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Explore the English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film emphasis bachelor's degree program at UW-Eau Claire

Learn to critique literature, society and culture from multiple angles — including from a historic, generic, cultural, ethnic, theoretical and national perspective — with a bachelor's degree in English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The critical studies emphasis is an excellent choice for those who regularly ask deeper questions about movies, video games, books and social media, or find themselves assessing the significance of everyday texts like an advertisement or song lyric. Coursework throughout the major will teach you to read literary, critical and cinematic texts and reveal how they construct meaning and shape frameworks of power that mediate human relationships.

With the goal of providing maximum flexibility and personalization, the majority of the critical studies degree is made up of courses chosen by you. Study British, American, world/post-colonial, American ethnic, and women's literature and culture. Explore courses in theory, film and popular culture. Dive deeper into your electives with a creative writing workshop, or learn more about linguistics, or the rhetorics of science, technology, and culture. This holistic, all-encompassing approach shapes our graduates into extremely knowledgeable and culturally competent experts and prepares them well for countless career paths.

Upon graduation, you'll be able to critically engage with texts of various genres and media to uncover meanings and interpretations — a skill that makes critical studies majors highly sought after. Our grads go on to work at law offices, advertising firms, public relations companies, publishing houses and nonprofit organizations, making a positive impact wherever they go.

Why English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film emphasis at UW-Eau Claire?

Incredible study abroad programs. One of the best ways to understand culture and art is to experience it firsthand. Studying literature, history and film in another country can lead to life-changing perspectives and experiences. Find inspiration in places like England, France, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Korea, South Africa or Japan while studying abroad. Or join faculty on a cultural immersion trip to diverse places right here in the U.S. 

Academic apprenticeships. As a critical studies major, you'll have the opportunity to work as an academic apprentice. This may require you to facilitate class discussions, assist teams with group work, answer questions, provide input for class activities and assignments or teach part of a class session. This is an excellent way to build leadership skills, gain real-world experience and explore different career paths. 

Groundbreaking research opportunities. Critical studies majors are naturally curious, which often makes undergraduate research even more appealing. UW-Eau Claire has earned national recognition for the research opportunities it provides to its students — something you'll certainly experience while part of the English department. Your work may include conducting captivating interviews, assisting faculty with data collection or presenting your research findings at local and national conferences.  

Diverse, fascinating curriculum. Dozens of electives throughout the major allow you to pursue multiple passions and become an expert in many different areas. Explore the recent turn to religion in contemporary postcolonial women novelists, the genre of Asian American autobiography and memoir, the writing and music of the African Diaspora, or a feminist analysis of the “Good Life.” Critical Studies’ multidisciplinary approach will surround you with different people, ideas and perspectives.

Valuable student organizations. Joining a student organization at UWEC builds your skill set — and your resume. You may mentor current and potential students, organize events or give back to the community. You'll also meet students who, like you, are interested in English and all that it offers. 

97% employed

or continuing education after graduation

2021-2022 Graduate Report

Quick facts

English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film emphasis program details
  • Program length: four years
  • Offered: in person
  • Campus: Eau Claire
  • This major requires a minor or certificate.
  • This program is also available as a minor and certificate. 
  • Students majoring in this program may choose either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
Student organizations
  • English Ambassadors
  • English Festival
  • None of the Above (NOTA)
  • Sigma Tau Delta

What can I do with an English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film emphasis degree from UWEC?

From marketing assistants at regional banks to contributing authors at Eau Claire's very own Volume One magazine, graduates of our critical studies major go on to excel in a variety of challenging and creative jobs all over the country. 

The emphasis on close reading and critical analysis of complex textual materials also makes this program an excellent gateway to law school. According to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), English is among the top 10 most common pre-law majors for students accepted into ABA-accredited schools.

English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film careers

During my time at UW-Eau Claire, I have been lucky enough to study around the world, become involved with several campus organizations and activities, and meet some of my life's greatest friends. These past four years have been an incredible journey filled with challenges, growth and lots of amazing memories.

Ali Mundth English - Critical Studies in Literatures, Cultures, and Film

English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film emphasis bachelor’s degree program curriculum

Throughout the English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film major, you'll learn the tools of interpretation — including narrative, figurative language, critical theory, language and rhetoric in cultural context and intertextuality — as applied to a variety of both literary and social texts. Courses will have you analyze films, TV shows and literature using an array of critical methods and approaches, as well as concepts of role representation and ideology; race, class, and gender; economics and history; aesthetics and politics; and genre and form.

Pair your studies with a minor or another major in areas like American Indian studies; race, gender, and sexuality studies; communication studies; history; ancient studies; journalism or sociology for even more career opportunities.

What classes do English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film emphasis majors take?

Your classes may cover topics like: 

Learn more about the English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film emphasis major in the UWEC course catalog.

Learn more about the English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film minor in the UWEC course catalog.

Learn more about the English - critical studies in literatures, cultures, and film certificate in the UWEC course catalog

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Department information

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Centennial Hall 4102
1698 Park Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Visit the English department website