English Teaching Major (B.A.)

English Teaching Major (B.A.)
English students doing group work at white board

The final steps to becoming a teacher are completing a Master’s program in the Education Department and applying for New Hampshire teacher certification.

What is English teaching?

Do you enjoy working with young adults? Do you love to share your enthusiasm for literature? Do you like to help others with their writing? If so, consider becoming an English teacher. This program will prepare you to teach middle- or high-school level English. You’ll study English literature and grammar, human development and learning, the education system and teaching practices. In your senior year, you’ll be able to apply for a fifth year of study and internship to fulfill New Hampshire’s teaching certification requirements.

Why study English teaching at UNH?

The final steps to becoming a teacher are completing a master’s program in the Education Department and applying for New Hampshire teacher certification. Students who choose one of these programs will complete graduate-level coursework and undertake a yearlong teaching internship where they will collaborate with a teacher to apply their knowledge in a classroom. As a certified teacher in New Hampshire, you’ll also be qualified to teach in several other states. You’ll find inspiration through a variety of local programs offering opportunities to get involved with teaching English as a second language, primary and secondary education, and writing.

Potential careers

  • Adult education teacher
  • English teacher
  • ESL program coordinator
  • Principal
  • Writer
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Curriculum & Requirements

Are you passionate about serving your community? Do you enjoy reading, writing, creative thinking and imagination? Are you eager to shape the future? The English teaching major could be a wonderful choice for you!

English teaching majors synthesize knowledge across areas — literature, language, composition, speaking, listening, identity, linguistics and education, just to name a few. We think critically and collaborate. We spark learning and we study it. We evaluate texts and resources, examine literacy skills, consider appropriate media, and design reading and writing opportunities and instruction in a variety of contexts. In particular, the English teaching major focuses on preparing future teachers and educational leaders, but the skills students learn are valuable in many settings, from the classroom to the workplace to the broader world.

The goal of the English teaching major is to prepare informed, thoughtful, and skilled English teachers who will become educational leaders in their own communities and in the teaching profession. In the English Department, students learn about literature, cultural theories of race and identity, composition, grammar, a variety of textual and digital media, and instructional practices appropriate to grades five through twelve. In the Education Department, students learn about human development, the history of schooling, and many philosophical perspectives on learning and education.

The final steps to becoming a teacher are completing a Master’s program in the Education Department and applying for New Hampshire teacher certification. Students who choose one of these programs will complete graduate-level coursework and undertake a year-long teaching internship where they will collaborate with a teacher to apply their knowledge in a classroom. Students who complete this program are uniquely well prepared to become leaders in the profession over the long term. State certification is transferable to most other states, and, after five years, 88.7% of UNH master’s program graduates report that they are teaching or employed in an education-related job. Join the English teaching major and turn your passion for English into a fulfilling career serving your community!

Students interested in majoring in English teaching should consult Carla Cannizzaro, Senior Academic Advisor, Department of English, 230F Hamilton Smith Hall, (603) 862-1313, or the director of the English teaching program, Prof. Alecia Magnifico.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

Completion of the undergraduate teaching major does not in itself meet state certification requirements.

Students should enroll in the undergraduate major and pass the following courses with a GPA of 2.5 or better:

ENGL 419How to Read Anything4
ENGL 514WBritish Literature III: Revolts, Renewals, Migrations4
ENGL 516WAmerican Literature II Money, Migration, and Modernity: Huck Finn to Beloved4
ENGL 657Shakespeare4
Select one of the following:8
ENGL 725
ENGL 726
Seminar in English Teaching
and Seminar in English Teaching
ENGL 710
ENGL 792
Teaching Writing
and Teaching Literature and Literacy
ENGL 791English Grammar4
Two additional literature courses numbered 600 or above 18
One course that addresses race, the construction of race, and radical theories (see list below) 20-4
Any English department course in writing, linguistics, critical theory, film, or literature 34
Complete the Discovery Program capstone for English Teaching majors:
ENGL 789Special Topics in English Teaching4
EDUC 500Exploring Teaching4

ENGL 512 British Literature I Age of Heroes: Beowulf to Dr. Faustus or ENGL 513W British Literature II Age of Revolutions: Shakespeare to Austen may be substituted for one of the two required literature courses numbered 600 or above


Other courses may count, when relevant and with prior written approval of the student's advisor. The course used to fulfill this requirement may be double counted within the ‘Two literature courses 600 or above’ OR ‘Any English Department course…’ requirement area.


Except ENGL 401 First-Year Writing, ENGL 415s, "Literature and..." courses, and ENGL 444s

Race, the Construction of Race, and Racial Theory Courses
On Race in Culture and Society
ENGL #517
Black Creative Expression
ENGL 549
In the Groove: African American Music as Literature
ENGL 550
Introduction to the Literature and Culture of Race
ENGL 560
Introduction to Latinx Literature and Culture
Introduction to Women in Literature
ENGL 609
Ethnicity in America: The African American Experience in the 20th Century
I Hear America Singing: Studying American Literature and Culture
ENGL 690
African American Literature
ENGL 693
Special Topics in Literature (subtopic R)
Special Topics in Literature
ENGL 738
Asian American Studies
ENGL 739
American Indian Literature
American Literature, 1865-1915: The Birth of the American Empire
Major American Authors
Advanced Shakespeare
Modern & Contemporary British Literature: New Departures
ENGL 778
Race and Gender in Film and Popular Culture
English Major Seminar
Special Studies in Literature (Race & Racial Theories)

English teaching majors should apply for the fifth-year teaching internship and master's degree program by fall or spring of their senior year (usually September 30 for the internship and November 1 or February 1 for the master's program). Students with a GPA of 3.2 or better can apply for the master's degree program in their junior year. If accepted early, the student can earn graduate credit for up to three undergraduate English or education courses.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of Arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

English teaching majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.

Majors may only count one online course towards their English major requirements.

Students will have the opportunity to compare philosophies of English teaching and learning, and to develop their own approaches to writing and literacy instruction in unit plans and lesson plans. In class, we will discuss theoretical and pedagogical ideas centered on student writing, engage in reading and writing exercises, produce and practice instructional activities and assessments, evaluate approaches to teaching writing, and review state-level standards and tests. Overall, the aim of the course is recognition of literacy skills (including reading, writing, listening, speaking, and viewing) and consideration of how they can be used for learning goals including comprehension, analysis, description, and evaluation.

Students will:

  • Design activities, lessons, and units to meet established standards and objectives in writing and language use.
  • Adapt materials for a variety of students’ needs, including exceptional learners.
  • Identify teaching resources among mentors, professional literature, conferences, organizations (e.g., National Council of Teachers of English [NCTE]), technology, and websites.
  • Reflect and write on the theoretical bases for instructional decisions, evaluating professional literature and using appropriate academic conventions.
  • Deliver engaging, on-point writing and language instruction appropriate to audience and content; practice a variety of presentation and discussion strategies.


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