English Education

The set of courses in the undergraduate concentration in English Education aims to help students develop the subject-matter knowledge to enter credential programs to become English Language Arts teachers at the secondary level, in middle or in high school. The program includes a range of literature classes, courses in the theory and practice of literacy teaching and learning, linguistics and communication classes, service learning in local public schools and an option of taking an emphasis area (literature, drama, linguistics or creative writing). The program culminates with students compiling reflective electronic portfolios, a course capstone that emphasizes the constructivist philosophy of the program — the belief that students actively make meaning as they learn.

Individuals who want to become teachers who do not pursue the English Education concentration can establish English subject-matter competency by passing the California Subject Examination for Teachers.

Summer student sitting in class with laptop

Program Contacts

Jim Gilligan, Program Coordinator
Email: jimrgill@sfsu.edu
Phone: (415) 405-2454
Office: Humanities Building, Room 235

  • Core Requirements (24 Units)

    • Lower-Division (6 Units)

      • ENG 218 - Writing the First Year: The World, the Text, and You (3 units)
      • ENG 250 - Topics in Literature and Culture (3 units)
    • Upper-Division (18 Units)
      • ENG 402 - Introduction to Professional Writing and Rhetoric (3 units)
      • ENG 420 - Introduction to the Study of Language (3 units)
      • ENG 461 - Literature in English Since 1800 (3 units)
      • ENG 480GW - Junior Seminar - GWAR (3 units)
      • ENG 583 - Shakespeare: Representative Plays (3 units)
      • ENG 640 - Global Texts and Practices (3 units)
  • Concentration Requirements (21 Units)
    • Applied Linguistics (3 units) [Select one or see an advisor:]

      • ENG 423 - Language Analysis for Langauge Teachers (3 units
      • ENG 425 - Langauge in Context (3 units)
      • ENG 426 - Second Langauge Acquisition (3 units)
    • Literature: Adolescent (3 units)
      • ENG 655 - Literature and the Adolescent Reader (3 units)
    • Literacy (3 units) [Includes 25 hours of community service learning.]
      • ENG 417 - Academic Literacy and the Urban Adolescent (3 units)
    • Advanced Composition (3 units) [Includes 20 hours of community service learning.]
      • ENG 419 - Advanced Composition for Teachers (3 units)
    • Mythology and Oral Traditions (3 units) [Select one:]
      • AIS 162 - American Indian Oral Literature (3 units)
      • CLAS 230 - Ancient Epic Tales (3 units)
      • CWL 250 - Fables and Tales (3 units)
      • CWL 260 - Myths of the World (3 units)
      • CWL 421 - Celtic Literature (3 units)
      • ENG 636 - Greek and Roman Myth and Modern Literature (3 units)
      • LTNS 435 - Oral History Methods: Theory and Practice (3 units)
    • Speech Performance (3-4 units) [Select one:]
      • COMM 220 - Introduction to the Performance of Literature (3 units)
      • COMM 553 - Performance and Identity (4 units)
    • Capstone Experience (3 units)
      • ENG 688 - Assessment in English Language Arts (3 units)

View more about the post-Fall 2019 requirements in the current SF State Bulletin.

Single Subject Matter Program in English

Consists of three parts - An English Core, an English Education Concentration and an Emphasis Area

The following are requirements for a B.A. in English with concentration in English Education. This program also provides certification of Subject Matter Competency through the state approved subject matter program in English at SF State. Any student who is considering a career in teaching middle- or high-school English should enroll in this concentration. 

View more about the pre-Fall 2019 requirements in the 2018-2019 SF State Bulletin.


Total for Major: 59 - 66 units

*Please note as of spring 2013, the minimum grade acceptable in a course for the major is a C- with the exception of ENG 480GW — Junior Seminar GWAR, which requires a minimum grade of a C. The minimum grade point average for the major remains 2.0. If you have any questions, please see your faculty advisor.

Single Subject Matter Program Notes:

  • Only courses in which students earn a B- or better will count toward subject matter competency for admission into a California credential program. Students who earn lower grades in any of the courses required for their major will need to take the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) to establish subject matter competency.

  • Courses for subject matter competency may not be taken CR/NC.

Electronic Portfolio

All candidates for subject matter competency in English must compile an electronic portfolio in which you provide evidence to demonstrate that you have met all of the core outcomes of the Single Subject Program. You should include artifacts-examples of your work and faculty and peer comments on your work-and reflections that explicitly tie elements of the artifacts to the outcome statements. Students should keep electronic copies (and back up copies) of all work done in their major classes in order to create an electronic portfolio during their final semester. You can view general directions for electronic portfolios as well as view sample English Ed portfolios in the SF State ePortfolio Gallery.


To help keep track of your classes, you can use the Advising Checklist, which you can also bring with you to your appointment with an English Education advisor.

On graduating, to demonstrate subject matter competency, you will need to obtain the signature of an English Credential Advisor on your Subject Matter Certification form, which you will find at the back of your application packet for the Single Subject Credential Program at SF State or online. You may call Paul Morris at (415) 338-1575 for an appointment, or drop in during office hours. Enter the courses from your transcript which satisfy the requirements. Bring unofficial copies of your transcripts from all post-secondary institutions. (Your advisor will not be able to obtain these from other sources on campus.) You should also plan to attend an informational meeting at the College of Education to guide you in the requirements for applying to the credential program.

To help keep track of your classes, you can use this Advising Checklist, which you can also bring with you to your appointment with an English Education advisor.

English Education Advising Checklist (PDF)

The documents on this website/webpage might not be fully accessible to persons with disabilities. We are working to fix these accessibility barriers by June 15, 2022. If you experience difficulty in accessing this content, please contact the Department of English by email at engdept@sfsu.edu and we will provide you with accessible alternatives.


Gilligan, Jim
James Gilligan (He/Him/His)
Associate Professor
English Education Program Coordinator
(415) 405-2454
Morris, Paul
Paul Morris (He/Him/His)
Associate Professor
(415) 338-1575