English Specialization



Welcome to the English Specialization within the Liberal Arts

An Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts at NOVA will prepare English specialization students for transfer to public and private institutions throughout Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic. Students who major in Liberal Arts with the English Specialization often go into teaching English, creative writing, technical writing and editing, law, the dramatic and visual arts, business, and other academic and professional disciplines. A focus on this specialization provides a firm foundation that prepares students for the rigors of upper-division coursework in English at their chosen four-year college or university.

NOVA students in the English Specialization have three main tracks that they can take as they advance toward their Liberal Arts/English Specialization Associate of Arts degree. These three areas include Literature, Creative Writing, and Writing and Rhetoric. In Literature, you will study a wide variety of texts and learn how to analyze them in meaningful ways through different literary approaches that take into account culture, history, and identity. In Creative Writing, you will explore how to write short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction while also reading diverse writers of these genres and studying their creative processes. In Rhetoric and Writing, you will study elements of the writing process and discover your own, consider your audience for your writing, and learn about how to craft arguments visually, performatively, and professionally. Descriptions of the degree options are below.

Students in the Liberal Arts/English specialization take between 60-62 credit hours (this excludes preparatory coursework like MTT or ENF/ESL) to obtain their Associate’s Degree. The focus is predominantly in the liberal arts, with a balanced courseload that builds on concepts from English composition, the humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and foreign languages, in addition to specialty English courses at the 200-level.

Students with the English specialty AA choose between three parallel 9-hour tracks, with 3 hours of literature (across all) and then 6 hours in the track below:

1. Literature: Students can opt to take American or English literature, African American Literature, Mythology, the Literature of Science Fiction, Shakespeare, and many other literary options.

2. Creative Writing: Students get opportunity to take back-to-back creative writing classes to hone their craft in a workshop environment.

3. Writing and Rhetoric: Students who are interested in journalism or professional nonfiction writing will be able to try Advanced Composition, Journalism 1 and 2, or even technical courses like Writing User Manuals.

First Steps

For students who are interested in finding out more information about the English Specialization, set up an appointment with one of the English faculty advisors on your campus. Faculty who focus on advising specialization students are

1. Annandale: Amy Flessert (aflessert@nvcc.edu),                                   Steven Lessner (slessner@nvcc.edu)

2. Alexandria: Inquire with the division

3. Loudoun: Jeremy Cook (jcook@nvcc.edu) or Meredith Reynolds (mreynolds@nvcc.edu)

4. Manassas: Inquire with the division

5. Woodbridge: Julie Quinn (jquinn@nvcc.edu; 703-878-5670)