English Courses

University of Missouri-Columbia
Bachelor of arts
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Courses for this program are 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Your degree requires 120 credit hours, which may include transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions.

All courses listed below are asynchronous, meaning there are no scheduled meeting times. Additional synchronous courses may be available (class lectures occur at certain times of the day/week and require the student to attend via online collaborative tools). Please refer to myzou.missouri.edu for course availability and details — click on "Browse Course Catalog" or "Schedule of Classes" under Guest Access.

The courses you take will include:

Transfer students

The number of credits you need to take will depend on the type of previous credit earned and the institutions' accreditation and transfer equivalencies. The admissions office will determine your transfer credit once they receive your official transcripts and application. Visit the University of Missouri Course Equivalency site to determine credit equivalencies from courses taken at other Missouri institutions.

Course planner

English majors have only two required courses — one at the beginning and one at the end of their course work. In between those core courses, students get to chart their own path through this dynamic major, developing and deepening their passions and interests through a combination of breadth and depth study.

See the components of the online English major for descriptions of individual courses. Personal degree plans will be developed with your academic advisor.

The chart below shows when courses are typically offered. Courses are 3 credit hours each, unless otherwise noted. The University reserves the right to change or cancel courses as needed.

Note: X = full semester, A = 1st half of semester, B = 2nd half of semester. Some courses are offered only in ODD (e.g., 2021) or EVEN (e.g., 2022) years. 


This program culminates with a capstone course: English 4970W. The English capstone is a writing intensive course that emphasizes research methods and career readiness.

Course spotlight

ENGLSH 4220: Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature

Instructor: Dr. William Kerwin

In this course we will read seven plays by William Shakespeare. Each one will be introduced with a particular literary or historical focus, and then we will proceed act-by-act, asking specific questions about the play’s language and the thematic concerns. We will look at film clips of a range of productions and adaptations of the plays as well as several poems by other authors that can shed light on the poetic approaches and social issues found in our seven plays. Students will respond to prompts for short essays on each play and then write a longer essay at the end of the course. There will be a mid-term and a final exam. This course fulfills the history before 1603 requirement.

State authorization

States require that the University of Missouri-Columbia be authorized to deliver university-level distance/online education to their residents. Each state handles this process differently.

Please see our state authorization page for more information.

  • Program authorized


Students residing in all states are eligible to enroll in this program.

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the Department of English