunities for extracurricular activities and participation in program events
- Classrooms equipped with sophisticated computer and multimedia technology
But don’t just take our word for it! Here are testimonials from current and graduated English majors with details about their experiences in our program:
Vincent Palomo-Ramirez, BA 2015
“The English program at Texas A&M-San Antonio has a staff of academic professionals that not only improved my academic writing, but also helped enhance the creative aspects of my writing as well. The small classes allow the professors to create very hospitable environments where students can express their thoughts about various ethical concepts regarding the literature. The professors are passionate about the ideas discussed in class and often relate each subject to the surrounding population. Also, the critical analysis within the English program has helped me in my other classes. My organization, research methods, paragraph development, and ability to sustain an argument within each paper has upgraded drastically. The English professors are very approachable, respond promptly to emails, have many options for office hours, and are always willing to help… if you ask of course!
In the English program you will not have to write just long academic papers. Each class usually provides the student at least one way to express themselves creatively. Keeping the text/ideas from text in mind, students can recite poetry, act in a skit or video, paint, draw, create a soundtrack, or even make a sculpture/replica.”
Coral Rosario, BA 2015
“Every semester, I read, I wrote, and I leveled up, expanding my mind and improving my writing and communication skills. There is more to it, though. Lively class discussions and plentiful feedback made me realize I have an interesting and valid perspective to share. My generous professors and spirited peers also challenged me to look beyond myself. As I attempted to understand how literature reflects, critiques, and shapes our world, I was inspired. So, I write. Perhaps my words could do the same.”
Sabrina San Miguel, BA 2015
“As a single mother and nontraditional Chicana student, I did not know what to expect when I transferred to the English program at Texas A&M-San Antonio. I must say that I never expected this department to impact me in the way it has! In my first year alone, my writing and ability to analyze works of literature improved beyond measure. The professors coaxed critical-thinking out of me that I had no idea existed. When I go to class I am not reluctantly dragging my feet down the hall. In fact, I am usually there pretty early and eager to discuss the reading we were assigned with the rest of my peers. The English department is more than just academics though; it has proven to be my family, with A&M-SA being a second home. The relationships I have developed with my professors and other likeminded individuals are unlike anything I ever expected to experience. This program has not only challenged me but has made me feel like I belong here. I am now the Literature Club President and plan to further my education at Texas A&M-San Antonio beyond my Bachelor’s degree, something I never saw myself doing before but now feel prepared enough to do so!”
Victoria Ortiz, BA 2016
“I decided to enter the English department at A&M-SA because the program presented itself as distinguished in a relatively new university, and it has exceeded my expectations. I have been blown away by my professors, and their classes. The books they chose to teach have been life-changing reads, and their various teaching methods have been both unique and inspiring. I couldn’t ask for a better experience. I could only hope that any student interested in an English degree would be able to take advantage of the benefits this program has to give. It has made me appreciate my major, and made me a proud Jaguar!”