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English Degree (B.A.) with Teacher of English Licensure (5-12)

Why Choose a Teacher Licensure Program in English (5-12)?

Founded in 1839, Westfield State University is especially proud of its history as the first co-educational institution to prepare teachers. Steeped in this tradition of developing progressive educators, our program supports future English teachers to be creative, engaging, and innovative with a background in the discipline of English that is rich and rigorous.

What makes us great

  • We infuse diversity initiatives into our curriculum and teacher preparation
  • We offer small class sizes, 1:8 faculty/student ratio, and a rigorous curriculum that helps students prepare to teach literature and writing at both the middle and high school levels and to become leaders in their school districts
  • Our teacher education students who successfully complete the practicum are licensed to teach upon graduation. The most recent cohort had 100% job placement.
Requirements for the Teacher Licensure Program in English (5-12)

Requirements for Teaching English in Middle and Secondary Schools

Westfield State University's educator preparation programs are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).  The Westfield State University program for licensure of teachers of English has been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English.

Students wishing to be licensed to teach English at the Middle or High school levels must complete the following:

  • Requirements for all English Majors (noted below)
  • Course work in the Literature Concentration (noted below)
  • Professional Sequence, Middle and Secondary (noted below), using ENGL 0350 as the appropriate methods course and ENGL 0322 as the appropriate practicum seminar
  • The following core course:  PSYC 0101  (as a pre-requisite for PSYC 0203)

To be recommended for ENGL 0350, and the teaching practicum, students must have a 2.7 cumulative average in courses counting toward the Literature Concentration, 24 completed credits in Literature, and permission of the Program Director or Chair.

Student progress toward meeting Advanced Standing in Teacher Education is monitored at the end of the sophomore year (57 credits). Please see section on Licensure for Teaching under Academic Policies.  Student teacher placement are limited to within a 30-mile radius of campus.

In order to be eligible for student teaching, a student must have completed all required course and field work, have an overall GPA of 2.8 (including transfer work), and have a passing grade in the appropriate Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (e.g., Communication and Literacy and subject matter test).

Students strongly are encouraged to use English department advising materials for information about recommended sequencing of required course work.

    Requirements For All English Majors

    1. A minimum of 45 credits is required within the English major.
    2. Completion of at least two college semesters of one foreign language is required, unless during high school the student has (a) completed three years of study of one foreign language, or (b) completed two years of study in each of two foreign languages. A student may also satisfy the foreign language requirement by passing a proficiency examination designed nationally and administered locally.
    3. Students who transfer into the English major from other institutions must complete 21 credit hours in English at Westfield State University.

    Students may satisfy three of the required six credits in the Literary and Philosophical analysis area of the core with any of the courses on the following list. English Education students may satisfy all 6 of the required Literary and Philosophical analysis credits with courses from this list.

    • ENGL 0112 - Introduction to Black American Literature
    • ENGL 0115 - Introduction to Native American Literature
    • ENGL 0117 - Introduction to Asian American Literature
    • ENGL 0210 - British Literature to 1780
    • ENGL 0212 - British Literature from 1780 to the Present
    • ENGL 0216 - American Literature to 1865
    • ENGL 0217 - American Literature Since 1865
    • ENGL 0218 - Postcolonial Literature and Theory

    Literature and English Education - 39 Credits

    Students will take a total of thirteen courses (39 credits) required according to the following distribution:

      Required 200-level courses

      • ENGL 0206 - Principles and Applications of Grammar
      • ENGL 0210 - British Literature to 1780
      • ENGL 0216 - American Literature to 1865
      • ENGL 0218 - Postcolonial Literature and Theory
      • ENGL 0295 - Gateway to Advanced Literary Study

      Additional 100 or 200-level course

      • ENGL 0112 - Introduction to Black American Literature
      • ENGL 0115 - Introduction to Native American Literature
      • ENGL 0117 - Introduction to Asian American Literature
      • ENGL 0212 - British Literature from 1780 to the Present
      • ENGL 0217 - American Literature Since 1865

      Required 300-level courses

      • ENGL 0317 - Shakespeare: Tragedies and Histories or
      • ENGL 0318 - Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances
      • ENGL 0338 - Young Adult Literature in the ELA Classroom
      • ENGL 0383 - Teaching Writing: Issues in Rhetoric and Composition

      Genre and Diverse Literary Traditions

      The remaining four classes are distributed across the two fields listed below.  Student are required to take courses in at least two subfields in the two fields.  ENGL 0397 may be used with approval of Chair.



          • ENGL 0376 - Modern British and American Poetry
          • ENGL 0382 - Contemporary Poetry


          • ENGL 0300 - Development of the Novel
          • ENGL 0311 - The British Novel
          • ENGL 0323 - The American Novel


          • ENGL 0317 - Shakespeare: Tragedies and Histories
          • ENGL 0318 - Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances
          • ENGL 0364 - American Drama
          • ENGL 0365 - Dramatic Theory and Criticism
          • ENGL 0370 - Modern Drama

          Diverse Literary Traditions

            Gender and sexuality

            • ENGL 0312 - Queer Literatures and Theory
            • ENGL 0326 - Advanced Studies in Global Women's Literature

            Race and ethnicity

            • ENGL 0324 - Advanced Studies in Black American Literature
            • ENGL 0325 - Advanced Studies in Native American Literature
            • ENGL 0333 - Advanced Studies in Asian American Literature

            Postcolonial/the Global South

            • ENGL 0327 - Contemporary Cross-Cultural Literature

            Special themes/methodologies

            • ENGL 0330 - An Introduction to Modern Literary Criticism
            • ENGL 0341 - Seminar in Major British and American Authors
            • ENGL 0365 - Dramatic Theory and Criticism
            • ENGL 0367 - Film Theory and Criticism
            • ENGL 0393 - History and Development of Motion Pictures

            Writing - 6 Credits

            Students will take any two of the following writing courses.

            • ENGL 0246 - Creative Writing
            • ENGL 0275 - Journalism I
            • ENGL 0276 - Writing About the Arts
            • ENGL 0285 - Basics of Film Writing
            • ENGL 0303 - Persuasive Communication
            • ENGL 0305 - Grant Writing
            • ENGL 0331 - Special Topics in Professional Writing
            • ENGL 0334 - Special Topics in Rhetoric
            • ENGL 0340 - Creative Non-Fiction
            • ENGL 0345 - Writing Fiction
            • ENGL 0346 - Writing Poetry
            • ENGL 0347 - Advanced Critical Writing
            • ENGL 0361 - Advanced Poetry Writing
            • ENGL 0371 - Playwriting
            • ENGL 0375 - Journalism II
            • ENGL 0377 - Feature Writing
            • ENGL 0381 - Advanced Prose Writing
            • ENGL 0384 - Special Topics in Journalism
            • ENGL 0385 - Screenwriting for Feature Film
            • ENGL 0388 - Special Topics in Writing
            • ENGL 0394 - News Editing
            • ENGL 0395 - Sports Writing

            Professional Sequence: Middle and Secondary (Grades 5-12)

            The Professional Sequence for Middle and Secondary must be completed by students intending to teach an academic subject area in the Middle or Secondary School. Students must complete an academic major in the subject area in which the licensure is sought.

              Professional Sequence Core:

              • EDUC 0220 - Schools in American Culture (*FB)
              • EDUC 0380 - Critical Multicultural Education

              Professional Sequence Courses Middle and Secondary:

              • EDUC 0221 - Introduction to Students with Exceptional Learning Needs (*FB)
              • EDUC 0321 - The Middle School and its Students **
              • EDUC 0354 - Educational Planning and Evaluation: Middle and Secondary Schools (*FB)
              • EDUC 0363 - Sheltered English Immersion
              • PSYC 0203 - Adolescent Development
              • Appropriate academic methods course Credits 3 (*FB)


              *FB indicates field-based course.


                Appropriate Practicum

                • EDUC 0372 - 5-12 Practicum: English and History

                Pedagogical Coursework

                A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required in pedagogical coursework specific to your licensure program prior to practicum.  Consult with the department on which courses are classified as part of the pedagogy requirements.

                  Additional Graduation Requirements

                  All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core .