Admission to Degree Program
All degree programs in the Department of English are open enrollment. However, special enrollment limitations apply for English teaching majors.
The English major provides a detailed knowledge of the English language and of literature written in English. English majors approach language and literature as a source of knowledge and aesthetic pleasure, a mode of encountering and evaluating diverse minds and attitudes, a vehicle for art and action, a means of historical understanding, and a source of spiritual insight. English majors use writing as their primary means (1) of knowing, understanding, and evaluating their experience and their reading and (2) of sharing their insight with others. In keeping with the long-standing ideals of a liberal arts education, the English Department aims to cultivate in its students those foundational skills in writing, awareness, and judgment upon which lives of wisdom, service, and an ever-increasing love for learning might be built.
With a firm grounding in the liberal arts, English majors are prepared for any career that requires perceptive reading, orderly and clear thinking, intellectual maturity, and effective writing. Many career opportunities for English majors exist in teaching, professional writing and editing, law, business, communications, or government service. English majors can certify to teach secondary-school English, or they can prepare for graduate study in English and college teaching. When combined with prerequisite courses in other departments, the English major provides excellent preparation for graduate work in law, business, library science, medicine, humanities, or religion. By selecting areas of concentration, some English majors prepare for careers in technical and professional communication, editing, creative writing, and related fields. By supplementing their English major with computer classes, some find work in information technology. The skills and knowledge acquired by an English major also provide good preparation for government service, especially when combined with the study of foreign languages, economics, political science, and history.
The Department of English strongly recommends that StDev 317, a 1-credit-hour course, be taken at the end of the sophomore year or the beginning of the junior year. Because liberal arts degrees provide preparation in a variety of useful fields rather than a single career track, this course is recommended to help liberal arts students focus on specific educational and occupational goals and to identify the career options or educational opportunities available to them. The course will introduce them to the resources needed for accessing information about graduate schools, internships, careers, and career development. Students will learn basic employment strategies, including the steps necessary for obtaining employment related to their own specialty.