English, Foreign Languages, and Interdisciplinary Programs Department at Chicago State University

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English, Foreign Languages, and Interdisciplinary Programs (EFLIP) offers students cutting-edge preparation for many exciting careers.   Whether you want to write a book, be a performance poet, teach English or Spanish, go to law school, become a librarian, be a diplomat, or translate while working in government service or business, this department will equip you with the necessary skills for success in these careers and many more.  Faculty members are noted professionals and scholars, having presented their work in national and international venues.  These experts have published important books and articles in their fields.  Collaborative programming with CSU's Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing gives students access to writing workshops with important authors, and conferences that provide exposure to luminaries in literature, journalism, and publishing.  Internships and study abroad opportunities to France, Spain, and Taiwan have been secured through local and global partnerships. These experiences will prepare you to confidently enter your chosen career field. 

Click on the links to the right to learn about our various majors and minors. 

Have you ever wondered how your major might help you after you graduate? See this new academic major report for the state of Illinois! 

Bachelor's Degrees Offered

Master's Degrees Offered


Career Pathways

A degree in English opens many doors in all fields, as the ability to communicate in a clear and compelling fashion will serve you well no matter what you end up doing professionally.  Many say, for instance, that a degree in literature, which involves heavy emphasis on critical thinking and analysis, is the best preparation for law school.  A writing degree will equip you to write advertising copy, manage social media content, or work as a public relations account executive for a nonprofit organization or corporation.  All roads from an English degree lead to success in endeavors such as publishing, print journalism, editing and consulting, spoken word poetry performance, librarianship, teaching, and more.

Have a flare for the global?  Our Foreign Languages and Liberal Studies offerings prepare you for a wide variety of professional pursuits.  These include interpreting, bilingual teaching, government service, and business.  Many employers especially are are looking for graduates who are bilingual in English and Spanish, as well as other languages. 

A Bachelor of Arts degree in English with options in the following areas of concentration:

  • Literature,
  • Secondary Teaching
  • Writing

The department also offers minor sequences in English and foreign languages for students majoring in other fields. Course offerings include:

  • Literature, Linguistics, Writing, Rhetoric, Foreign Languages & various specialty literatures

The motto of the English program is, "Excellence, Scholarship, and Humanity." We expect that you will represent the best of these qualities at CSU and beyond. Our faculty and staff applaud your decision to major in English. This degree will prepare you for many important and exciting roles.  These include but are not limited to book author, journalist, editor, lawyer, librarian, teacher, advertising account executive, and government service professional. We invite inquiries concerning course work and other department-related endeavors, and we are eager to assist you as you progress through the program. Simultaneously, we expect and count on student responsibility. Successful completion of your program will require regular class attendance, timely completion of assignments, class participation, and fulfillment of all requirements as indicated in the university catalog, and by your instructors and advisors.


Students majoring in English may select one of three options: literature, writing, or secondary teaching in English. Students in the literature and writing options may prepare  for a variety of careers such as writing, editing, advertising, business, law, and librarianship. Completion of the option in secondary teaching in English qualifies students for the State of Illinois Standard High School Certificate in English (6 - 12, Type 09). Certification requires successful completion of the State of Illinois certification examinations.

Minor Sequence in English

  • Completion of eighteen credit hours in English to be selected with the approval of the departmental academic advisor, including ENG 4335 or 4336, and a minimum of six credit hours in American literature and six credit hours in English literature.
  • Completion of the minor prior to graduation.

Minor Sequence in Writing

  • Completion of 18 credit hours in writing to be selected with the approval of the departmental academic advisor, including ENG 2100 and five other courses, one of which must be at the 4000 level.
  • Completion of the minor prior to graduation.

General Requirements

Admission to the program is contingent upon good academic standing. The program will not accept transfer courses with a grade of D or below. A grade of C is required in all major courses. Completion of 120 credit hours: 6 hours in composition; 6 hours in a foreign language; 3 hours in mathematics; 39 other credit hours in general education (consisting of sequences and electives in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics, depending upon the concentration chosen); 30 credit hours of core requirements; 18 credit hours in a concentration in one of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics, mainly at the Junior and Senior levels; and 30 credit hours of university electives.

Embedded in your courses, often within the General Education courses, are critical thinking, a science with a lab, a fine arts course, and a diversity course. The Liberal Studies program also addresses most of those requirements in the core areas of the major, but the General Education embedded requirements should ideally be met within General Education courses.

Course Requirements

Completion of 120 semester hours of work: 6 hours in composition; 36 hours in general education, consisting of 18 hours in the social sciences, 12 hours in natural sciences, and 6 hours in mathematics; 45 hours in Spanish; 9 hours in cognate electives; 27 hours in general electives selected with the Spanish departmental advisor's approval; and passing the examination on the state and federal constitutions.

Required Spanish Courses (27 Credit Hours)

SPAN 2010, 2020; 3010 or 3020; 2060 or 2070; 3130 or 3140; 3150 or 3160; 3220 or 3230; 3500 or 3510. Students must choose one course from the following group: SPAN 3190, 3210, 3330, 3660, 4140, 4150, 4170, 4300, 4410, 4420, 4440, 4450, 4610, 4620, 4630, 4640, or 4650.

Elective Spanish Courses (15 Credit Hours)

15 credit hours in Spanish to be selected with the approval of the academic advisor.

Cognate Elective Courses (9 Credit Hours)

9 credit hours of cognate electives to be divided among courses that will either complement the Spanish degree or will create a more intensified area of expertise in a field related to the major. These electives may be taken from anthropology; political science; foreign languages; art; music; educational leadership, curriculum, and foundations; history; geography; or any other discipline approved by the department. Courses are to be selected with the approval of the academic advisor.

Elective Courses (27 Credit Hours)

Courses are to be selected with the approval of the department academic advisor.

General Requirements

Students must:

  • pass the examination on the state and federal constitutions.
  • complete 126 credit hours:
    • 48 credit hours in general education
    • 45 credit hours in area of specialization
    • 33 credit hours in professional education

Specific Requirements General Education (48 Credit Hours)

6 credit hours in c: ENG 1270 and 1280.

Humanities (6 Credit Hours)

CMAT 2030 and ENG 1260.

Natural Sciences (12 Credit Hours)

6 hours of elective courses in biological sciences and 6 hours of elective courses in physical sciences; at least one course must be a laboratory course.

Social Sciences (15 Credit Hours)

HIST 1310 or 1310 or POL 1010; PSYC 1100 and 2040; 6 hours of courses in the social sciences in the same discipline.

Mathematics (6 Credit Hours)

MATH 1010 and 1020.

Elective Courses (3 Credit Hours)

3 hours of elective courses approved by advisor.

Area of Specialization (45 Credit Hours)

Required Courses

SPAN 2010, 2020, 2060 or 2070; 3010 or 3110, 3020 or 3120; 3130, 3140; 3150 or 3160; 3210, 3220, 3230, 3500, 3510, 4170; select one course from the following: SPAN 3190, 3300, 3660, 4140, 4150, or 4300, 4410, 4420, 4430, 4440, and 4450.

Required Supportive Course (To Be Taken Before Student Teaching).

SPAN 1092 or pass the state Content Area Certification Test in Spanish.

Required Pre-Professional Education

ED 4312; ED 1520, 2000; PSYC 2020; S ED 4301.

Professional Education (33 Credit Hours)

S ED 4303*; ED 4500*, 2000; READ 4100*; FL&L 4000*, 4630*; SPAN 1092, SPAN 4675*; CAS 2630.
Course must be passed with at least a grade of C.
*Restricted to students admitted to the College of Education.

Spanish Honors Program

The Spanish Honors Program is designed for rising juniors (second semester sophomores) or juniors who wish to challenge themselves beyond the requirements of their major (Liberal Arts Spanish or K-12 Spanish Education). Students are provided with faculty mentorship and opportunities for independent research during their junior and senior years of undergraduate study. The Honors Committee of the department solicits candidates from faculty in the department. Candidates are then interviewed for final admission into the program. Students may also apply to the program by contacting the Honors advisor.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, students must:

  • be juniors or second semester sophomores.
  • have a minimum GPA of 3.25 in Spanish course work (after a minimum of 12 hours taken) and
  • a cumulative average GPA of 3.0.

General Requirements

Honors students must:

  • successfully complete 15 honors credit hours in the major with a minimum grade of B;
  • complete 9 credit hours taken from honors designated courses or independent studies within the major at the 3000-4000 level courses. These courses will require additional projects, research and activities;
  • fulfill course requirements over three or four semesters (one honors course should be taken each semester);
  • enroll in and successfully complete the Spanish Honors Seminar (6 credit hours) and complete an honors thesis or special project under the supervision of a faculty member. A presentation will be required.