BA Literary Studies

Time and again, you’ve gone back to your favorite authors and reread the books you treasure, cover to cover. You explore literature from around the world and from time periods across the centuries.

Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, welcomes students with a lifelong love of literature and reading to pursue the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Literary Studies degree program. As part of the English Department, Literary Studies majors focus on in-depth study, emphasizing close-reading, writing, communication and critical thinking as the tools needed for future success.

Students choose to major in Literary Studies for a variety of reasons. Some majors want to take their deep love of reading to the next level. Other students, who take a Literary Studies course as an elective, discover a new interest in a particular author or genre, and want to pursue a deeper examination of how texts are created and what underlying meanings they convey.

At Marshall University, Literary Studies is available as both a major and a minor within the English Department. In the bachelor’s degree program in Literary Studies, students begin with a multi-genre introductory course, followed by courses that focus on British literature, American literature and studies of a particular author or genre. Majors also take courses that explore the literature of various English-speaking cultures and time periods.

Also, by completing a few additional courses, Marshall literature majors can choose to earn a double major in Creative Writing and Literary Studies.

The Literary Studies program at Marshall University gives students the opportunity to develop their writing and close-reading skills through the application of critical and cultural theory in a vibrant learning community. Course offerings for the Literary Studies major encompass a range of subject matter from Shakespeare and slave narratives to The Hunger Games and horror films. Going beyond written texts, this unique literature degree program also features courses that critically consider both cinematic and digital texts.

The Marshall degree in Literary Studies is an academic discipline that develops fundamental tools for thinking, writing and communicating that will be needed in any career path in an ever-changing world. You’ll learn to examine and analyze, and be ready to expand on and augment ideas across all fields, not just literature. You’ll work with excellent professors in Marshall’s English Department who are dedicated to your development as an educated person who’s well-prepared for a successful life and career.

The English Department at Marshall also sponsors a number of events, publications and organizations to give majors in Literary Studies and in other bachelor’s degree programs additional opportunities to explore interests, build professional skills and be ready to move beyond the classroom and into the community.

What can you do with a literature degree? Marshall Literary Studies majors have gone on to graduate study in education, law, literary studies, linguistics, creative writing, medicine, music, business and more. Literary Studies graduates are professional and technical writers, editors, tech professionals in Silicon Valley, business owners, healthcare professionals, lawyers, broadcast journalists, successful authors and poets, and award-winning educators at all teaching levels.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the kinds of skills students learn in liberal arts degrees, like Marshall’s BA in Literary Studies, reflects the skills that employers want in their workers. In studies from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers often rank skills such as critical thinking and communication—hallmarks of liberal arts training—above technical aptitude as essential for career readiness.

The BLS reports that pursuing the liberal arts in college offers students diverse coursework to develop a range of knowledge. A bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies is a liberal arts education that prepares students for a variety of career options, rather than for a specific occupation.

Literary Studies majors have many opportunities at Marshall to develop their talents and discover new interests in literature, culture and more. Here’s a selection of events and activities:

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$21,486 Per Year

International student tuition fee

4 Years


Aug 2024

Start Month

Jul 2024

Application Deadline

Upcoming Intakes

  • August 2024
  • January 2025
  • May 2025
  • August 2025
  • January 2026
  • May 2026
  • August 2026

Mode of Study

  • Full Time