• English and Professional Writing


    Why UC

    This degree is very flexible – the skills you learn can be applied to many different industries.

    Professional writing combines courses to help you develop the ability to write in several types of professional environments.

    Flexible curriculum choices, including the opportunity to double major.

    You will have access to internships with local newspapers and magazines.

    You have the opportunity to be a lifetime member of Sigma Tau Delta, a national recognized English Honorary Society.

    About English and Professional Writing

    The English major is designed to provide critical thinking, reading, writing and research skills essential for careers in law, media, education, business and medicine. You’ll gain the tools to analyze texts within their historical, cultural and critical contexts, as well as to communicate effectively in writing to a variety of audiences for different goals. You will develop the ability to write well, organize ideas, create strong arguments, develop their creativity and research skills, and more.




    What You'll Learn

    The English literature concentration provides an overview of the major cultural trends in British, American, and World literature.

    The Professional Writing concentration is designed to focus on writing in the professional world, and includes courses in journalism, public relations and creative writing.

    • English Literature Concentration
      1. Identify a wide range of literary texts & periods, including historical and contemporary works by British, American, and World authors, works by female authors, and works by authors of color across several genres.
      2. Literature Surveys

        One course each in the British, American, and World literature clusters, plus 3 credit hours of the student's choosing in one of the clusters:

        Credit / Course / Title

        • 3 ENGL 202 or ENGL 203 British Literature from Beowulf to 1798 or British Literature: Romantics to the Present
        • 3 ENGL 219 or ENGL 220 American Literature Survey I or American Literature Survey II
        • 3 ENGL 230 or ENGL 231 Western World Literature or Non-Western World Literature
        • 3 ENGL XXX Literature Survey Elective (one of the above courses)

        12 Total credits

      3. Engage in meta-cognition and critical thinking as he or she reads, interprets, analyzes, and evaluates individual texts, taking into account the relationships among the text, context, critical context, and subtext.
      4. Literature

        Credit / Course / Title

        • 3 ENGL 302 Literary Criticism

        Literature Electives (choose 15 credit hours from the below table)

        • 3 ENGL 312 Shakespeare
        • 3 ENGL 320 Multiculturalism
        • 3 ENGL 326 Literature and Gender
        • 3 ENGL 330 Studies in Period
        • 3 ENGL 335 Drama
        • 3 ENGL 336 Literature and Film
        • 3 ENGL 350 Special Topics

        18 Total credits

      5. Conduct research (electronic and nonelectronic) for the purpose of exploring, documenting, evaluating, and publishing conclusions orally and in writing.
      6. Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences and in a variety of modes.
      7. Writing and Language

        Credit / Course / Title

        • 3 ENGL 345 Advanced Writing

        Writing and Language electives (choose 3 credit hours)

        • 3 ENGL 241 Business Writing
        • 3 ENGL 315 Linguistics
        • 3 ENGL 340 Creative Writing
        • 3 COMM 323 Screenwriting

        6 Total credits

      8. Students will also complete a Senior Capstone
      9. Credit / Course / Title

        • 3 ENGL 405 Senior Capstone

        39 Total credits for the Major

    • Professional Writing Concentration

      This concentration is designed to help students who want to focus on writing in the professional world. The curriculum draws from English, Public Relations, and Communications classes in order to give students a background in writing in several key professional areas. Because students will graduate with a BA in English, we believe that having a broad background in literature is also necessary and will help students hone their reading, writing, and research skills.

      Required English Core (24 credit hours total) Credit hours

      • 3 English literature survey course
      • 3 American literature survey course
      • 3 World literature survey courses
      • 3 ENGL 300-level electives*
      • 3 ENGL 300-level electives*
      • 3 ENGL 300-level electives*
      • 3 ENGL 345: Advanced Writing
      • 3 ENGL 405: Senior Capstone

      24 Total credits

      Writing Concentration (16 credit hours total)

      • 3 ENGL 340: Creative Writing
      • 3 ENGL 361: Newspaper Practicum
      • 3 ICOMM 221: Journalism
      • 3 ICOMM 325: Feature Writing
      • 3 ICOMM 230: Graphic Design I
      • 3 ICOMM 362: Public Relations Writing (Prerequisite ICOMM 225 )
      • (Introduction to Public Relations)

      16 Total credits

      *Students are encouraged to select their three 300-level ENGL classes from the following, because of their unique concentration on writing and language:

      • ENGL 315: Linguistics
      • ENGL 326: Literature and Gender
      • ENGL 307: Appalachian Literature
      • ENGL 320: Multiethnic Literature

      40 Total credit hours for Professional Writing concentration in English

      Students are strongly encouraged to pursue an internship during their junior or senior year.

      Students are also encouraged to pursue courses in Business and Marketing, depending on their career interests. For example, students may wish to take MRKT 401: Advertising (Principles of Advertising). Please note that MRKT 401 has prerequisites of BUSI 150 and MRKT 321.

    • Regional Studies in Appalachia Minor

      The Regional Studies in Appalachia minor provides students an opportunity to study local culture in a concerted, interdisciplinary way, with courses spanning from English to Social Sciences to Business. The minor could make a student in any major more attractive to a prospective employer after graduation. Contact Professor Dunlap about declaring the minor.

      Choose six out of the seven following courses:

      • English 307: Appalachian Literature (online only) 
      • SSCI 310: WV and Appalachian Region 
      • English 315: Linguistics 
      • Geography 303: World and Regional Geography 
      • UNIV 45x: Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Problems in Appalachia 
      • Entrepreneurship 2xx: Social Entrepreneurship
      • English 338: Appalachian Folkways

      Map of West Virginia
      (A.D. Bache, Map of the State of Virginia. 1863. U.S. Coast Survey. Courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Collection).



    Admission Requirements

    Students must gain general admission to the University of Charleston. A visit to campus to meet with Admissions personnel and program faculty is strongly encouraged.


    How Much Will it Cost Me?

    View our Tuition & Fees page for detailed information.

    Fact Sheet

    Download the English Fact Sheet

    Find out more about this program by downloading our Fact Sheet – a brief view of what our program is all about.

    Curriculum & Course Catalog

    Download the Curriculum & Course Catalog

    Learn more about the course, curriculum, and graduation requirements.


    Clubs & Honors

    Sigma Tau Delta

    Sigma Tau Delta is a nationally recognized English Honorary Society. Membership allows students access to national scholarships and publishing opportunities. UC's campus chapter is a vibrant organization, sponsoring book drives, poetry readings, literary theme based student activities, and group outings at local theater productions.

    Job Opportunities

    • Writing for newspapers, magazines or other media outlet
    • Social media manager
    • Technical writer
    • Grant writer
    • Librarian
    • Teacher
    • Public Relations
    • Reporter/photographer
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Many UC English majors go on to graduate school to pursue careers in teaching, law, government and business


    Program Faculty

    Jeannie Dalporto
    Jeannie Dalporto

    Program Coordinator of English
    Assistant Professor of English

    Hallie Chillag Dunlap
    Hallie Chillag Dunlap

    Assistant Professor of Social Sciences
    Regional Studies in Appalachia