English Major

A major in English can be both pleasurable and profitable, teaching you to enjoy reading and writing and preparing you for a range of career paths.

Appreciate the delight of reading the best of British, American, classical and world literature and authors as diverse as William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe and Virginia Woolf, and James Baldwin and John Donne. Each English major is assigned a faculty adviser, who assists you in creating an individual program of study best suited to your interests and abilities. The flexibility of all programs, including majors and minors, allows the student a wide choice of courses within the department and possibilities for coordinating a program with another academic department.

Three Tracks

The major offers three tracks to choose from:

Literature Track

Pursue your love of literature in this track, which requires coursework in linguistics, literary theory, British and American literature, and world literature. 

Writing Track

Hone your writing skills in the writing track as you complete coursework in writing, language and literature.

Secondary Education Track

If you are considering teaching English at the middle school or high school level, consider the secondary education track, which includes coursework in American literature, grammar, world literature and advanced writing.

Degree Requirements

View current English Major Degree Requirements.

Combined Bachelors/Masters Programs

The Department of English offers two combined programs that allow you to attain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in less time than it would take to pursue each degree separately.

The combined BA in English/MA in Humanities allows students in the literature track to substitute nine credits in the Master of Arts in Humanities program for upper-division English electives.

The combined B.S./M.S. in Professional Writing enables students in the writing track to substitute nine credits in the Master’s in Professional Writing program for undergraduate workshop classes in the English major.


The department participates in the Honors Program in coordination with the Honors College. The department offers honors sections of introductory courses for students admitted to the Honors College. For all upper-division English majors in their junior and senior years, the department offers an alternative experience to the capstone course or the internship: the Honors Thesis. The thesis experience encourages the development of independent learning skills and often allows you to connect with faculty members university-wide to discuss research interests.

Writing Resources                      

The university offers a host of resources to help you perfect your writing skills. Check out the Writing Center, the College of Liberal Arts Computer Labs and Online Writing Support for basic grammar skills.