Old Dominion University
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College of Arts and Letters


Department of English




Minors and Certificates

Undergraduate Minors

The English minor requires 15 semester credit hours of upper-division (300-400 level) courses, of which at least one course must be 400-level. The minor may be focused on literature, creative writing, journalism, professional writing, or linguistics, or may be mixed. English minors must have a 2.0 minimum grade point average in their English courses. To declare a minor, students must see Janis Smith, Chief Departmental Advisor (CDA).

Undergraduate Certificates

Professional Writing. This certificate requires 12 hours of professional writing courses from ENGL 325, 327W, 334W, 335, 368, 381, 427W, 435W, 439W, 468, 481, or 486. To enroll in the undergraduate professional certificate program contact Dr. Julia Romberger.

Graduate Cerftificates

Literature. Easily completed in one calendar year, this certificate gives students who already hold at least a master's degree in a different field the 18 hours of graduate study in literature that are the minimum requirement for teaching that subject at the post-secondary level in Virginia.  Requirements are:

  • 3 hours in British Literature before 1800
  • 3 hours in British Literature after 1800, Postcolonial Literature, or New Literatures in English
  • 3 hours in American Literature
  • 9 hours of electives in literature
  • At least 9 of the 18 hours must be completed at the 600 level.

To enroll in the Graduate Literature Certificate program, contact Dr. Imtiaz Habib.

Teaching of Writing. Easily completed in one calendar year, this certificate gives students who already hold at least a master's degree in a different field the 18 hours of graduate study in the teaching of writing that are the minimum requirement for teaching that subject at the post-secondary level in Virginia.  Requirements are:

  • 3 hours of Writing Pedagogy, ENGL 664
  • 3 hours of Teaching Colloquium, ENGL 687
  • 3 hours of Rhetoric from ENGL 760 or 765
  • 9 hours of English electives in Rhetoric, Professional Writing, Journalism, Linguistics, or Creative Writing
  • At least 9 of the 18 hours must be completed at the 600 level.

To enroll in the Graduate Teaching of Writing Certificate program, contact Dr. Kevin Moberly.

Professional Writing. Easily completed in one calendar year, this certificate is designed for professionals who want to supplement their undergraduate or graduate degrees and sharpen their writing and communication skills.  The certificate requires 12 hours from:

  • 527 Writing in the Disciplines
  • 535 Management Writing
  • 539 Writing in Electronic Environments
  • 573 Writing with Video 
  • 581 Advanced Public Relations
  • 583 Advanced News Reporting
  • 584 Feature Story Writing
  • 585 Editorial and Persuasive Writing
  • 586 Media Law and Ethics
  • 664 Teaching College Composition
  • 665 Teaching Writing with Technology
  • 668 Graduate Internship and Project in Professional Writing
  • 669 Modern Rhetoric
  • 685 Writing Research
  • 686 Introduction to Rhetorical Studies
  • 687 Colloquium for Teachers of English
  • 695 Topics (when topic related to professional writing)
  • 715 Professional Writing Theories and Practicies
  • 716 Professional Writing in/for International Contexts
  • 760 Classical Rhetoric and Theory Building
  • 765 Modern Rhetoric and Theory Building
  • 766 New Media Theory and Practice I
  • 771 New Media Theory and Practice II

To enroll in the Graduate Professional Writing Certificate Program, contact Dr. Julia Romberger.

TESOL. This certificate, which partially satisfies the endorsement requirements for the Commonwealth of Virginia, includes five courses (some of which have ENGL 540 as a prerequisite):

  • ENGL 670 Methods & Materials in TESOL
  • ENGL 671 Phonology
  • ENGL 672 Syntax
  • ENGL 675 Practicum (Student Teaching)
  • ENGL 677 Language and Communication Across Cultures

The TESOL certificate may be taken independently of the degree, but students must be admitted to the graduate program.

To enroll in the Graduate TESOL Certificate Program, contact Dr. Bridget Anderson.

Endorsement for English as a Second Language (ESL). Students who are already certified (e.g., in Elementary Education, Middle School Education, Secondary English, or Secondary Foreign Language) may pursue an added endorsement in ESL by meeting the following state requirements.  A minimum of 24 semester hours of course work is required, distributed as follows:

  • Teaching of reading (6-credit hours)
  • English linguistics, including phonology, morphology, syntax of English (3-credit hours)
  • Cross-cultural education (3-credit hours)
  • Modern foreign language (6-credit hours)
  • Electives in second language acquisition, general linguistics, applied linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, ESL assessment, or ESL curriculum development (3-credit hours)
  • Methods for teaching ESL (3-credit hours)

To enroll in the Endorsement for ESL program, contact Nola Nicholson, M.S. Ed.