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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in English

Majors Overview February 5, 2015

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in English can teach students to become better readers, critical thinkers, communicators, and writers. Those that graduate from these programs may become writers, editors, or teachers, or they may continue education in order to gain a master’s degree.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in English

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in English are taught critical thinking and interpersonal communication skills. Students spend most of their degree tenure doing research, writing, and revising and editing papers to complete class assignments as well as to publish them in the schools literary journal.
The history of English literature or literary criticism may also be examined by students, in addition to reading the works of famed authors, such as Twain, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Woolf, Dickinson, Milton, and Homer.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Submission of program transcripts may be required of applicants that hold an associate’s degree.

Coursework

While a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program mandates foreign language requirements in its curriculum, coursework in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program in English includes professional writing subjects, such as critical or expository writing, in lieu thereof. Additionally, elective courses in technical writing, grant writing, or creative writing may be included. While coursework varies by institution, core coursework may include these subject areas:

•Composition
•American literature
•British literature
•World literature
•Mythology
•Literary criticism

Career Choices

Graduates of a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in English can seek entry-level careers that include an array of choices, such as public service, advertising, business, or education. Graduates may choose from several job positions, including:

•Teacher
•Copywriter
•Technical writer
•Editor
•Journalist

Job and Wage Outlook

A slower-than-average job growth rate of 6% has been predicted for writers and authors over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, writers and authors banked an average annual salary of $55,940. During the same period, job growth is expected to remain unchanged for editors who, in May 2012, took home an average annual salary of $53,880.

A job growth rate of 17% has been predicted for middle school teachers, including English teachers, over the 2010 – 2020 decade (BLS), while a 7% growth rate has been predicted for high school teachers over that duration. In December 2013, middle school teachers with specializations in the English language banked an average annual salary ranging between $30,591 and $64,035. High school teachers that also specialized in the English language took home an average annual salary ranging between $30,320 and $65,702.

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program may opt for continuing education and seek jobs conducting research or teaching college level English by earning a master’s or doctoral degree in English. Those that successfully complete a B.S. in English can also seek enrollment in graduate programs in several other fields, including communications, information science, political science, and law.

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