Jun 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Language and Literature

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Watson - Chair, Beilfuss, Brown, Dow, Gates, Howarth, Jensen, Liso, McGunigal, Mouser, Petersen-Durden, and L. Smith
Kuhn Hall • 417-625-9377

The mission of the Department of Language and Literature is to support the growth of literate knowledge, to increase the responsibility of our students, and to train them to use language and literature as successful global citizens. The department works to develop the linguistic and cultural competencies of our students that lead to lives of meaning and substance in a changing world.


Watson - Chair, Beilfuss, Brown, Dow, Gates, Howarth, Jensen, McGunigal, Mouser, and Petersen-Durden
Kuhn Hall • 417-625-9377


The mission of the English Program is to cultivate reading and writing skills, critical thinking, and an appreciation of literature–thereby preparing students to succeed professionally, to participate locally and globally as productive citizens, and to live reflective, joyful lives.

The program supports the University’s commitment to a strong liberal arts education by offering courses in composition and literature that fulfill the General Education Requirements for all Missouri Southern students. For English majors, the program offers tracks that lead to a Bachelor of Science in Education degree or to a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. In addition, the program supports the University’s goal of preparing global citizens by offering relevant international curricula and experiences for its students, including international study opportunities.

The Bachelors of Arts and Science in English provide excellent preparation for graduates who plan to enter business and industry, who plan to pursue graduate studies in English and who plan to enter professional schools such as law and medicine. Graduates of these programs are employed in such widely diverse occupations as human resources, advertising, publishing, sales management, law, mass communications and college teaching. English majors develop strong skills in writing organization and creativity and they develop a perception of and appreciation for the human values that grow out of the study of literature. Such skills equip English majors for success in the many different fields of employment described above and more.

The Bachelors of Arts and Science English majors at Missouri Southern each comprise two major tracks. The literary studies emphasis focuses on the study of literature, preparing the student for advanced study of English in graduate school, for law school and for a variety of careers in which understanding of human nature, critical thinking and oral and written communication skills are valued.

The professional/technical writing emphasis prepares the student for more specialized careers involving writing in the workplace, such as public relations, copy writing and editing, technical writing, and publishing. Both tracks require a senior capstone experience: a Senior Seminar (ENG 0495  ) in the literary studies track or one or two internships (ENG 0491  ) in the writing emphasis. These internships furnish the students with practical experience using writing and research skills in a workplace environment.

The Bachelor of Science in Education English degree prepares students who wish to teach English/Language Arts at the secondary level (grades 9-12). The English BSE program is accredited by the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), following the guidelines for teacher preparation of both of these organizations.

Certificates in Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and Linguistics allows students to customize their education with credentials that identify specific skills built in a sequence of courses in those areas.

The English Program also offers an English minor with a choice of three emphases. A minor in English with an emphasis in literature is a traditional English minor that allows students to deepen their knowledge of literature and writing. Both the minor in English with a writing emphasis and the minor in English with a creative writing emphasis are designed to develop students’ writing skills and to provide them with a way to present their accomplishments to prospective employers and graduate schools. Students who wish to minor in English will arrange a coherent sequence of courses in consultation with the departmental advisor for minors. Students should choose courses on the basis of their backgrounds, their major programs and, above all, their interests.

The program offers its majors and other students opportunities to use their talents and pursue their interests through Sigma Tau Delta, our department’s chapter of the national honors society, or through bordertown, our student-run annual magazine dedicated to publishing the creative writing of MSSU students and other extracurricular activities.

General Education/Core 42 Requirements in Humanities and Fine Arts can be partially met with the English courses listed under Area 5A. ENG 0101  is a prerequisite to all English courses except ENG 0080  and ENG 0111 . ENG 0102  or ENG 0111 is a prerequisite to all 300-400 level English courses and to all writing-intensive courses in the university. The department urges all students to complete ENG 0101 and ENG 0102 in their first two semesters.

For additional information contact:
Department of Language and Literature
Kuhn Hall 203

Modern Languages

Watson - Chair, Liso-Aldaz, and L. Smith
Kuhn Hall • 417-625-9377


The Modern Languages Program aims to develop the language and cultural competency of students who learn to navigate effectively cross-cultural situations at home, in the workplace, and abroad. Our faculty offer a quality education in Spanish languages and cultures. Our students are given a variety of opportunities and resources to reach their fullest potential as citizens of a global community. Our goal is to help you reach yours.

The Modern Languages Program offers the Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Spanish.

A certificate in Language Competency with the goal of workforce readiness is available in Spanish.

A Certificate in Spanish for the Professions is another option available to students.

The program also offers the Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Spanish. All modern language majors must demonstrate proficiencies in reading, writing, listening, speaking and cultural protocols in the language of study

For the Bachelor of Arts and for the Bachelor of Sciences in Education degrees, there is an immersion experience requirement. Opportunities for such programs exist through University-sponsored programs, through the University’s membership in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) and through departmentally-approved internships. The faculty provides close guidance to students in planning such experiences. Through the Institute of International Studies, students may be eligible for grants and/or scholarships to assist in financing these experiences abroad.

Immersion programs are open to all students, regardless of major.

Students with previous foreign language experience (academic and/or life experience) should consult the Department of Language and Literature for current policies on placement in the proper course for their respective chosen language. Students with no prior experience in a foreign language should enroll in a 100-level course.

Students who have taken the assessment for the Seal of Biliteracy should contact the department.

For additional information on Modern Languages contact:

Emily Boydston
Kuhn Hall 203 • 417-625-9377


Watson - Chair
Kuhn Hall 417-625-9377


The Department of Language and Literature provides students the support course (HS/PHIL 312) required by many programs in Health Sciences.

For additional information on the Philosophy program, contact:
Dr. Zak Watson• Kuhn 203

417-625-9377 • watson-z@mssu.edu


    Major Programs (Undergraduate)
    Certificates (Undergraduate)
    Minors (Undergraduate)
    Teacher Education Programs


      EnglishFrenchModern Languages (Misc)PhilosophySpanish

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