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English Language Arts Education Major

English education header

**Available to students entering on or after fall 2021.**

English language arts teachers focus on literacy development, which includes writing, language, and the study of literature. They teach students to use texts and data to explore the literary world from multiple perspectives, voices, and cultures.


English Teachers are one of the top ten critical shortage areas in Virginia (2020-2021)



Excellent job placement track record


Graduates teach middle and high school English across the country

Total Credit Hours: 120

Major Courses (84 hours)

Elective Courses (9 hours)

General Education (27 hours)

Is it possible to double major? 

Yes, our students have the opportunity to double major with education and English successfully. Academic advisors are available to help you plan your course of study. 

What You'll Study

  • 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Arts in Education in Secondary Education degree, including Virginia Tech’s Pathways 
  • 36 credit hours of education courses, which includes fieldwork and practicum courses, Educational Psychology for PK-12 Teachers, Educating Exceptional Learners, and Middle and High School English Teaching methods
  • 48 credit hours of English and language arts courses, including Gender and Linguistics, Language and Ethnicity in the United States, Introduction to Creative Writing, Introduction to Critical Reading, Acts of Interpretation, and History of the English Language
  • All required coursework and practical experience prepares students for Licensure in English Language Arts Secondary Education (Grades 6 through 12) in the Commonwealth of Virginia


Curious how the degree requirements will fit into your experience at Virginia Tech? See the roadmaps below for a sample schedule of courses each year. Your academic advisor will help you create a personalized version based on your goals and other areas of interest. The individualized plan will also include your AP, IB, dual enrollment, or transfer credit.

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What is a Major in English and Langauge Arts Education?

The program prepares for licensure in Virginia and prepares middle and high school English teachers to be successful in the context of increasingly standardized education reforms. You will learn how to develop instruction that welcomes students’ cultural backgrounds and lived experiences to help them engage with English Language Arts content. Coursework will focus on integrating diverse voices and texts into your instruction. Courses in the program highlight literacy development and consider the roles language and culture have in teaching that brings classroom content into dialogue with students’ lives in and beyond 21st-century classrooms.  

Why Study English and Language Arts Education here?

You will expand upon traditional approaches to teach writing, language and literature that incorporates newly emerging practices and research in adolescent literacy, new literacies, multimodal technologies, and teaching and learning in 21st-century schools. Inclusive and culturally sustaining pedagogy are important aspects of our approach to teacher preparation. Faculty model techniques in their courses that we expect our graduates to practice in their own English Language Arts 6-12 classrooms. We embrace these values in educator preparation: equity and access, reflective practice, and learner-centeredness.

Beyond the Classroom

Get Experience

Take advantage of in-classroom opportunities that prepare students for employment immediately after graduation. Students' complete student teaching in local classrooms, volunteer in the community, and participate in a community writing course where they learn best practices in managing service-learning writing projects in schools, community centers, retirement communities, and public libraries. 


garden class


Our faculty work with you to advise you on pedagogy, research, and the breadth of opportunities that a career in education opens for you. You can design your own research project, work closely with a faculty advisor to plan a course of action, or you can participate in a collaborative project where you help a faculty member with their research.



What Our Students Are Saying

Careers and Further Study

What do I do with an English language arts education major?

Our students will be prepared for licensure in Virginia, which offers licensure reciprocity with states across the U.S. Some graduates teach for several years, and then go on to graduate school to expand their career opportunities. Here are some common job titles of our graduates: 

  • High School English Language Arts Teacher
  • Middle School English Language Arts Teacher
  • Education Consultant
  • Private Tutor
  • Online Educator
  • Academic Advisor
  • Teacher Educators