A Brief Guide to English

English major descriptions

ECU offers a bachelor's degree in English. Some English majors plan to teach English at the middle or high school level. Others will pursue graduate study with college teaching as a goal. Some will pursue professional writing careers, which may also lead to graduate school. Still others may use the undergraduate English degree as preparation for professional training in law, business or medicine.

Areas of Study

Writing. Beyond the two required courses in English composition, English majors may choose to take other writing courses in professional and technical writing, in creative and persuasive writing, and in advanced composition.

Literature. Literary study increases reading, writing, and research skills in a vast and various body of human expression. The study includes:

  • poems, plays, stories, novels and essays of celebrated and not-so-celebrated American,
    British, and world authors

  • texts from oral traditions of ancient cultures, sermons and manifestos, and even the "texts" of film and television

  • critical theories which explore various ways of reading

Language. Majors may also take courses in linguistics, grammar and usage, and language history and theory.

Teaching Methods. English majors who plan to teach at the secondary level are required to take courses in the teaching of English.

Degree Requirements
Depending upon career interest, students may choose between two varieties of the English major, English or English, Teacher Certification. To view the ECU Catalog Description and degree requirements of the current English curriculum click below:

English majors may select a minor from a wide range of disciplines, including the following: foreign language, mass communication, speech, and history or other social sciences. Required hours will vary, ranging from 16-21, depending upon the area of the minor. Teacher Certification majors minor in education.

Other Languages
Basic language courses are offered in Latin, French, Spanish, German, and Russian. Students may minor in Spanish, or acquire a Spanish teaching endorsement. Contact Dr. Rosemarie Benya for information.

Awards and Scholarships

Application deadlines range from March through April.

Ozella Elizabeth Waner Scholarship for freshman English majors, and The Eleanor Waner Dedmon Scholarship for language minors. These scholarships cover the complete cost of room, board, books, tuition, and fees.

Margaret Nims Scholarship for English teacher certification majors. Candidates should be of sophomore or higher standing, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and demonstrate academic excellence. One award per year of $200-300 per semester.

Reed Loving Watt Scholarship for English majors. Candidates should have completed 60 hours of course work, with a minimum 2.5 GPA overall and a minimum of 3.0 in English courses. Financial need, academic excellence, and leadership form the primary selection criteria. The number may vary, but typically two to three awards of $200-300 per semester are given for one academic year.

Daisy Moore Duvall Scholarship honors a student who exhibits excellence in literature and/or poetry. Recipients must be of sophomore or higher standing and have a minimum GPA of 3.25. Criteria for the award include academic merit, participation in extracurricular English department activities, possible submission of a critical essay or creative work, faculty letters of recommendation, and financial need. This one-year award offers one recipient $250 per semester.

Paul Hughes Memorial Writing Award recognizes excellence in original creative compositions. All currently enrolled ECU students are eligible to enter works of fiction, poetry, drama, or essay. In recent years, the department has awarded three prizes of $300, $200, and $100.

Beatrice Wisehart Spanish Award is for a Spanish minor who demonstrates excellence in upper-level Spanish courses, financial need, and potential for future use of Spanish. One time $25 award.

LeMoine Blake Crabtree Award in Russian is awarded to a student with a 4.0 average in Elementary Russian I and II and who is active in the ECU Russian Club. The award is $50.

Criswell Memorial Scholarship is offered through the Ada Arts and Humanities Council (P.O. Box 453, Ada, Ok., 74821-0453) for ECU seniors who can present evidence of past creative efforts and plans for future creative endeavors. One award annually, $400.

Morrison Scholarship is for leadership in the humanities and performing arts. It provides $100 per month for one academic year.

For more information:
Contact Dr. Jennifer L. McMahon
Chair, Department of English and Languages
East Central University
Ada, Oklahoma 74820-6899
Office: HM 301
Phone: 580-559-5451 and 580-559-5452