College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Liberal Arts Department
Bachelor of Arts in English
The English Major at the Universities of the Virgin Islands encompasses the study of composition, literature, creative writing and journalism. The English, B.A. major provides professional education which includes theoretical and rhetorical foundations that prepare the student for graduate study or a career in a variety of fields. Students learn concepts and skills, such as the ability to read and write the English language effectively, that are highly marketable. For the convenience of students, courses in the major are usually taught as V (video-conference) or OL (online) classes; occasionally they may be offered as H (hybrid classes) that meet in the classroom on campus at least once a week but have a strong online focus. English majors at UVI have sufficient freedom to pursue other academic interests within the liberal arts and social sciences, education or business programs, for example, to complement their study of English.
Three formal specializations, or concentrations, as well as an alternative option, are available in the English Major, B.S. degree program:
- Literature of the African Diaspora – Using the four required electives in the English major, students may elect a concentration in the Literature of the African Diaspora. This concentration includes courses in Caribbean literature, the African oral tradition and modern literary tradition, and women’s literature of the African diaspora. Each of these courses is offered at least once every two years so that students are afforded the opportunity to complete the concentration in a timely manner after finishing their General Education requirements.
- Creative Writing - Using the four required electives in the English major, students may elect a concentration in Creative Writing. This concentration includes an introductory course in Creative Writing that offers the opportunity to experiment with poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and drama; intermediate courses in fiction and verse writing; and an advanced course that features the development of a student portfolio of original poetry, short fiction, or short dramatic pieces or the full, edited draft of a novel or play. Each of these courses is offered at least once every two years so that students are afforded the opportunity to complete the concentration in a timely manner after finishing their General Education requirements. Students concentrating in Creative Writing may choose to focus on a creative project rather than a research project in HUM 497-498 /Senior Humanities Seminar, under the direction and guidance of a faculty advisor in creative writing.
- Journalism – Using the four required electives in the English major, students may elect a concentration in Journalism. Students begin by taking two newswriting courses for mass media. Then they choose from among courses in feature writing, desktop publishing, and a professional internship in writing and publishing. Students who wish to make regular contributions to the UVI Voice student newspaper may take an elective I credit Journalism workshop, repeatable for up to 8 total credits. Each of these courses is offered at least once every two years so that students are afforded the opportunity to complete the concentration in a timely manner after finishing their General Education requirements.
- English Majors may also design their own concentrations under the guidance of their advisors in EHMLA, or they may choose to take an assortment of English electives.
An English B.A. degree offers students a sound education that will develop their critical thinking ability and offer them a wide scope for strengthening their creative, academic, scholarly and journalistic writing. A bachelor’s degree in English provides graduates with skills to suit a variety of positions in business, government, research, education and publishing, as well as in the cultural, communications and entertainment industries. This degree often leads, for example, to careers in law, teaching, copywriting and editing or advertising and public relations.
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