English and Professional Writing BLS

The Department of English, Writing & Journalism seeks to enlarge and refine the imaginative intelligence of its students—to enrich their intellectual lives as well as to help them develop their professional ones. The disciplined study of both literature and professional writing and speaking provides the means to those ends. Although the variety of the curriculum makes possible a student-determined emphasis on one or the other of these concentrations, the program requires competence in both. The English major offers both a humane and a liberalizing experience, while at the same time making available to its students the opportunity to acquire and practice the skills in professional writing and speaking that will enhance their careers.

Goal 1: Study literature in diverse genres and by diverse authors.

Outcome 1.1: Students will be able to analyze and examine how the study of literature reveals the diversity of human experience and the complex and dynamic nature of culture and literary expression.

Goal 2: Learn diverse principles of composing as modeled by diverse authors.

Outcome 2.1: Students will be able to identify, analyze, and apply rhetorical, aesthetic, material, technical, and/or creative principles of composing.

Goal 3: Develop core journalistic skills for diverse and inclusive storytelling.

Outcome 3.1: Students will be able to analyze and/or apply core journalistic skills in research, interviewing, storytelling, and editing across various media platforms, taking into account their ethical responsibilities in decision-making, and/or best practices for diverse and inclusive storytelling.

Goal 4: Participate in and reflect on experiential learning opportunities.

Outcome 4.1: Students will be able to engage in and critically reflect upon experiential learning opportunities–such as internships, study abroad programs, and/or service-learning courses.

The General Education Program (GEP) at Saint Joseph’s University involves a distinctive liberal arts education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition.  General education is essential to the University’s mission, providing all students with the broad knowledge, essential skills, appreciation of diversity, and ethically informed perspective needed by those who would aspire to be “men and women for others.” The GEP ensures mastery of skills required for further study, exposes students to the principal achievements and problems of the major fields of human learning, and introduces them to new disciplines that they may or may not wish to pursue. The Major component gives depth in a particular field and is thus a preparation for an effective career or for graduate study in that field. Free or general electives allow students to pursue interests, explore new fields, or to continue concentration in their major. 

The Degree Completion Education Program (GEP) applies to students who are completing a Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) or Bachelor of Business Administration degrees (BBA). 

The Degree Completion GEP is comprised of Signature Core, Variable Core,  Integrative Learning courses and a Diversity Overlay.

Signature Core

PHL 154Moral Foundations3
THE 154Catholic Theological Tradition (or THE 153 Encountering the New Testament, or THE 155 Catholic Social Tradition)3
ENG 102Texts & Contexts3
HIS 154Forging the Modern World3
Any course certified as Faith & Reason3
Any course in written and oral communication

Variable Core

  • One approved course in Art, Literature, or Music, Theater, Film.

  • One course in the Natural Sciences (lab-based or lecture based) in biology, chemistry, environmental science, or physics.

  • Two courses in Mathematics.  BLS degree majors require MAT 101 or higher; BBA degree majors require MAT 103 (or MAT 120 precalculus) and MAT 123 (or an alternate calculus course).

  • One course in a Non-Native Language (e.g., SPA 111-SPA 112) or one approved alternative course in Literature in Translation or Classics. Students who are bilingual may request an exemption for the language requirement from the Department of Linguistics and Languages.

  • One course in the Social-Behavioral Sciences including Political Science, Economics, Sociology, and Psychology.  Please note that some majors require a specific course.

  • One course that is certified as a Philosophical Anthropology course.

  • One course from Religious Studies or Theology that is certified as a Religious Difference course.

  • ENG 101 Craft of Language.

Integrative Learning Courses

(2 courses required)

  • Courses approved for ILC requirements will vary by major. Some majors have specific courses that must be taken.


  • Adult Learner Program students are required to complete one couse that is certified as a diversity overlay.

Free Electives

Except for Early Childhood/Elementary Pre K-4 Education majors, all students must complete a minimum of 18 free elective credits.  Elective credits may be used to pursue a minor or secondary major.

GEP Integrative Learning Component

Two courses

Any two courses offered through the College of Arts & Sciences (not English Courses). Students are encouraged to discuss these choices with their faculty advisor in the Department of English, Writing & Journalism.

Major Requirements 

In addition to Craft of Language ENG 101 and Texts and Contexts ENG 102, English majors are required to take ten more courses:

One or two courses in Literature
One or two courses in Writing 
One or two English Diversity courses
Up to six major Electives. Students may choose to pursue a track in Literature or a track in Professional Writing.