Bachelor of Arts Degree in English
The English degree offers students the opportunity to explore the rhetorical traditions and rich literary heritage of various English-speaking cultures. English majors spend considerable time studying American and British literature and read widely in both fields. At the same time, the English major calls upon students to engage a variety of critical approaches to literature and culture and to study the art of writing.
Through their careful engagement with language and literature, English majors gain expertise in the following areas:
- They read fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction analytically.
- They communicate clearly and accurately in writing.
- They convey information effectively in oral presentations.
- They think critically and flexibly to assess circumstances or problems.
- They perform advanced research using a variety of scholarly databases.
- They synthesize, analyze, and evaluate information from a variety of perspectives.
- They organize and present information logically.
- They pay close attention to details relevant to processing information effectively and correctly.
In short: English majors become well-rounded critical thinkers with an arsenal of skills coveted by various industries in a global economy with a need for expert communicators.
Careers for students with an English Degree
A degree in English allows students to embark on a number of English career paths in a global job market that seeks employees who are outstanding readers, writers, speakers, and thinkers.
English majors may choose to pursue careers in administration, business, communication arts, consulting, creative writing, education, journalism, politics, publishing, speech writing, theater, and many other areas.
English majors are prepared to work in academia, in administrative positions, in libraries and other cultural institutions, for the media, and at museums. Likewise, they may seek employment with educational institutions, foundations, the government, non-profit organizations, private companies, publishers, and other employers.
English Degree Curriculum
The English degree prepares students to enter graduate degree programs in fields such as American studies, communication arts and sciences, comparative literature, education, English, journalism, law, library science, various business-related graduate degrees, and other fields.
Recommended Academic Plan for B.A. in English
Minors at Penn State
To further prepare English majors for the job market, English may be paired with one of our minors: Business; Information Science and Technology; International Studies; and Security and Risk Analysis.