Secondary Education (English)

Become an English teacher in just one year

Students who wish to teach English in public secondary schools must have a state license to do so. To be eligible for a state license, students must successfully complete a baccalaureate degree in English or have the equivalent in coursework in English, complete the course requirements of the Secondary English program, pass all testing requirements, and complete the specific subject area requirements required by the state. Students who are accepted into the M.A.Ed. program with undergraduate program deficiencies must complete course work to remove these deficiencies before they are eligible for licensure.

The Secondary English Education program leads to initial certification and is open to, and only to, people who are not already certified.  Students will complete a 40-43-semester hour program that includes educational foundations course work, methods and curriculum courses relevent to their teaching specialty, clinical and student teaching experiences.

This program is supported by having full-time students completing the program according to a set three semester course sequence. The program begins each summer and ends the following May. 

Students also have important field experiences prior to their student teaching semester. Because these students will be placed in the same school for fall and spring semester, they will be better prepared for their ten week student teaching experience. The seminar that accompanies student teaching will also allow more group discussion and university instructor feedback about their teaching experiences.

English Subject Matter Coordinator

[[lljohnson, Dr. Lindy Johnson]]

Subject Area Requirements:

A major in English that includes a minimum of 36 semester hours, 27 of these hours in courses above the 300 level and distributed as follows:

A Course In...

Two courses in British literature, representing a broad spectrum of British literary history

(choose from ENGL 203, 204, 311, 315, 322, 323, 324, 325, 331, 332, 333, 341, 342, 343)*


American literature representing a broad spectrum of American literary history

(choose from ENGL 352,355,356,357,358,359,360,361,362,363,364,365,366, 411,416A, 417B)*



(choose from ENGL 421, 422)*


Upper level creative writing course, a course in advanced composition, or a course in the teaching of writing

(choose from  WRIT 367, CRWR 368, 369, 372)*


Linguistics (required: a course focused on an introduction to linguistics; one course focused on language, culture or the the history of the English language)

(LING 220; choose from LING 250,303,308,410 )*


A course focusing on world literature, multicultural education or constructions of race and/or ethnicity.

(choose from ENGL 365, 366,414A,417A,417B or appropriate author courses and topics courses offered as ENGL 371,380,412,414,416,417,419,465)*

* indicates applicable to W&M undergraduates