What Are the Core Courses in an English Language Degree Program?

Core courses required for an English language degree give you a foundation in the history, theories and forms of English language and literature. Although classes may vary from college to college, all core courses can prepare you for detailed study of the English language in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. Read on for more information about these courses. Schools offering English Language & Literature degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Core English Language Courses

Although the curricula of English language degree programs varies between schools, the core courses are similar. According to the University of Washington, core courses in an English language degree program fall into three major categories, with students earning a minimum of five credits from each category:

  • Theories and methodologies of language and literature
  • Forms and genres of language and literature
  • Histories of language and literature

Important Facts About English Language Degrees

Entry-Level Education High School Diploma or GED Equivalent
Degree Fields English, Literature
Key Skills Reading and Writing Comprehension, Attention to detail, Interpersonal communication
Possible Careers Author, Copywriter, Teacher
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 7% (For Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers)
Median Salary (2018) $57,980 (For Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Theories and Methodologies of Language and Literature

These courses introduce you to a range of recognized theoretical and philosophical practices in the study of English language and literature. The core courses are designed to give you a clear understanding of literature, language and culture.

Forms and Genres of Language and Literature

This course of study focuses on the written and literary modes of English, including poetry, novels, short stories, drama and screenplays. Because the readings encompass older and emerging types of written expression, the historical aspects of genres are explored.

Histories of English Language and Literature

These courses explore the historical development of the English language, focusing on the historical aspects of literature and culture. You'll be introduced to the way in which literature has shaped history.

The University of Washington explains that these core courses offer varied study opportunities within an English language degree program. You may study Shakespeare, African American literature, English literature in the Middle Ages, Jewish literature and Renaissance literature. For students of poetry, areas of study may include the Bible as literature, Chaucer, romantic poetry, classic American poetry and contemporary poetry.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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