English Degree (B.A.), Writing Concentration

Offerings in the Writing Concentration encourage students to develop their talents in four disciplinary areas: creative writing, professional writing, journalism, and rhetoric. Every student is also required to take at least one semester-long internship, and most students choose to study one area of writing in more depth, such as poetry or prose (fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting) in the creative area, or journalism (feature writing, editing, sportswriting) or teaching of writing in the professional area.

  • Our “Career Preparation for Writers” and required internship prepare students for a variety of careers in writing
  • Our writing students gain experience with journalism, rhetoric, creative and professional writing
  • Our alumni return to mentor students, help them make career connections, and share their writing
  • Our graduates go on to top MFA programs in writing and publish their creative work

Requirements

Program Description

Offerings in the Writing Concentration encourage students to develop their talents in three disciplinary areas: creative writing, professional writing, and rhetoric. Every student is also required to take at least one semester-long internship, and most students choose to study one area of writing in more depth, such as poetry or prose (fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting) in the creative area, or journalism (feature writing, editing, sportswriting) or teaching of writing in the professional area.

Requirements For All English Majors
  1. A minimum of 45 credits is required within the English major.
  2. Completion of at least two college semesters of one foreign language is required, unless during high school the student has (a) completed three years of study of one foreign language, or (b) completed two years of study in each of two foreign languages. A student may also satisfy the foreign language requirement by passing a proficiency examination designed nationally and administered locally.
  3. Students who transfer into the English major from other institutions must complete 21 credit hours in English at Westfield State University.

Students may satisfy three of the required six credits in the Literary and Philosophical analysis area of the core with any of the courses on the following list. English Education students may satisfy all 6 of the required Literary and Philosophical analysis credits with courses from this list.

Requirements for the Writing Concentration - 45 Credits

Students completing the Writing Concentration take four courses (or 12 credits) in the Literature area as defined below, and eleven courses (or 33 credits) in the Writing area for a total of 45 credits.

Literature - 12 Credits

A total of four courses (12 credits) are required according to the following distribution:

Maximum of 1 course from the 100-level including:

Minimum of 1 course from the 200-level including:

Minimum of 1 literature course from the 300-level including:

Note:

* One course must be a Diverse Literary Traditions course (indicated with *).

Writing - 27 Credits
Careeer Planning - 6 Credits

Writing Concentration students are required to complete two courses in Career Preparation. A 3-credit internship in English, ENGL 0380, which provides supervised work experience in a non-classroom context and setting. During their junior or senior year, students apply skills learned in the program in occupational settings and real-world consequences. Work experience gained through the Internship typically culminates in a more competitive post-graduate job placement or graduate school acceptance rate. For Writing Concentration students an internship is a critical part of their preparation for entering the workforces, and interns often parlay their experience directly into paid employment as an extension of their professional relationship with their respective organizations when their internships are completed. Career Preparation for Writers, ENGL 0329, helps to ensure that students develop the tools they need to be professional writers, including putting together portfolios, preparing job materials, and writing personal statements.

Additional Graduation Requirements

All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core .

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