The bachelor of arts in English provides students with a broad critical and cultural understanding of literature and literary studies, while at the same time emphasizing the writing and analytical skills that are crucial to success in the university, in professional and graduate school and in the workplace.

The program of study is flexible and allows English majors to focus on particular areas of intellectual interest, to pursue electives, minors and second majors in other departments, and to shape their academic careers in line with professional and personal interests. The curriculum is designed for students who:

  • Desire a broad education emphasizing language and literature;
  • Wish to prepare for graduate studies in English or related fields; and
  • Intend to use the background and skills learned in the major as a foundation for careers in writing, editing, law or business.

The curriculum provides majors the opportunity to complete their studies with a small discussion seminar or senior project in their area of emphasis.


  • Creative Writing
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • Linguistics


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English Major Requirements

The Literary Studies major emphasizes literature, critical thinking, and writing. It is the ideal preparation for graduate education in English or literary studies and can also serve as preparation for careers in editing, publishing, and related areas. Because you will learn a broad range of transferable skills in in this major, it works well as a double major or in conjunction with a minor in another department.

Check out the WSU Catalog for major requirements.

The Rhetoric and Professional Writing major is perfect for you if you are preparing for a career in business, public service, law, or other professions requiring strong writing and reading skills. Because communication skills are highly sought by nearly all employers, this is an ideal major for nearly any career.

Check out the WSU Catalog for major requirements.

English Minor Requirements

Minoring in a discipline outside your major field of study, allows you to focus elective credits, expand your perspective, and increase your skills. A minor will make you stand out to potential employers because it demonstrates an eagerness to learn and emphasizes your willingness to go above and beyond minimum expectations.

English Minor

You must complete a minimum of 18 hours in English courses (excluding 101 and 198), half of which must be 300/400-level. ENGL 302 Introduction to English Studies is required.

Professional Writing Certificate

To earn the professional writing certificate, students must complete the following five courses (15 credit hours) with a minimum 3.0 GPA:

  • Anth 350 Speech, Thought, and Culture
  • Engl 301 Writing and Rhetorical Conventions
  • Engl 355 Multimedia Authoring: Exploring New Rhetorics
  • Engl 402 Technical and Professional Writing
  • Engl 498 Internship (must be taken only after the other four courses have been completed)

Professional Writing Minor

The professional writing minor involves 18 credit hours of course work.

Core Courses (6 credits):

  • ENGL 301 Writing and Rhetorical Conventions
  • ENGL 402 Technical and Professional Writing or Engl 403—Technical and Professional Writing ESL
  • ENGL 461  Theory and Practice in Technical and Professional Writing

Elective Courses (12 credits from among the following):

  • ENGL 255 English Grammar
  • ENGL 256 Introduction to Syntax and Semantics
  • ENGL 300 Computers in English or Engl 354—History of the English Language
  • ENGL 355 Multimedia Authoring: Exploring New Rhetorics
  • ENGL 401 History of Rhetoric
  • ENGL 405 Advanced Professional Writing and Editing
  • ENGL478 Usability and Interface Design
  • ENGL 498 Internship

See what other minors and certificates are available at WSU Tri-Cities.


While the majority of students’ courses and credits are completed within the major, the UCORE curriculum provides courses that are the foundation basic skills that all WSU students must develop no matter their major.

The University Common Requirements (UCORE) is the center of the undergraduate curriculum and you will start taking these courses starting your first semester at WSU Tri-Cities. If you took AP, IB, or Running Start courses in high school, then you may already have met some of the requirements.

The UCORE curriculum is designed to be flexible enough to work for all majors. The program offers a wide variety of course choices and provides many individual pathways through the curriculum.

Not admitted yet? Talk with an Admissions Counselor to learn how easy it is to apply.


Transfer students who have completed an approved Associate of Arts and Science (DTA) degree at a Washington or Oregon community college will have fulfilled most of the lower-division UCORE requirements. Because students have to also meet the College of Arts & Sciences requirements, some students must take additional courses in a foreign language in order to complete the degree. Otherwise, transfer students will have their transcripts evaluated for UCORE requirements.

Use the transfer credit equivalency guide to learn how your credits will transfer.

If you are currently enrolled at Columbia Basin College and intend to transfer to WSU Tri-Cities, then check out our Bridges Program that provides a direct academic path.

Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, must complete a minimum of 30 credits of WSU coursework and fill the major requirements to earn a second degree. UCORE requirements are not required as they are met by coursework from the first bachelor’s degree.

Not admitted yet? Talk with an Admissions Counselor to learn how easy it is to apply.


Undergraduate advising is a partnership between you, your professional advisor, and your faculty mentor and it goes beyond course selection. Whether you plan to enter the workforce or continue on to earn an advanced degree, your academic advisors and professional mentors will guide you toward that goal. This holistic approach ensures that you are engaged in your academic plan, connected to the campus community and resources, and earn your degree as efficiently as possible.

Meet your advisor and get started on your academic path.


Liberal Arts Internship Programs offer an individualized, hands-on experience and is an ideal way to gain new skills and build your resume to stand out to potential employers.  Internships serve as a way to apply your classroom knowledge to real-world problem solving and projects.

Prior to completing an online internship packet [link], you are required to meet with your faculty supervisor and the department’s faculty internship coordinator to discuss your internship project.   Once your online internship packet is approved, the packet will be submitted to your Academic Advisor, who will provide you with permission to self-enroll in the course.


English majors develop critical thinking and writing skills that are translatable to a number of careers and the Career Development Office offers workshops on how to develop a job search strategy, write a compelling résumé and cover letter, and sharpen your interview skills – all of which will help you land a job in today’s competitive market.

The Career Development Office also posts on- and off-campus positions for student employees. They also work with students to identify internships, cooperative work experience, and a career opportunities for after graduation.

See how you can become career-ready with a major in English.

Hannah Cain

English Student

During my time at WSU, my twin sister and I were able to meet wonderful professors and people who pushed us to grow in our passion for English. With so many people encouraging me and advising me, my time at WSU became easier and more enjoyable. I am now happily tutoring locally and considering how my future as an English major can develop.

Gibran Escalera

Scholarly Assistant Professor 
Department of English 

Gibran Escalera joined Washington State University, Tri-Cities in 2016 after post-doctoral work at the University of Washington, Seattle. His research specialization is transnational literature from the nineteenth-century to the present, with an emphasis on Border Studies and Critical Race Theory. This research specialization equips him to teach courses on multilingual literatures, social justice, and theories of form. He empowers students to become public intellectuals by developing student writing, close reading, and critical thinking. This commitment to multilingual and cultural literacy as a form of public scholarship is rooted in the belief that institutions of higher learning must continually work toward creating open and equal learning spaces for all students, and he is dedicated to that work at Washington State University, Tri-Cities.  Escalera recently completed a manuscript on U.S.-México border fictions and his article “‘Real lives’ de la frontera” will appear in the Fall 2020 issue of Aztlán.”