Students majoring in English may choose to go to law school, graduate school in English, or to pursue a career in which strong analytical and verbal skills are prized.
The department encourages students to supplement English courses with selected communication courses and courses from other departments.
In selecting courses, students receive careful, individual attention through the department's four-year Career Development Program, in which students work extensively with the department faculty.
*MINOR: The English Department offers a minor in English made up of 18 credits of English courses on the 200-level or higher (one of which must be ENG 290). Students wishing to minor in English should apply to the department.
Special RequirementsA QPA of 2.33 is required in English for the major or minor. No course with a grade of 'D+' or lower is counted toward the major.
Tracks of StudyEnglish majors select from among three tracks within the department to develop expertise in specific areas or fields within the English discipline.
Within each track, students take an individualized constellation of courses designed to enhance their understanding of one specific aspect of the English discipline.
Literary and Cultural Studies Track The Literary and Cultural Studies major track grounds students in the traditions, contemporary developments, and theoretical methods that define the scholarly discipline of English today. The curriculum and the advising model in this track are designed to:
expose students to the range of cultural practices and social influences that shape literature from past to present
empower students to become shrewd interpreters of culture and distinctive communicators in oral and written form
engender in students the fullest understanding of cultural artifacts ranging from traditional literary texts to new narrative forms in film, television, and other media
prepare students considering further graduate study in the field at the Master’s or doctoral level
Note: Despite its usefulness to those contemplating graduate work, the Literary and Cultural Studies track is not exclusively for that audience; rather, the track should be considered a versatile foundation for any English major.
The Literary and Cultural Studies track is open to all students and provides a rich intellectual groundwork for a variety of academic and career plans.
English Secondary Education TrackThe English Secondary Education track provides the disciplinary understanding necessary to engage in English classroom teaching. The required English courses are designed to:
provide students with a broad and competent understanding of the American and British literary traditions, as well as the various critical lenses through which literature is discussed
help students understand the writing process and its applications in the contemporary classroom
engage students in discipline-specific pedagogical practices designed to meet the unique needs of middle and high school-level English language and literature learners
Note: The English Secondary Education track is designed in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements for students who wish to teach English at the middle and high school levels.
Students who wish to be certified in English by the state of Pennsylvania as undergraduates should declare Secondary Education as a second major in order to complete the standards set forth by the state.
Writing TrackThe Writing track is designed to meet the unique needs of English majors who wish to:
focus their disciplinary emphasis on writing across multiple genres
gain an understanding of how literary traditions have helped to shape the various modes of written communication
To this end, majors enrolled in the Writing track select 9 credits of literature-based genre or survey courses in addition to their writing electives to provide a foundational understanding of the unique characteristics of literary genres and their development over time.
In addition to creative writing, the writing track offers opportunities for students to develop their writing for specific audiences, particularly those they will encounter as they enter the 21st century workforce.
Students electing the Writing track will assume a significant role in the Department of English Publications Program to enhance their professional portfolios. This work will include both writing and editorial responsibilities for the award-winning Woodcrest website and print edition, as well as our Department of English Alumni Newsletter and student social-media outlets.
The English Writing track provides students with the real-world proficiencies they require for a variety of future academic, career, and creative endeavors. It is an appropriate primary major, and a serviceable second major for students who understand the need for strong oral and written communication skills in the contemporary workplace.