Why study literature at Missouri State?

Are you excited by big ideas and curious about the world around you? Do you want to find a meaningful career path instead of just a job? Majoring in English Literature allows you to think deeply about the way literature shapes and reshapes our understanding of the world while also gaining highly sought-after professional skills that will prepare you for a meaningful career in a limitless variety of fields. When you pursue a BA, BS, or MA degree in Literature at MSU, you get to think deeply about art and culture and go on to have a fulfilling career.

Pursue a degree in English/Literature

The Department of English offers multiple pathways for achieving a degree in English/Literature. Most students pursue a four-year plan with either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science distinction. Both plans are 36 hours.

The BA is the traditional degree, recommended for students who plan to go on to graduate school. The BA includes foreign language study and coursework in philosophy, history, and the fine arts.

The BS is a more flexible option that provides a streamlined pathway to an English degree for transfer students and double majors. The BS does not include foreign language study. It is not recommended for students who plan to go on to graduate school.

Bachelor of Arts

View a BA Four-Year Degree Plan: English/Literature sample schedule.

Bachelor of Science

View a BS Four-Year Degree Plan: English/Literature sample schedule.


Credits from other accredited universities can be transferred to Missouri State University.

Career options

What can you do with a Literature degree? Anything you want.

Pursing a degree in English/Literature prepares you for a meaningful career path rather than just a job. As a Literature major, you develop the advanced reading, writing, and researching skills that are needed in virtually every desirable job today. Literature majors develop the skills of critical thinking (analyzing words, images, and ideas), argumentation and persuasion, empathy, creativity, and the ability to synthesize big ideas and to understand how systems are linked. As the National Association of Colleges and Employers notes, “what sets two equally qualified job candidates apart can be as simple as who has the better communication skills.” The advanced reading, writing, and oral communication skills you develop as a Literature major prepare you for a wide variety of careers. Is it any wonder that, as the Harvard Business Review has reported in multiple articles, major employers like Google and Twitter are increasingly looking to hire Literature majors to encourage innovation and creativity within their companies?

A degree in Literature prepares you for graduate or professional study and a lifelong career in fields including law, medicine, library and archival sciences, education, non-profit and governmental work, public relations, publishing, and any other field that requires strong writing, research, and analytical skills—which is virtually every career field in the modern world. You’re only limited by your imagination

Come Think With Us

English/Literature majors benefit from all of the following:

  • Passionate Faculty: All literature courses are taught by scholar-teachers who are equally committed to their students and their areas of intellectual inquiry. Most literature courses have small class sizes and allow for individualized attention.
  • Research and Publishing Opportunities: The annual Undergraduate Literature Conference draws students from around the region to present research projects and network with peers and professors. Many literature students also publish original writing in LOGOS: A Journal of Undergraduate Research.
  • Internship Course: ENG 484: English Studies Internship allows students to practice putting the skills they gain as Literature majors to work in the real world. Students have interned in fields including publishing, public radio, and state politics.
  • In-Demand Career Skills: The advanced reading, writing, and oral communication skills you develop as a Literature major prepare you for a wide variety of careers.
  • Interdisciplinary Thinking: Literature is a uniquely interdisciplinary field. Coursework in literature pairs well with coursework in African American Studies, American Indian Studies, anthropology, Disability Studies, Education, Gender Studies, linguistics, philosophy, sociology, and any other field that explores what it means to be human.