National University

Undergraduate Programs in English




Studying literature deepens our understanding of the values, relationships, and practices that make us human and helps us to appreciate the beauty in our own and others’ experiences. As it participates in broader cultural conversations, literature gives us insight into the ways competing interests and ideas have been negotiated at different times and in different places. By attending to literary forms and language, we learn to be perceptive readers of all kinds of texts as we work to imagine and create a more humane world.

Students in our English undergraduate programs study works of American, British, and World literature, honing their skills of literary analysis, critical thinking, and oral and written communication. In addition to studying literature from many different cultures and periods, students can take courses in language and linguistics, creative writing, and communication. Our faculty are experienced teachers and active scholars, working and publishing on a variety of subjects, from Shakespeare to Thomas Pynchon and folklore to crime fiction, and on literary treatments of issues from women’s labor to the surveillance state, and they are excited to share their knowledge with students.

With a rigorous curriculum and several different degree paths, all available online, the English Undergraduate Programs prepare students for careers in a variety of fields including teaching, media, advertising, writing, and publishing as well as for graduate studies in such areas as English, law, library science, and business.


All classes in the Major are offered online.  Classes are small and interactive. Students get to know each other and benefit from the individual attention of their professors.

Faculty engage students in a variety of ways in our programs. Threaded discussions are the heart of most of our classes:  they provide a space for students to interact with each other, their professor, and the course material, testing their ideas, questioning others’, and building knowledge through collaboration in an invigorating and supportive learning community.  Students also have the opportunity to workshop their essays and creative writing, collaboratively build wikis on course topics, blog about literary topics, and video conference with their professors. In the English Capstone Course, students work closely with a faculty mentor for two months to develop and polish an original piece of literary scholarship. Many courses offer optional synchronous chats, which provide students with an opportunity to ask questions of their professors and talk with classmates.

In addition to core courses that provide a strong foundation in the literary tradition, students choose from a variety of elective course offerings, including Contemporary Fiction, Nature Writing, Children’s Literature, Latino Literature, The Short Story, and Gender and Literature.

Our programs have been online for ten years, which has given us the chance to develop innovative online teaching tools and strategies, and determine what works best for our students and faculty. Students in online programs at National University have access to all the resources and support available at traditional universities, including online tutoring services, career services, student accessibility services, and a library with an extensive collection of electronically accessible journals and books. Students in California and Nevada may visit regional centers for access to computer labs, advisers, and faculty.


We offer several different English degree paths. Students should choose the degree that best suits their interests and career goals.

Full descriptions of these programs can be found by following the links above.

For any questions about the different English B.A. degree paths, contact your admissions advisor or the English B.A. Faculty Advisor, Dr. Julie Wilhelm, at

For questions about English B.A. programs designed for prospective teachers, contact Dr. John Miller, at


A diverse student body is one of the strengths of our programs as it contributes to dynamic classroom interactions and enhances our curriculum’s focus on diversity. Students in our programs pursue their education for many different reasons and represent many different stages of life: some students have recently graduated from high school while others are transitioning into new careers or enriching their retirement. Many students take courses while managing family responsibilities and holding full-time jobs. Some of our students are actively serving in the military.

The uniquely flexible format of our classes helps students balance coursework with their other commitments:

  • Courses are one month long, completed one at a time, so students have the chance to  focus on a single subject.
  • Classes are accelerated, so students who are interested can complete NU programs more quickly than they could on a traditional schedule.
  • Students can choose not to take classes during certain months to take a break or deal with life circumstances without losing half a year of coursework.
  • All of our program courses are asynchronous, which means that although it is necessary to regularly carve out time to complete course readings and assignments, students do not have to be available to log into courses at specific times.


If you have any questions about our English B.A. Programs, please feel free to contact the program Faculty Advisors:

For the general English Major:  Dr. Julie Wilhelm at or (714) 429-5114.

For program designed for prospective teachers:  Dr. John Miller at or by phone at (714) 429-5146.