English: The UDC Edge

The English Department supports UDC’s mission of service by offering students the opportunity to use writing and creative expression to give voice to issues that affect Washington, D.C. and other urban areas.  The program includes a strong foundation in American, British, and World literary history; however, students are also encouraged to personalize their courses of study according to their intellectual interests and aspirations.  To these ends, the department supports student research in new media, graphic novels, film, philosophy, cultural and gender studies, creative writing, and comparative literature.  The department offers a rigorous advising and mentoring system to ensure that all students gain professional experience and establish relationships that are useful for their postgraduate goals.

For more information, please contact Dr. Alexander Howe, Department Coordinator, at 202.274.5658 or ahowe@udc.edu.

English – Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA)

The bachelor’s degree program in English at UDC deepens students’ love and understanding of language, literature, and creative expression while helping students to develop concrete skills in analysis, research, and writing.

Student Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to  

  • produce substantive writings which draw on interdisciplinary, critical approaches applied to a vast array of primary sources.
  • engage in research using contemporary research methods, including print and electronic technologies, as well as various modes of citation (MLA, Chicago Style, APA).
  • analyze texts for claims, arguments, evidence, and style.
  • read and interpret texts according to different critical frameworks, including historical and theoretical methodologies.
  • synthesize life experience, class materials, and experiential learning (e.g., film screenings, conference attendance, community tutoring, etc.).
  • participate in assignments demanding self-assessment of learning and composition methods.
  • enroll in course sequences sharing common literary and methodological texts studied from differing contexts.
  • complete a capstone course that requires students to synthesize content knowledge as well as complete an independent project that reflects their progress as a writer and thinker.
  • demonstrate knowledge of major literary genres, subgenres, and periods (including major authors for given periods), as well as demonstrate a sound understanding of basic literary terms and categories.
  • demonstrate knowledge of 20th and 21st century literary theory and analyze media through these critical lenses.
  • demonstrate knowledge of World, British, American, and African- American literatures.
  • demonstrate understanding of major linguistic processes and subsystems.


Curriculum and Program Requirements

Program of Study

Students in the bachelor’s program in English at UDC complete a 120 credit hour plan of study to earn the degree. Students must take courses in language, creative writing, literature, film, and media; theses courses are arranged by a wide variety of areas, periods, genres, movements, and special topics.

Recent elective courses have included:

  • Black Feminism
  • Dystopian Fiction and Film
  • Children’s Literature
  • Writing for the Web
  • Food in Diaspora Studies
  • Black Film as History

Core course topic areas include:

  • Critical and Technical Writing
  • Principles of Literary Criticism and Literary Theory
  • American, British, World, and African-American Literature
  • Language Structure and Grammar

Student Organizations and Activities

Students are encouraged to pursue campus- and department-sponsored service learning and community-based research opportunities with community organizations,  nonprofits, schools and other groups in the local area.  Opportunities include:

Sigma Tau Delta:  For the past twenty years, the English Program has sponsored a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the national honors society for students of English.  This organization completes numerous campus- and community service events and partners with local charities during the holiday season.

Literary Club:  The student-led Literary Club organizes specialized reading projects and community service events throughout the year.

UDC Honors Program:  English students have always been actively engaged in the university’s Honors Program.  UDC Honors offers the university’s top students concentrated professional development through collaborative research and service learning.

Student Publications:  Students can also become involved in student publications on campus, such as the Trilogy campus newspaper.

CAS Big Read:  The College of Arts and Sciences offers students a Book Club, sponsored by the Dean, which regularly brings professional local authors to campus to discuss their work with students.

Faculty Spotlight: UDC English Program

Career Pathways and Prospects

A bachelor’s degree in English from UDC is great preparation for graduate study in any number of fields or for a career in areas such as:

  • Creative arts
  • Public policy
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Law
  • Consulting

UDC’s English faculty and the university’s Career and Professional Development Center have a strong track record of helping graduates to find jobs, whatever their aspirations

Contact info:

Dr. Alexander Howe, Department Coordinator, T: 202-274-5658 | E: ahowe@udc.edu