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The Department of English Language and Literature welcomes you! We are a diverse department in which English studies is broadly conceived: We offer courses in literature, creative writing, linguistics, rhetoric, and secondary English education. Courses in our department also span time periods and genres: You can study Chaucer and Steampunk, Shakespeare and Morrison, classical Greek and endangered languages, African American poetry and global literature, the rhetoric of Aristotle and of videogames, poetry writing and flash fiction. We are proud of the fact that many of our faculty have won teaching awards and that all of our faculty members are committed to being strong, innovative classroom teachers.

In addition to their time in the classroom, our faculty members actively pursue scholarship and creative activities. This means that they are able to bring cutting edge thinking into their courses. Many of our faculty also welcome the students to join them in research projects or are eager to sponsor students who wish to pursue their own independent projects through a funded URCA Associate opportunity.

Perhaps you are wondering if majoring in English is really “worth it” in today’s economy. Consider that a recent article (August 2015) in Forbes magazine shows that liberal arts majors are being actively courted by technology companies for jobs because of their ability to read carefully, write effectively, think creatively, analyze deeply, and communicate clearly. And this article isn’t an anomaly. A survey of business leaders, reported in Writing: A Ticket to Work…or a Ticket Out, indicates that competent writing ability is a threshold skill for salaried professional positions and that employees with poor writing are not retained long enough for promotion. Furthermore, a report by Georgetown University indicates that the four most in-demand competencies in the labor market by 2020 will be “judgment/decision-making, communications, analysis, and administration,” competencies that you will hone as an English major.

Pursuing a major, minor, or graduate degree in English can open many doors for you. However, you’ll need to plan a thoughtful path through the program and take advantage of internship and other opportunities. Your department mentor can help you.

We encourage you to be a part of our community. Become involved with ELLA or FEEST; attend a poetry or fiction reading, join us for our various social events, or visit a professor during office hours just to talk about literature or writing or language. We’d enjoy chatting with you!

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