English is an excellent pre-professional major for careers in business administration and management, public relations, advertising, marketing, radio and TV, journalism, federal and state government service, law, and criminal justice. Each of these professions requires people who can read and write well, think critically, and do research—precisely the skills developed as an English major. And how better to prepare yourself to respond intelligently to numerous points of view than through the study of literature where you constantly practice seeing the world through the eyes of others?

Curriculum Overview

Majors have the opportunity of selecting courses in all the major historical periods and genres of British and United States literature; also in focusing on individual authors (Shakespeare, Austen, and others); in creative writing; and in topics in African-American literature and culture, ethnic studies, gender studies, literature and sport, science writing, and various literary topics, like Images of War in Literature and Film. With new courses in the graphic novel and digital media, English majors can use their talents to immerse themselves in a variety of contemporary fields.

Through the English program, students will:

  • develop excellent critical thinking skills for decision making and problem solving,
  • recognize alternative points of view,
  • deliver a more persuasive message in class discussions and writing assignments,
  • use the study of literature to gain insight into history, sociology, psychology, and the arts, and increase their enjoyment in reading and discussing books.

Value Of The English Major

To learn more about the various roles that English majors fill in the modern workforce, please see the following articles from Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Brazen Technologies.

Internships And Research

Students majoring in English are offered opportunities to apply their knowledge through internships, whether at a magazine, publisher, advertising and marketing firm, nonprofit organization, political or law office, or other business setting. The greater Philadelphia region offers a wealth of opportunities for workplace experience.

Complementary Minors and Certificates

Students who minor in one of the following disciplines will find a strong overlap or complement to English:

  • American Studies
  • Business
  • Civic and Community Engagement
  • Communication Arts and Sciences
  • Environmental Inquiry
  • Information Science and Technology
  • International Studies
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Psychology
  • Women’s Studies  

(Additional minors and certificate programs are also available.)

Graduation And Beyond

English provides the foundation for developing one’s expertise throughout life. Graduates find positions in a variety of fields, including:

  • Business Administration and Management
  • Federal and State Government Service
  • Journalism
  • Radio or TV
  • Law and Criminal Justice
  • Public Relations, Advertising or Marketing

Graduates may also choose to complete a degree at the master’s or doctorate level.