Frequently Asked Questions
What is a bachelor of arts in English?
The B.A. in English is a four-year course of study with a two-track program that either certifies students to teach English in high schools or graduates students with a traditional four-year English degree. In either track, students read literature and learn to write on topics generated by their reading experience. Good writers will become even stronger writers, and less experienced writers will soon become the strong writers that graduate schools and businesses desire. Some students will specialize in teaching English themselves.
Can I get my degree at any MGA campus?
Students may begin any baccalaureate program that the college offers, including the English degree, on the campus of their choice. Once the core curriculum is completed, students may continue their junior and senior course work in English at the Macon Campus. Beginning fall 2013, selected upper level courses in English will be offered on the Cochran campus.
Will I be certified to teach English in a secondary school as soon as I graduate?
Almost. All students must take and pass the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) test, which is Georgia's test in English content that certifies graduates to teach in Georgia high schools.
Do I have to be a good writer to begin studying English?
It is important for all college students to be good writers, but it is especially important for English majors to work very hard on improving their writing skills as soon as they begin taking English courses. Students should value good writing and should always see writing as the most important life skill they gain from studying English.
Do I have to be very well read before I become an English major?
If you like to read, that's a big plus, but you do not have to know everything before you begin. Our courses are designed to give students a wide knowledge of the many different kinds of literatures, the major authors from significant periods of literary history, and the important milestone texts of what your teachers will call the "canon" (books like The Canterbury Tales, Leaves of Grass, and To the Lighthouse).
If I start taking classes in the middle of the year or take only a few courses at a time, will it take too long to get my degree?
All degrees take time to finish, but many part-time students finish in five or six years. Remember that not all courses are offered at all locations each semester. What is most important is that students plan closely with their advisers, being certain to complete the required courses as they are scheduled.
What can I use an English degree for if I do not want to become a teacher?
Law schools have always valued the training in close reading, logic, and writing for which an English degree is excellent training. Along with a minor in business, an English degree additionally puts students in a strong position to get an MBA. Good writing skills are also essential to the ever-growing field of digital writing and communication.
Will I learn to use computers in my English classes?
For many years, Middle Georgia State University has stressed digital literacy as we train students to work in the contemporary economy.
Many of your classes will require that you work on an e-learning platform like Brightspace D2L, and senior-level classes will often have
students making presentations from websites that students learned to construct in other classes. We also offer courses in both professional
writing and writing for the Web. It's also a really good idea for students to take a few IT courses or even get a minor in IT, since many
jobs require both skills.
Will I have to take foreign language courses?
All students in English must take a certain number of classes in either French or Spanish (see program curriculum). Since the study of foreign language is essential to any thorough education in English, we encourage students to enjoy and value their exposure to a second language. Spanish, of course, is especially relevant as Georgia continues to add Spanish speakers to its businesses and classrooms.
Can I transfer to Middle Georgia State University from a private college where I'm currently studying English?
Of course. There's also a very good chance that most of your English courses will transfer. Students sometimes have to take a few core courses as prerequisites when they transfer, but since Middle Georgia State University is still the most affordable higher education choice for students in Middle Georgia, it is much less expensive getting a degree from MGA than from anywhere else in the region.
What makes an English degree at Middle Georgia State University so attractive?
Our faculty is exceptionally well trained, and we have many faculty members who regularly present at national conferences
and publish in national publications. Three of the college's most recent recipients for Excellence in Teaching are in our department. Our
campus offers opportunities for students to get involved with student organizations such as Sigma Tau Delta – the English Honors Society –
as well as the English Studies Organization (ESO). An undergraduate academic conference is held on the Macon campus annually, and many of our
English majors have presented academic papers at the conference. Several English majors have been invited to join the Honors Program and have
traveled to state, regional, and national conferences to give papers. Finally, our students have the opportunity to engage in extracurricular
activities where they can sharpen their creative and professional writing skills by working with The Statement (campus newspaper) and
The Fall Line Review (literary magazine).