The skills most in demand for today’s job market are those in which English majors excel – oral and written communication, reading comprehension, active listening, analysis and critical thinking.
These fundamental strengths place graduates of Appalachian State University’s English (BA) – Creative Writing program at the top of employers’ wish lists, assuring them success and flexibility in a variety of careers – including writing, editing, publishing, journalism, broadcasting, marketing, advertising, public relations, teaching, educational administration, law, business, library and information science, the caring professions, government and more.
With award-winning faculty including a former North Carolina Poet Laureate, Appalachian’s Department of English offers one of the finest undergraduate creative writing programs in North Carolina. Students flourish in small classes focused on workshopping their writing, and have the opportunity to engage with renowned visiting authors, including Appalachian’s Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing.
Employment: Students who graduated from this program have gone on to work for Oxford University Press, Technica Editorial Services, Adams Literary Agency, Cox Media Group, MicroMass Communications, UNC-Chapel Hill, Merkle, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Impact Financial Systems and others.
Graduate School: Students who chose to continue their education have gone on to earn graduate degrees in English, law, publishing, library and information science, education, communication sciences and disorders, public administration, social work, computer science and creative writing. Students from this program have gone on to MFA graduate programs in Creative Writing at the following schools:
- Dartmouth University
- University of Iowa
- University of San Francisco
- University of South Florida
- Indiana University
- Sarah Lawrence College
- New York University
- Georgia State University
- North Carolina State University
Students take courses in writing, literature and grammar, plus a language. Core courses include:
- Creative Writing: Poetry
- Creative Writing: Prose (Fiction)
- Advanced Poetry
- Advanced Fiction
- Advanced Creative Non-Fiction
- Literary Journalism
- Senior Seminar in Creative Writing (topic varies by semester)
- Rivers-Coffey Colloquium in Creative Writing
A minor is required for this major. Popular choices include:
- TESL/Applied Linguistics
- General Business
- Religious Studies
- Political Science
- Theatre Arts
Engagement Outside the Classroom
The English Club is a student-run organization that supports camaraderie among English majors through a variety of activities and special events on campus.
Sigma Tau Delta is an international honor society for English undergraduates.
Lyric is Appalachian’s Spoken Word Poetry Club.
The Peel is an award-winning student-run literary publication that features Appalachian students’ stories, poetry, essays and artwork.
Cold Mountain Review is Appalachian’s professional literary review published out of the Department of English.
The Film Club is the Department of English’s undergraduate club devoted to film production and appreciation.
APPS Society Film Series is sponsored by the Appalachian Popular Programming Society (APPS).
Sustainability Film Series screens films that help viewers better understand the challenges facing human culture and our planet.
The Queer Film Series seeks to increase campus and community awareness of the histories, lives, and cultures of LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and intersex) persons.
The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series brings eight authors to campus for readings and craft talks throughout the school year.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series brings eight authors to campus every year.
- Appalachian’s Creative Writing concentration was the first undergraduate program in the U.S. to receive an endowed Truman Capote Creative Writing Scholarship. It is awarded annually to a rising junior or senior whose submissions of prose or poetry are judged to be outstanding. The department also offers the John Foster West and Marian Coe Creative Writing Scholarship Competitions.
- The Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professorship in Creative Writing brings to campus every fall a writer of national prominence. In the past, the program has hosted Al Young, Toi Derricotte, Kelly Cherry, Robert Morgan, R.T. Smith, Gurney Norman, Nancy Huddleston Packer, Kathryn Stripling Byer, George Ella Lyon and others.
- Research shows that English majors who choose to pursue a graduate or professional degree consistently perform at the highest levels on the GMAT, MCAT, LSAT and the GRE.
- Qualifying students can participate in Appalachian’s accelerated master’s program – often called 4+1 – and complete a master’s degree in English in one additional year.
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
On campus only
Appalachian graduates with English degrees excel wherever employers value cultural literacy and the ability to read carefully, think critically and write effectively.
Dr. Tammy Wahpeconiah
Professor and Interim Chair