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Department of Literature and Language

College of Arts & Sciences

If you have a love of literature, a desire to become a better writer, and a need to develop stronger critical thinking skills, the English major or minor is for you.

The Bachelor of Arts in English offers a general grounding in both American and British literature, in addition to a selection of courses focusing on world literatures, drama, women’s literature, technical writing, creative writing, linguistics, film studies, and environmental studies.

What can I do with an English degree?

A command of the English language is one of the most important assets in any work environment, both domestically and globally. Literature in English majors are prepared for a number of jobs that require strong communication and interpretative skills, including careers in law, medicine, publishing, editing, journalism, human resources, program management, marketing, reporting, creative and technical writing, education, public relations, social work, government service, the clergy, non-profit organizations, and financial services. English majors direct multi-national corporations (Michael Eisner, Disney CEO), lead philanthropic organizations (Kathryn Fuller, Chair of the Ford Foundations and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund), take the bench of the Supreme Court (John Paul Stephens and Clarence Thomas), go into space (Sally Ride, astronaut), and assume important government administrative responsibilities (Carol M. Browner, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, and Mario Cuomo, Governor of New York). A more accurate question, then, would be, “What can’t you do with an English major?”

Literature in English Major Requirements

In addition to general education course requirements and proficiency-intensive requirements, Literature in English majors must complete 36 hours of English requirements above the 1000-level composition courses. These include:

  • 9 hours of 2000-level courses (excluding ENGL 2030, “Literary Heritage”)
  • 3 hours of literary criticism or the study of the English language as a language
  • 6 hours of 3000-level courses
  • 6 hours of 4000-level courses (including an author-emphasis course in Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer)
  • 12 additional elective hours at the 3000 and 4000 levels

Perhaps a Minor in English Better Suits Your Needs?

Aside from the pleasure to be gotten from a study of literature, the minor in English provides students the opportunity to develop their skills in analysis and persuasive writing which prove useful in all other majors. The minor requires 24 credit hours, of which no more than 6 can be 2000-level courses and at least 9 must be 4000-level courses (ENGL 2030, "Literary Heritage," may not be applied to the English minor).

Declaring Your Major or Minor

To declare Literature in English major or minor, , Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Studies.

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