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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?”
- English Majors can make a median salary of $63,730 per year in Tennessee with a degree in English.
- English Majors make as much over the course of their lifetime as those in high-paying fields, comparing favorably to STEM and business.
- English Majors are being snatched up by companies seeking candidates with strong communication skills.
- English is a Top 10 College Major (Princeton Review), based on job prospects, alumni salaries, and popularity.
- English majors are doing better on the job market than Business majors, Biology majors, Education majors, Legal Studies majors, and more.
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, please contact Dr. Josh Reid, Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Studies.
Dr. Josh Reid, Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Literature and Language