Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I decide to major in English?

A degree in English is one of the most versatile of degrees. A student with a Bachelor of English degree possesses the analytical and communicative skills highly desired in numerous professions, including business, law, marketing, public relations, and, of course, teaching. As you consider a major in English, the first and most important step is to meet with an advisor in English who can help you tailor your program to meet your personal and professional goals.
“Every year since 2002, the Graduate Management Admissions Council . . . has surveyed recruiters [from businesses hiring new graduates]. And every year so far, the survey has revealed that  . . . skills employers value most [include] the ability to write and speak clearly and persuasively.” (Fisher, Anne. “The Trouble with MBAs” CNNMoney.com 23 Apr. 2007)

Do I have to take the English classes in any particular order?

No, you may take them in any order you like.  Be aware that although most courses are offered often, some courses are only offered once per year (and a few even less than that), so be sure to see an advisor to know which ones may not come around again soon.

How do I know who my advisor is?

Chandler Whitlock is the advisor for Creative Writing, English Education, Literary Studies, Professional/Technical Writing, and undecided students.

How often should I meet with my advisor?

It is smart to meet with your advisor about once a year to be sure that you are on track for graduation.

What’s the difference between a BA and a BS degree?

A Bachelor of Arts degree from DSU includes foreign language credits, a BS does not.

Does it matter if I get a BA or a BS?

It depends on what you will be doing after you graduate.  If you want to pursue a graduate degree in English, a foreign language is usually a requirement, and therefore, you should get a BA.

What’s the deal with electives?

You have to have 120 credits to get a bachelors degree, and 40 of those have to be upper division (numbered 3000 or above).  Once you’ve completed residency requirements and degree requirements, you can choose any upper division courses to fill out your remaining credits.  Of course, we’d love to have you fill them with English classes, but you can take classes in other areas if you prefer.

Do I have to apply to get into the Education program?  When do I do that?

Yes, you have to be accepted into the Secondary Education Teaching program in order to earn a license to teach English.  This program takes 2 semesters (listed as Professional Courses Semester I and II on the worksheet) and is completed after you finish all other major, G.E., and Education prerequisite courses.  You apply in January before your final year.  So, if you want to do the SET program Fall of 2013 and Spring of 2014, you would need to apply for the program in JANUARY of 2013.

Can I take additional classes while in the SET program?

In the fall: yes.  Lots of folks do.  In the spring: BAD idea.  Student teaching is far too demanding to add additional courses to.

How do I apply for graduation?

Click here for complete instructions.

Do I have to get an Associates degree?

No.  You can get a Bachelors degree directly.

Do I want to get an Associates degree?

It’s up to you.  If you officially receive it, then it can never be taken away.  It’s an achievement.  It also means if you took a year or two off of college (for whatever reason) and General Education requirements changed while you were gone, you would nothave to take the new General Education classes.  Your AA or AS degree would be enough.

Can I do more than one emphasis in English?

No.  As far as the college is concerned (and the outside world), an English degree is an English degree.  You can take electives in another emphasis for experience, but you won’t be getting two degrees.  If you complete the English Education emphasis you will be getting a degree in English and you’ll be a getting a teaching license.

Do I have to decide on my emphasis early on in my studies?

It is recommended that you narrow in on your emphasis while taking the English core classes. These classes are requirements shared for all English majors. Once you experience both literature and writing courses, you may have a better idea of which emphasis would be the best fit for you.

Where will my teaching license work?

You’ll be considered “highly qualified” (under the No Child Left Behind Act) to teach English/Language Arts in grades 6-12 in the state of Utah.  There are also agreements with 47 other states that will allow you to teach there as well (usually after a fairly simple application process).

Do I have to have a license to teach middle or high school English?

Yes.  That’s federal.  There are exceptions and your advisor would be happy to discuss those with you.

What can I do with an English degree?

This depends on your emphasis. While our English Education students generally go on to teach English in secondary education, many of our Literary Studies and Profession/Technical Writing students go on to graduate careers in English, teaching positions, law school, and professional writing careers. For the creative writing emphasis, students often go on to graduate school for an MFA (Master of Fine Arts). English is a wonderful and marketable degree as it can be utilized in many careers in which critical thinking and writing are important.

What areas of emphasis does Dixie State University offer English majors?

We offer four areas of focus: Literary Studies, Professional & Technical Writing, English Education, and Creative Writing. Click here to explore these options.

Can I get a minor in English?

Yes,  Click here to explore your options.

What undergraduate research conferences are available?

Information for Undergraduate Research Conferences can be found here.

What scholarships are available to English majors?

The Alan and Suzan Payne English Scholarship is available to English majors. Click here for more information.

Does the English Department offer an international student exchange program?

Dixie State University and the University of Bremen in Germany are happy to announce a joint partnership which will allow students from each school the opportunity to attend the other school and to become immersed in a different language and culture. Click here for more information.