The Bachelor of Arts in English program is recommended for students interested in literature and language, in writing and reading, in texts of all types and how they influence and reflect our world. The English major is also an excellent choice for those interested in obtaining a firm foundation for graduate study in programs as wide-ranging as business or law school, communications, cultural studies, and, of course, English and Creative Writing. English majors planning to attend graduate school are strongly urged to take courses in all periods of English and American literature.

To graduate with a major in English, students must achieve a grade-point average of at least 2.0 in the 36-hour program described below, but no credit will be given for courses in which the grade is below C-. No course may fulfill more than one requirement. At least 18 hours must be taken in the English Department at UMKC. Students complete a capstone project in their final year.

No more than one course in Creative Writing may be counted toward the 36-hour requirement for the Literature major. No courses in expository writing or journalism may be used to fulfill the 300- or 400-level elective requirements.

All students with a major in English must fulfill these requirements.  Emphasis areas can be added to the major and they will not be on the diploma, but will be noted in the transcript.

University Requirements

General Education

The UMKC General Education Core is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete.  The 30-credit hour core curriculum includes three course types designated as Anchor, Discourse and Focus and is detailed in the General Education section of the catalog.

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

RooWriter Assessment

Candidates for all baccalaureate degrees must complete the online UMKC RooWriter Writing Assessment after they have passed Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) but before they have attained 90 credit hours. Incoming transfer students with more than 90 credit hours must complete the RooWriter by the end of their first semester of enrollment or within one semester after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent). Students who have not completed the RooWriter Writing Assessment within two semesters after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) will be blocked from enrollment until they successfully complete the RooWriter. Additional information is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations and/or major field exams is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Create coherent academic arguments that are built upon multi-leveled textual analysis.
  • Integrate close reading of primary texts.
  • Situate texts in cultural and/or historical contexts.
  • Engage in critical conversations.
  • Present an essay in ways that reflect a sense of professional rules and conventions.

Program Requirements

Program Specific Recommendations for UMKC General Education Core Coursework

Anchor I 13
Anchor II 13
Anchor III 13
DISC 100Discourse I: Reasoning and Values (Speech and Writing)3
DISC 200Discourse II: Culture and Diversity (Writing and Speech)3
DISC 300Discourse III: Civic and Community Engagement (Speech and Writing)3
Focus A (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Focus B (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Focus C (May be satisfied by Constitution course requirement below)
Focus Elective 13
'Total credits' in this section indicates the number of General Education Core credit hours that are not met by the degree specific requirements outlined below.
Total Credits21

See the UMKC General Education Core section of the catalog for available Anchor and Focus course options.

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877 (Focus C) 1
U.S. History Since 1877 (Focus C) 1
Constitutional History of the United States
Honors American Government (Focus C) 1
American Government (Focus C) 1
Total Credits3

 Course may satisfy both the UMKC General Education Core (Focus C) and Constitution requirements.

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

College of Arts & Sciences Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees must complete a major. Students pursuing the bachelor of liberal arts degree must complete a minor. Additional details are available in the Student Services section of the catalog.

ALEKS Math Placement
Arts and Humanities Division of CAS 16
Science and Math Division of CAS6
Social and Behavioral Sciences Division of CAS6
Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above)3
Foreign Language (3rd Semester Level)9
MATH 110College Algebra (or any 200-level or above Math/Stat course) 23
or MATH 116 Mathematics For Liberal Arts
or MATH 120 Precalculus
Laboratory Science Experience1
Total Credits34

ENGLISH 110, ENGLISH 225, COMM-ST 110, and foreign language courses at 211 or below do not fulfill this requirement.


This requirement may be fulfilled by courses from either the UMKC General Education Core or the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements.

Major Requirements

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 18 of the 36 required hours taken in the department at UMKC with 12 of those hours at the 300-level or above.

All of the following in Literature:
ENGLISH 311American Literature I3
ENGLISH 317British Literature I3
ENGLISH 321American Literature II3
ENGLISH 323Shakespeare3
ENGLISH 327British Literature II3
Select one of the following in Language:3
Introduction To Linguistics/Language Science
Structure Of English
History Of The English Language
Select one of the following in Rhetoric:3
Theory And Practice Of Composition
Language, Literacy, Power
Rhetorics of New Media
Rhetorics of Public Memory
Women And Rhetoric
History And Principles Of Rhetoric
Select four of the following Electives: 112
Myth and Literature (Focus A)
Literary Monstrosities (Focus A)
True Lives: Autobiographical Arts and Acts (Focus A)
Writing About Literature
Popular Literature (Focus A)
Introduction to Human Language (Focus A)
Women and Literary Culture/The Heroine in Literature (Focus A)
Introduction To Undergraduate Study In English
World Literature in English (Focus A)
Introduction To Drama
Introduction To Fiction
Introduction To Poetry
The Craft of Creative Writing
Women Writing/Women Reading (Focus A)
Writing Tutor Training Seminar
Science Fiction (Focus A)
Asian American Literature (Focus A)
Cluster Course: Women In The Ancient World
Cluster Course: American Social Film:Silver Screen&American Dream
Cluster Course: Radical Changes Since 1945
Cluster Course: Race in American Film
Cluster Course: Critical Issues in Women's & Gender Studies
Cluster Course: Ancient World/Cinema (Focus A)
Creative Writing I Fiction
Creative Writing Poetry
Literary Nonfiction
Bible As Literature
Arthurian Legends (Focus A)
Modern And Contemporary Irish Literature
African American Literature I
African American Novel
African American Literature II
Contemporary American Literature
Introduction to Screenwriting
Classical Literature in Translation
Women & Literary Culture: Genre Focus
Women And Literary Culture: Historical Focus
The 18th Century Novel
Special Readings
Special Readings: Detective Fiction
The Novel Before 1900
Studies in Poetry
The Modern Novel
Contemporary Novel
Contemporary Novel
Introduction to Latina/o Literature
Concepts of the Hero in Ancient Literature and World Cinema
Asian American Literature
Old English
Magazine Editing
Harlem Renaissance
Black Women Writers
Renaissance Literature I
Restoration And Early 18th-Century British Literature
The Romantic Period
Modern Poetry
19th-Century American Literature
Medieval Literature
Renaissance Literature II
18th-Century British Literature II
The Victorian Period
Contemporary Poetry
20th-Century American Literature
18th-Century British Literature
Histories Of Writing, Reading, And Publishing (if content is appropriate)
Postcolonial Literature
Shakespeare and Film
American Culture
Girls And Print Culture
Playwriting I
Playwriting II
Theory and Criticism in English Studies
External Internship
Publication Practicum
Publication Practicum
Special Readings
Shakespeare Comedies And Histories
Early English Drama
Modern Drama, 1880-1945
Studies In The Novel 1740-1900
Special Offerings
Shakespeare Tragedies And Romances
Restoration And 18th-Century Drama
Contemporary Drama II
Medieval Methods & Paleography
Studies In The Modern Novel
Introduction To Descriptive Linguistics
Capstone Experience 23
Select one of the following:
Any 400-level English course in literature or linguistics that is cross-listed with a graduate level course in English
Senior Tutorial 3
Total Credits36

Only one English course at the 100- or 200-level may be used to fulfill an elective requirement. At least two of the four electives must be at the 400-level. Two of the four electives must cover periods prior to 1900. 

No more than one course in Creative Writing may be counted toward the 36-hour requirement for the Literature major. No courses in expository writing or journalism may be used to fulfill the 300- or 400-level elective requirements.


Please see the Director of Undergraduate Studies to apply for the Capstone course. All students must complete a Capstone contract, signed by the instructor and submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies before the end of the third week of the semester in which the Capstone course is being taken.


Approval is required by a tenure-line faculty member and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for enrollment in ENGLISH 499.

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives26

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major.

UMKC’s Degree Audit System provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education Core, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.