Bachelor of Science in English Education

Andrew Smyth


Admissions to the Secondary English Education Program for Undergraduates


BS in English with Certification

Declaring Interest in the Program

Students interested in teaching middle and/or high school English should declare English as their major, and then choose “secondary English education” as their concentration and program.  “Selection of Degree Program” forms are available in the English Department main office.  There is a separate admissions process into the program, since the program is connected to the School of Education.   We advise that students should meet with their English major academic advisor as soon as possible to plan for their admission into the program. 

Before the Application Process

Most students apply to the program during their sophomore or junior year, once they have successfully passed EDU 201:  Introduction to Teaching Professions—an introduction to middle and high school teaching course—and ENG 112:  Writing Arguments, the composition requirement.  State certification regulations specify that students cannot take more than two professional education courses before they are accepted into a teacher education program.  A list of these courses follows:

Professional Education Courses

Therefore, most students take EDU 201 and SHE 203 before they apply to the program.  Avoid taking any other classes from the list above.  They require admission and special permission.

The Application Process

Application to the program occurs during both the fall and spring semesters.  In the fall, applications are typically due in mid-October, and in the spring they are typically due in mid-March.  The exact due date will be posted in the English hallway and emailed to all English majors.  We welcome interested students to meet with the coordinator of the program, Melissa Talhelm, in Engleman D 272, to inquire about the process and due dates. 

In addition to submitting the application materials, students will also interview briefly with two members of the Admissions Committee during the week following the due date for the application materials.  A sign-up sheet will be on Dr. Talhelm’s door.  An interview will not be granted unless all application materials are complete.  We encourage students to come to the interview professionally dressed and prepared to speak about those experiences that have informed your desire to become an English teacher. 

Required Admissions Materials and Criteria

1.  Copies of complete transcripts from all institutions attended (official or unofficial)

2.  The School of Education requires students to maintain a 2.7 QPR average, while the English Department requires a 3.0 average in all English classes. Eligibility for acceptance into and continuing in the Secondary English Education Program depends upon these academic standards.

3.  Proof of passing the PRAXIS I exams in reading, writing, and mathematics.   In some cases, the PRAXIS I may be waived based on SAT scores.  Follow this link from the School of Education's website for information regarding the PRAXIS waiver (APPLICATION FOR CONNECTICUT ACADEMIC SKILLS ASSESSMENT WAIVER):

Be aware that the waiver application process can take several weeks until you receive the letter from the State Department of Education. Please plan ahead. 

4.  A writing sample of academic prose (4 to 6 pages), preferably from an English course

5.  An essay (2 pages maximum) answering this question, "Why would you like to become an English teacher?"

6.  Two letters of recommendation, along with the recommendation forms from the School of Education’s website.  Follow this link to the forms:  Recommendations can be sent directly to Melissa Talhelm in the English Department.

7.  A completed application to the School of Education, available at

Final Words

All materials must be submitted to Dr. Talhelm by the application due date for the given semester.  Materials can be left in her mailbox in the English Department mailroom.  Students should also sign up for an interview at that time. 


If candidates have any questions, they should contact Dr. Melissa Talhelm via or by phone at (203) 392-6895.