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The English major provides a balanced program of introductory and advanced work in English and American literature, world literature in English, English language and linguistics, and writing. The program offers students the chance to engage in a major humanistic discipline, the study of literature, which is challenging and enriching in itself. The English major also provides sound professional training for those interested in high school or college teaching, the teaching of English as a second language, business or technical writing, or graduate work. And the program is an excellent background for students entering professional schools or planning business careers.
The Lake Campus offers a B.A. in English and the B.A. in Liberal Studies, both of which foreground the study of writing and literature.
In choosing electives, students should try to select, in consultation with the departmental advisor, courses that complement their major interest and form a coherent unit of study, or courses that provide an appropriate career-oriented concentration.
There are many reasons why students choose to major in English at the Lake Campus. Here are a few of them:
Students major in English because:
- they love literature and want to learn how to read and think analytically.
- they want to learn to write more creatively, clearly, and persuasively.
- they have an enthusiasm for learning and believe that a broad understanding of culture is essential for personal and professional fulfillment.
- they want to acquire the professional skills that are most important to future employers.
Majoring in English provides you with skills that employers want.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, 89% of employers said that the skill that they most want their employees to have is “the ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing.” 81% of employers cited “critical thinking” and “analytical reasoning” as the most important skills for a prospective employee. A degree in English provides students with these very skills, making English majors uniquely suited for today’s job market. A degree in English isn’t “job training.” Instead it offers you a set of research and critical thinking tools that can be applied in a variety of settings.
Here are a few sample job titles for English majors with bachelor's degrees:
- Public Relations Assistant
- Management Trainee
- Mass Media Assistant
- Publishing Assistant
- Editorial Assistant
Here are some industries that employ English majors:
- Magazines and Newspapers
- Book Publishers
- Colleges and Universities
- Public Relations Firms
- Telecommunications Organizations
- Radio Stations
- Consulting Firms
- Non-Profit Organizations
In addition to these careers, English majors often choose to pursue graduate studies in English, law, medicine, and many other fields. A degree in English thoroughly prepares you for a diversity of life paths and career choices.
Benefits of majoring in English at the Lake Campus include:
- small class sizes that offer one-on-one attention from professors.
- the opportunity to study with faculty members who are accomplished teachers, writers, and scholars.
- flexible course offerings in face-to-face, mixed mode, and online formats.
Here are what some of the professors at the Lake Campus have to say about English literature:
"Studying English literature is an exploration of identity. It asks questions about who we are as individuals and communities. The stories we read and tell ourselves shape the way we interact with others and the world around us. Literature is not just a bunch of words on a page but an accumulation of cultural, philosophical, political and aesthetic practices that reflect upon the rich diversity of human nature and desire. As such, the study of literature is just plain fun and makes us much more interesting."—Dr. Christine Junker, Associate Professor of English
"English majors learn transferable skills that give them flexibility for the job market. Being able to read carefully, write well, and analyze complex ideas makes English majors ideal candidates for many different jobs, and it makes them more informed citizens. The study of literature boosts your emotional intelligence, too, increasing your ability to read people as accurately as you read texts." —Dr. Kelly Battles, English Instructor
"The study of English literature not only involves the study of history and narrative, but ultimately the study of language, and human beings are defined by language. The better grasp of language we have, the smarter we are going to be. Period. English literature is one of the most effective means of developing the intellect for use in both the academic and professional world—not to mention that you get to read and think about a lot of good stories." —Dr. David H. Wilson, Professor of English
David H. Wilson, Ph.D.
Professor of English and Unit Head for the Humanities and Social Sciences