B.A. in English
As an English major at Biola, you’ll join a community of students and faculty dedicated to the pursuit of nuanced thought, careful reading and creative, persuasive writing. The English department engages in community, together, by practicing the power of language and story. When you graduate, you’ll be equipped to pursue and embody the greatest story — the gospel — in your home, city, church and career.
The English department is committed to preparing you for excellence in your post-graduation endeavors, wherever they may take you.
In small, rigorous class settings, you’ll think deeply about complex texts, practice communication skills and grow in empathy by engaging with stories and poems from all over the world. Your heart, soul and vocation will be indelibly marked by a Christian ethic anchored in Christ’s command to love God and neighbor.
You’ll gain skills highly sought after by employers, like critical thinking, communication, creativity, ethical awareness, empathy, and the ability to write with elegance and style. Our alumni have gone on to success in a variety of careers, from teaching and academia to law, marketing and podcast production.
- Flourish in Small Classrooms: You’ll engage in thought-provoking discussions and meaningful relationships — all in classrooms that never exceed 22 students. Biola English professors hold advanced degrees from top universities, but the excellence they cultivate isn’t just academic. They’re committed to you — helping you discern who you are, what you love, and how your English degree will build a strong foundation for your career and vocation.
- Practice Biblical Integration: Our professors foster biblically informed conversations that consider the Holy Spirit’s role in creativity, the image of God expressed in human diversity, and the role of empathy in loving your neighbor. You’ll seek to glorify God in the creative process, written and verbal communication, civic engagement and professional life.
- Pursue Professional Experience: Gain teaching, tutoring and editing experience as a Rhetoric & Writing Center consultant, or by being a TA for a first-year writing course. Pursue academic professionalism and honors in The Guild of English Scholars, our Sigma Tau Delta chapter. Or visit the Career Center to seek internships, review your resume or brainstorm for your future career.
- Gain Editorial and Publishing Experience: The Inkslinger is the English department’s student-run literary journal. It features creative writing and artwork submitted by students and alumni. As an English major, you can join the editorial board or submit work to be published. You can also write or edit for other on-campus projects like The Point, The Chimes, Grit, and KBR: The Torch (Biola’s student-run radio station).
- Seek Adventure in Off-Campus Study: Students can explore countries like Uganda, Australia, Jordan and Japan through one of Biola’s study abroad opportunities. Our English majors’ favorites include Biola Shakespeare (which takes place at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival), a journalism program in New York City, the rigorous Scholars’ Semester in Oxford, and Biola London.
- Thrive in Community: We annually commemorate student accomplishments at our end-of-year Senior Banquet, the campus-wide Celebration of Student Writing, and Zeitgeist, our undergraduate academic conference. You’ll have opportunities to network with alumni in fields as diverse as teaching, law, marketing and podcasting at our yearly Career Conversations. You can also look forward to fun traditions like our Christmas Party (complete with a white elephant book exchange), the Inkslinger launch party, and more!
- We Prepare You for What’s Next: Your English professors are committed to equipping you for your dream career, engaging in conversation to imagine what you’d like to do and training you in the skills that will help you get there — such as critical thinking, teamwork, empathy and the ability to communicate with clarity. When you graduate, you’ll join an alumni network of thoughtful, compassionate professionals who embody the gospel everywhere they go.
Students in our literature concentration spend four years reading and analyzing the world’s greatest works of literature alongside a robust education in biblical studies. If you’ve ever daydreamed about spending semesters with Jane Austen or James Baldwin, or find your interest piqued by course titles like “The Rose and the Sword: Legends of King Arthur,” “The Victorian Novel,” or “Modernism and Masculinity,” this is your concentration.
- Secondary Instruction
If you aspire to teach junior high or high school English, you can pursue a California Single Subject Teaching Credential in our English secondary education concentration. You’ll practice literary analysis and discussion with English department professors, gain over 100 hours of practicum and student teaching experience, and learn to integrate biblical virtues into pedagogical practice. Course titles include “Methods of Teaching Linguistically Diverse Students,” “Studies in Grammar and Language,” and “Introduction to Critical Theory.”
Our writing concentration blends literary study with rigorous instruction in the artistic and vocational aspects of a writing life. You’ll receive professional training and develop personal writing practices in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and technical and digital communications. You will be challenged to engage secular and sacred themes with artistic excellence, curiosity and biblical integrity. Our students’ favorite courses include “Writing the Novel,” “Literary Journalism,” and “Vision, Voice, & Practice” (an interdisciplinary course in art and creative writing).
Yes! Tell Me More!
What will I study as an English major?
As an English major at Biola, you will think deeply in a community of empathetic, creative, intellectually rigorous believers. The skills our professors will teach you — among them persuasive communication, teamwork, and clear, stylish writing — will help you excel in the classroom and in your post-graduate career pursuits. English department course highlights include:
- Best practices in writing poetry, novels, and short stories
- Works by great American writers — such as Frederick Douglass, John Steinbeck, Emily Dickinson, and Toni Morrison
- Rhetorical and theoretical studies in grammar and language
- Major developments in theories of society, politics, religion, science, and ethics, and their application to the study of literature
- Shakespeare — his plays, performances of his plays, and his relevance to today
- Developments in Arthurian legend from the 14th century to the present
- Coming of age novels from around the world
- The historical and cultural contexts, satire, realism, and legacy of Jane Austen’s novels
- Classics of American Modernism — The Great Gatsby, The Sound and the Fury, The Sun Also Rises, and more
- Storytelling and narrative theory in Victorian novels
Bible and Theology Coursework
As part of Biola’s commitment to a biblically centered education, most undergraduate students complete 30 credits of biblical and theological studies as a part of their degree program. Learn more about our Bible and theology core.
Career Outlook and Preparation
What can you do with a Bachelor of Arts in English?
English department alumni work in a wide variety of careers. They excel wherever they go — whether that be advanced graduate study, corporate marketing work, podcast production, full-time ministry, or even the medical field. Positions held by English department alumni include:
- Senior Brand Manager
- Podcast Producer
- Comedy Writer
- Content Manager
- Community Organizer
- Human Resources Coordinator
- Vice President of Marketing
- Theater Consultant
- University Professor
- Corporate Consultant
- Freelance Writer
- High School Teacher
- Magazine Editor
In addition, some of our students have gone on to advanced graduate studies in English. Institutions they have attended include University of Southern California; University of California, Irvine; University of Oxford; Georgetown University; Boston University; Boston College; the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-Upon-Avon; University of St. Andrew’s; University of Connecticut; and Claremont Graduate School.
6% job growth
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for technical writers is projected to be as fast as average between 2021 and 2031.
BLS projections are not specific to Biola University students or graduates.
I love studying English at Biola because it has given me the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations about literature from a Christian perspective.
I really appreciated the opportunities to just read so many full books and primary texts, and the scholarly rigor with which the professors and many of my fellow students thought about and discussed what we studied.
I love that, because of the small class size, we are able to have such personalized attention both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. The small class size allows for collaborative and formative discussions, and my writing has greatly improved from individual advice from professors.
Biola gave me a strong foundation in Jesus' teachings and actions, and the English program specifically taught me to think critically about the story and character of Jesus.
The program at Biola prepared me to develop a narrative, write long-form content and sustain an argument, edit my work and help others edit their's, receive and implement feedback, and think critically about texts/arguments.
English, B.A. '17
Learn about Biola’s admissions requirements, steps to apply, application deadlines and more at our Undergraduate Admissions page.
Schedule a Visit
Learn more about this program by attending an upcoming event for prospective students and parents, or by scheduling a personalized visit.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Biola is more affordable than you might think — dramatically lower than the “sticker price” in most cases — with 100% of incoming undergraduate students receiving some form of financial aid.
Chair, Department of English
- Ph.D., University of California, Riverside
- M.A., University of California, Riverside
- B.A., Vanguard University
Professor of English
- M.F.A., Chapman University
- M.P.W., University of Southern California
- M.A., University of California, Riverside
- B.A., Biola University
Maria Su Wang
Associate Professor of English
- Ph.D., Stanford University
- M.A., Stanford University
- B.A., University of California, Los Angeles
The Guild of English Scholars
Mission Statement: The English Guild exists to integrate our shared Christian faith with scholarship of English language and literature through acts of service, the establishment of community, and the exhibition of excellence
Purpose: The Guild of English Scholars includes Biola's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honors society. Guild members plan and host a variety of yearly events, including the Zeitgeist Undergraduate Paper Conference, our department Christmas party, and a spring banquet to celebrate graduating seniors. Historically, other events and activities have included the Underground Film Society and the Tea Society.
The Inkslinger is Biola University's creative arts journal, published once every semester. It accepts short fiction, poetry and black-and-white photography from students in all disciplines. The Inkslinger seeks to join Biola's creative artists from all academic disciplines in producing a single literary journal. In this process, writers and editors alike gain pre-professional publishing experience. While encouraging artists to hone their craft, The Inkslinger showcases some of Biola's greatest talent in a way that is accessible to students, alumni, parents, and other schools.
The Scholars’ Semester in Oxford
During the Scholar’s Semester in Oxford, students pursue rigorous academic study and research under the guidance of Oxford’s accomplished tutors. As visiting members of Wycliffe Hall, they have full access to the University’s academic and professional resources—from libraries and lectures to any of its clubs and societies. Tutorials are available in a wide range of subjects, including Classics, Literature, Theology, and Philosophy. Through SCIO (Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford), which facilitates the SSO, Biolans explore England in educational field trips and live with students from other schools in the CCCU. SSO is four months of rigorous study, delightful exploration, and rich community among people who care to cultivate thoughtfulness in both their intellectual pursuits and their faith.