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English for Teaching BS

College of Liberal Arts / Literature and Language
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Science

About The Program

Program accreditation

This program is accredited by the Minnesota Professional Education and Licensing Standards Board (PELSB) to meet the content standards associated with teaching licensure in this subject area.

The BS in English for Teaching major is designed to provide broad knowledge of literacy and communication. Many students will also pursue an additional program of study that leads to a Minnesota teaching license: Communication Arts and Literature (Grades 5-12).

The English for Teaching major includes study in the following disciplines:

  • Writing - the writing process, composition theory, and the ability to write in different genres for a variety of purposes and audiences;
  • Reading - reading theory, the nature of reading comprehension, literary interpretation, and evaluating texts;
  • Literature - the aesthetic dimensions of literary genres and analysis of historical and cultural contexts;
  • Speech communication - verbal and nonverbal speech processes, listening skills, public speaking and interpersonal communication; and
  • Media literacy - print and non-print media, and the effects of various electronic media on the communication process.

Student outcomes

Student learning outcomes for the BS in English for Teaching major are based on the Minnesota Teaching Licensure Examinations (MTLE) content area for Communication Arts and Literature (Grades 5-12).

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze and evaluate visual images in various media.
  • Develop and produce effective media presentations.
  • Develop strategies for increasing vocabulary and improving reading comprehension.
  • Analyze major historical, social, cultural, and/or political aspects of literatures from around the world.
  • Demonstrate strategies for effective speaking.
  • Write well-organized projects which logically develop a central idea, theme, or thesis.
  • Conduct and incorporate effective academic research, using appropriate citations.

Related minors

How to enroll

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your English for Teaching BS now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your English for Teaching BS

More ways to earn your degree: Metropolitan State offers the flexibility you need to finish your degree. Through programs at our partner institutions, you can find a path to getting your English for Teaching BS that works best for you.

About your enrollment options

Courses and Requirements


Student licensure

Completing the English for Teaching major is only part of the preparation for teaching this subject area effectively to middle school or high school youth. To earn a Tier 3 Communication Arts and Literature license (grades 5-12) to teach in Minnesota, among other requirements you must also meet state pedagogy standards by completing additional coursework in urban secondary education and student teaching at either the undergraduate or graduate level through the University's Urban Teacher Program in the School of Urban Education.

Please note that the School of Urban Education has the responsibility for recommending students for licensure once they have met all state licensure requirements. For information about Urban Teacher Program admission requirements as well as urban secondary education coursework and student teaching required for licensure, please visit the Secondary Education Licensure page or contact the School of Urban Education at .

English for Teaching BS (37 credits)

+ Prerequisite Courses (these credits do not count toward the major, 9 - 11 credits)
Required course:

Students learn public speaking principles and techniques well enough to prepare, deliver, and evaluate informative and persuasive speeches. Videotaping and self-assessment are integral components of this class as is writing. Some speeches require students to research and critically analyze information. The six to eight class presentations include topics pertaining to the corporate world, community life, the political arena or human services. Students are expected to write well and will outline each presentation. Overlap: COMM 103P Public Speaking Proficiency Test.

Full course description for Public Speaking

Choose one:

This course is the same as WRIT 131 Writing I except that sentence and paragraph structure are covered in more detail. First semester students may take this course instead of WRIT 131. Only three credits may be counted toward the general education writing requirement (the other two credits do not count toward any general education requirement). This course is an introduction to expository writing principles and processes. Students develop skill at analyzing audiences, generating ideas, organizing and developing thoughts, drafting sentences, and revising and handling mechanics. Students write, revise and edit extensively.

Full course description for Writing I Intensive

This course is an introduction to expository writing principles and processes. Students develop skill at analyzing audiences, generating ideas, organizing and developing thoughts, drafting sentences, and revising and handling mechanics. Students write, revise and edit extensively. Prerequisite: Placement in WRIT 131 Writing I or WRIT 132 Written and Visual Communication on the writing assessment offered by Placement Assessment Office.

Full course description for Writing I

This course, which can be taken in place of WRIT 131 Writing I, is an introduction to the theory and practice of written and visual communication. Students read, write, view and produce visual and written texts in a variety of media. Emphasis is on developing writing skills and learning basic concepts of visual communication. Prerequisite: Placement in WRIT 131 Writing I on the diagnostic writing assessment offered by Diagnostic Services.

Full course description for Written and Visual Communication

Choose one:

In this course, students learn strategies to critically analyze a variety of texts and essays; to understand how audience and social/cultural factors shape writing; and to research, evaluate, interpret, paraphrase, quote and summarize texts. Students write and revise several papers and critique the work of other students.

Full course description for Writing II

This course focuses on effective, persuasive communication within and between business organizations, from the perspective of employees and of managers. Students learn to critically analyze communication strategies, organizational cultures and common business texts, such as memos, reports and case studies; they learn to select quality data from primary and secondary sources; and they write and edit letters, memos, reports and studies in situations that simulate the complexities of small companies and global corporations.

Full course description for Business Writing

In this course, students create a variety of documents, including technical memos, manuals, proposals and reports. Emphasis is placed on document design, effective organization and readability. This course especially benefits managers or technical employees who need to communicate technical information to business or general audiences.

Full course description for Technical Writing

+ Foundation Courses: 11 - 15 credits
Both are required:

This course reviews key ideas from Literature 100 and introduces fundamentals of current literary theory. Students solidify their understanding of terms and concepts important to the study of literature; practice techniques of analyzing and interpreting poetry, prose and drama; and learn basic theoretical principles that explain how literary texts can be linked to issues in a culturally diverse community. This course is intended especially for students in the urban education program, but it is open to anyone prepared for upper-division study in literature.

Full course description for Literary Analysis

This course broadly surveys literature written for young adults by authors from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) perspectives. We will read and discuss a wide variety of literary and media genres covering important YA topics such as coming of age, friendship, ethnic identities, racialized identities, gender and sexual identities, belonging, sports, violence, and social class. The course is recommended for students who are thinking of becoming English teachers, who are parents, or who are interested in the topics and techniques of writing for young people. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

Full course description for Adolescent Literatures

Choose one:

Primarily for students who have completed their writing requirement, but who seek further writing instruction and practice, this course begins with a brief review of the principles of academic writing. It then engages students in the thinking and writing required in various disciplines throughout the university. Students study and practice summary, explanation, analysis, interpretation and other critical strategies used to write essays, reports, research papers, case studies and other texts. The course also emphasizes understanding how audience, purpose and situation shape writing. Students learn how to use a flexible process of writing and revision to complete assignments, and how to respond constructively to the writing of others.

Full course description for Writing in Your Major

Choose one:

The course introduces students to the study of how language is acquired and learned, concepts and methods of analyzing language, and how the field of linguistics studies regional, racial, and gender differences in language. The course examines how the processes of standardization create approved and dominate versions of languages and non-standard and minoritized varieties and dialects of languages. The course also explores linguistic intolerance and prejudice, raciolinguistics, linguistic hierarchy, implicit bias, and privilege. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

Full course description for The Nature of Language

In this course students undertake language analysis (e.g., phonology, morphology, syntax) in a cultural context, including the relationship between language, culture and thought. It presents an anthropological perspective on various linguistic and cultural systems, with special emphasis on those of Chicano/Latino, African-American, American Indian and Anglo-American peoples. Students are introduced to the implications of linguistic and cultural differences in work and classroom situations. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism throughout the course.

Full course description for Language and Culture

+ Diverse Literatures: 4 credits
Choose one:

This course takes a critical and historical approach to literature in English by women, looking at the emergence of female literary voices and exploring the contexts in which their works were written. Some sections of the course may focus on particular traditions within the range of literature written by women.

Full course description for Women Writers

Working-class literature is fiction and poetry written by people from working-class backgrounds about working-class life. This course introduces characteristic themes and techniques in American working-class novels written within the last 100 years, and considers the place of working-class writing within the larger context of American literature and culture. This literature explores some of the individual and community pressures bearing on working-class lives and generally affirms that, while not conforming to middle-class norms, working people live in ways that have integrity, honor and value.

Full course description for Working Class Literature

Through films, poetry, autobiography, novels, lyrics, and short essays, this intermediate-level survey course explores African-American literature from a historical perspective ranging from the works of enslaved authors to contemporary spoken-word poetry. The course celebrates the historical and aesthetic development of African-American literary arts in the face of (often legalized) racial oppression. Students learn techniques and theories for critical reading to explore literary issues related to culture, race, and social history. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism in this literature course.

Full course description for African-American Literature

This course explores the literature by African-American women writers from the 18th century to the present, analyzing their depictions of racism, sexism, and classism as artistic, moral, and civic responses to inequality. Students learn techniques for critical reading and literary analysis at the upper-division humanities level to understand how these creative works explore issues related to the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws, and the influence these writers had on cultural events, such as anti-lynching journalism, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Era, and the Women's Liberation Movement.

Full course description for Black Women Writers

The course surveys Native American written, oral, musical, and filmic traditions, spanning voices from the pre-contact era to the contemporary moment. Readings develop themes and concepts central to Native narrative arts, such as cultural survival, migration, language and orality, landscape, folklore, spirituality, memory, colonization and decolonization, racism, violence, trauma, oppression, and sovereignty. Emphasizing an analytical approach, the course considers how marginalized indigenous arts participate in, react against, challenge, and redefine constructions of American literature. Significant focus is given to race and racism in this course.

Full course description for American Indian Literature

Students in this course examine literature, film, and expository articles to investigate ways that people of color represent their experiences as immigrants to the U.S. Throughout the course we analyze how various texts present the main themes, perspectives, and socio-cultural contexts of contemporary immigration, which has historically been shaped by racialized discourses and racist gatekeeping practices. We also interrogate how the concerns articulated by immigrants of color intersect with broader social categories such as race, gender, sexuality, age, religion, and citizenship status. Through lectures, discussions, compositions, and small-group activities, students will critically examine the complexities of acculturation and the creativity it takes to balance one's cultural heritage with life in another country as a racialized ethnic minority.

Full course description for Literature by Immigrants of Color

This course explores the rich tradition of Asian women's literary voices expressing their chosen themes in novels, diaries, anonymous folk poems, short stories, and lyric verse from ancient times to the present. Relevant aspects of geography, history, culture, and language support interpretations of representative works; regional focus may vary. All selections are read in English translation.

Full course description for Asian Women Writers

This course will explore the ways Asian American novels, short stories, poetry and film represent, elaborate and challenge how we understand Asian American experience as is it informed by race, gender, sexuality and age. Focusing on major texts of Asian American literature from the early 20th century to the present, we will discuss how and why the study of Asian American literature emerged from its historical exclusion from the U.S literary canon, and how this exclusion is tied to structural racism in the academy, a major institution in U.S. cultural gatekeeping. We will also discuss how the study of Asian American literature benefits from understanding broader historical and political issues relevant to the Asian American experience. To this end, we will read and discuss relevant primary texts and secondary criticism on topics such as (but not limited to), law, citizenship, labor, imperialism, war, anti-Asian racism, comparative racialization, queer identities and activism to deepen…

Full course description for Asian American Literature

+ Classic Literatures: 8 credits
Choose two:

This course surveys illustrative works from the beginnings of European settlement to 1870, introducing students to the study of that literature and sharpening critical reading skills. Emphasis is on the development of literary technique and on the cultural context of literary works. Readings may include religious and political documents, Native American tales and orations, exploration and captivity narratives, slave narratives, journals, novels, plays, and poems.

Full course description for American Literature: Beginnings-1870

This course surveys illustrative works from 1870 to the present, introducing students to the study of that literature and sharpening critical reading skills. Emphasis is on the development of literary technique and on the cultural context of literary works. Topics covered include the rise of modernism, its impact on a diverse population and various responses to modern culture, as well as changing perceptions of religion, race, gender, environment, the future, the self and the community. Students are introduced to a range of contemporary critical approaches to literature.

Full course description for American Literature: 1870-Present

This course provides a systematic study of Shakespeare's unique literary and dramatic achievements. Close readings and written exercises focus attention on Shakespeare's mastery of the English language and the craft of poetry. Students typically read a selection of plays including histories, comedies and tragedies.

Full course description for Shakespeare

+ Communication: 3 - 4 credits
Choose one:

Students learn the characteristics and process of interpersonal communication including perception, speech and language, nonverbal behaviors, listening and feedback, conflict and conflict resolution, the ethics of interpersonal communication, relationship development and maintenance. The ability to recognize cultural similarities and differences is emphasized, as is the ability to recognize one's own communicative biases and behaviors. Evaluation is based, in part, on the ability to recognize characteristics of interpersonal communication and apply verbal and nonverbal interpersonal strategies in a wide variety of social and work situations. Overlap: Comm 232 Interpersonal Communication Theory Seminar.

Full course description for Introduction to Interpersonal Communication

This introductory course explores definitions of intercultural communication, traditional spheres of influence that shapes intercultural encounters globally and locally, and skills that can assist students to improve intercultural communication. Students experience intercultural communication situations and episodes in class and in the community. Skill building for interculturally sensitive communication in a variety of settings including work, family, and daily encounters are discussed and analyzed. Current events involving the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota are explored for students' responses and recommendations for improved communication strategies.

Full course description for Introduction to Intercultural Communication

Intercultural Communication has a global perspective and engages students in reflectively thinking about the growing interdependence of nations and peoples. Students develop their ability to apply a comparative perspective to cross-cultural communication episodes in interpersonal interactions. Students research topics of interest that compare two or more cultures in some aspect of their social, economic, or political values and practices. Through field experiences, in class exercises, and readings, students learn the dynamics and skills needed to engage in respectful and sensitive communication with others whose beliefs, values, and attitudes are different than their own.

Full course description for Intermediate Intercultural Communication

This course covers theory and practice of communication in small task-oriented groups. Communication topics include team management, models of group problem solving and decision making, leadership, building cohesiveness, resolving conflict, managing diverse views, negotiating roles, and norms. Students learn to interact productively in small task groups as members and leaders. Numerous group activities, group assignments and laboratory work require an extended class time and group meetings outside of class. Overlap: COMM 351T Communication in Work Groups Theory Seminar.

Full course description for Communication in Work Groups

+ Electives: 8 credits

Choose any two, four-credit upper-division courses in Literature, Humanities, Linguistics, or Writing.

+ Final Capstone: 1 credit

This one-credit course allows students the opportunity to reflect upon their past content coursework in the BS in English for Teaching major. Having completed often  disparate courses in literatures, linguistics, writing and communications, students at the end of their degree program will identify and expand on foundational, integrated themes that have emerged. Attention will be paid to the future of the English for Teaching student, the link between coursework and potential teaching careers, and consideration for the practical and theoretical applications of this knowledge into the world beyond the university.    

Full course description for Reflective Capstone