Jul 22, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

English — Literature Emphasis, BA, with Teaching Endorsement Option

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Department of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

65 credits (58 additional credits for teacher certification)


English is one of the central liberal arts degrees. A background in English provides graduates with a sound basis for pursuing a variety of careers, including law, business, education, publishing and government, as well as graduate work in creative writing, language, literary and cultural studies, and critical writing. English engages students in diverse literary heritages as well as fosters the development of sophisticated abilities in critical analysis, creative inquiry, reflective reading, and effective communication and expression.

Why Consider a Literature Emphasis with Teaching Endorsement Option Major?

The English - Literature Emphasis with Teaching Endorsement Option major focuses on the study of literatures in historical and cultural contexts and includes course work in English language and linguistics, literary theory, and composition and rhetoric, and creative writing. Students in the writing studies, creative writing, and most literature courses are expected to write thoughtful, organized, and clear essays that are free of mechanical errors. If you think you need help with your reading and writing, we strongly encourage you, in addition to your work in English courses, to consult the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio and other university resources.

The English - Literature Emphasis with Teaching Endorsement Option offers students the opportunity for both breadth and depth in the study of literature and culture. In the “Literature and Culture” courses (ENG 307-311; ENG 317-321), which are the core of the major, students gain a sense of historical scope as they explore literatures from a range of periods. In addition, majors take required courses in critical and cultural theory, writing and the history and theory of language. All of these courses provide a solid foundation for intensive study of specialized topics in the upper-level electives and in the senior seminar.

The English – Literature Emphasis with Teaching Endorsement Option major leads to a baccalaureate degree without teacher certification. To receive a recommendation for state of Washington teacher certification with an English Language Arts endorsement, students must complete courses within the English – Literature Emphasis with Teaching Endorsement Option major as specified herein, and the teacher certification program offered by the Department of Secondary Education as one of the following:

  • A part of the undergraduate baccalaureate degree
  • A post-baccalaureate program
  • A part of the Master in Teaching program

See the Secondary Education  section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements. Regulations for teaching endorsement are subject to change. Contact the English Education advisor.

 Contact Information

Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Elle Starr
Humanities 327

English Education Advisor
Steven VanderStaay
Humanities 273


Secondary Education Program Manager
Janna Cecka

Secondary Education website

Teacher Education Admission
Miller Hall 254F

 Sample Careers

Education (teaching or administrating) | Graduate work in Literature and Creative Writing | Graduate work in Composition and Language

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Schedule an online appointment with the English Department’s Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Elle Starr, to declare this major. You can visit chss.wwu.edu/english-department/advising to schedule your meeting. The prerequisites for declaring the major are 60 credits completed and ENG 202.

Though the English Department cannot guarantee immediate enrollment in the major or access to any specific class, we matriculate students into the major on a rolling basis as space is available and offer a wide variety of topics each term.

Advising Tips: Students are strongly encouraged to meet with the English Education Advisor, Steven VanderStaay, early in their careers at Western. Students should declare their major by the start of their junior year.

English Secondary Education Advisor: Students must meet with a secondary education academic advisor in the English Department, Steven VanderStaay, to complete a plan of study.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors. Courses required for a state teaching endorsement must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.

Requirements (65 credits)

Optional Requirements

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