Interests and Talents
Do you love words and ideas? Are you amazed at the imagination of a Jane Austen or an Octavia Butler, the stylistic wonder of a Shakespeare, the insights of a John Keats or a Sylvia Plath, the perspective of a Frederick Douglass, Toni Morrison or Margaret Atwood, the humor of a David Sedaris, the journalistic bravery of a Nellie Bly or a Ted Conover? "I've always enjoyed reading," you say. Or, "I love to write." Maybe you're a self-identified grammar nerd or a social media whiz. But, you ask yourself, what will I do for a living?" Anything and everything. As the varied career paths of our English majors show, you can translate those interests and passions into a career—and we'll help you do just that.
As you will discover when you embark on a job search, employers love English majors. Why? There is not a field in which language skills are not in demand, and English majors fit the bill. In fact, the explosion of web-based communications has created an even greater need for engaging content producers. Some of our English majors pursue graduate studies in literature and language on the path to becoming teachers and professors. Many others establish successful careers in law, journalism, library science, editing, advertising, public relations, social media management, civil service and business. No matter your interest, you will find that what you love and what employers want—articulate communicators who can analyze situations, express opinions, solve problems—are a great match. You can read more here about some of our alumni who have made that match.
The English program introduces students to many forms of literary expression and is designed to deepen your sensibilities and develop your intellectual skills. Critical thinking and effective communication are a goal of every course. Students may choose a concentration in literature, writing, journalism, education or drama. In addition to completing the English major, students often pursue a minor––in such fields as Biology, Business, Faith-Justice, Gender Studies, Latin American Studies, Communication Studies and Political Science.
An active internship program offers opportunities to work in a variety of professions, including journalism, social media, public relations, publishing and nonprofit organizations. Many majors also choose to spend a semester studying abroad, and many graduate with General or Departmental Honors.
The teacher-student relationship is one of the English Department's greatest strengths. Classes are taught by a committed and highly accomplished faculty who are enthusiastic about research and writing and publish frequently but who are particularly devoted to teaching and student development. In fact, English faculty members are frequent recipients of awards and grants in teaching, literature, creative writing and journalism. Small classes, close advising, individualized instruction, discussion-oriented seminars and writing workshops provide a personal atmosphere for learning. Students are encouraged to consult their advisor and teachers frequently and freely.