The English Major at MUW offers students a wide range of classes in English, American, and World Literature and considerable flexibility when choosing requirements and electives.
Beyond the survey courses, our offerings in English literature range from single author classes on Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spencer, and Milton to period classes in Renaissance Drama, Restoration and 18th Century, Gothic, Romantic, Victorian, and Twentieth Century. American offerings include Early and Late Nineteenth Century, African-American Literature, Twentieth-Century Fiction, and Literature of the South. World Literature offerings include Greek and Roman Mythology and Literature in the Postcolonial World. Other courses that cross national boundaries include Images of Women in Literature, Images of Women in Medieval Literature, Adolescent and Children’s Literature, Modern Poetry, Contemporary Poetry, and Twentieth Century Drama. Special Topics, Seminars, and Internships are also available, as are advanced writing courses and courses in linguistics, the history of the language, and literary theory.
Requirements for the English major are meant to be flexible to allow students to tailor their degree to their interests and goals. All students take a full literature survey sequence (Early and Late) as part of their general education curriculum; one course in Shakespeare; one course in Advanced Grammar, Literary Theory, or History and Structure of the English Language; one advanced writing course; and English Capstone. These required courses help the program ensure that every student is exposed to the core ideas of the English curriculum. Beyond the required courses, students take four literature electives of their choice and two electives in literature, writing, theory, or TESL. Students engage in literary scholarship in all upper-level classes and learn to analyze and interpret works in different genres. Students interested in creative writing may add the Creative Writing Concentration and students interested in teaching English may earn Secondary Education Certification. The English department also offers a TESOL Certification Program.
Student Comments On Their Experience as an English Major
"The department here has been a great help. The quality of the program has made me an excellent thinker and writer."
"The smaller class size results in more personal attention and an increased ability to take side road discussions in class."
"The discussion classes [have been my most valuable experience]. I learn a lot from what other students say."
"The small Southern Lit. Class I took this summer [was my most valuable experience]. The format was more discussion, so we had to analyze more on our own and the professor just directed us. I learned more."
"I have developed great relationships with the staff here. I have also learned to trust and appreciate my work and the work of my peers."
An Alumna Comments on the Value of her English Degree
"Tell your English majors that the business world will welcome them (and their writing and grammar skills) with wide open arms. There's a lot of change going on in the advertising/marketing industry right now, thanks to social media and search engine marketing--and quite of bit of this work revolves around words and writing. I've gone from advertising copy editor (proofing ads, etc.) to "interactive writer," which is a fancy way of saying I write "search engine optimized" copy for websites and social media, all thanks to my background in English and my capacity to read, comprehend, and write. Skills learned from writing research papers and the fun that can be had in creative writing are *very* useful in Web writing, and if one has background in website building/coding, even better! (A marketing class or two wouldn't hurt either.)"
Stefani Sloma, Master of Letters in Publishing, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK, 2013.
But Can I Get a Job?
An English major is an excellent preparation for many careers. It fits in well with MUW’s liberal arts core and helps students develop strong skills in writing, communication, and analysis. Some obvious career paths for English majors are in magazine or book publishing, editing, copy editing,or technical writing. Corporate or small business managers often cite writing and communication skills as the ones they look for. Work in the pubic sector for non-profit or government agencies may also be a option. English can be a good major for students interested in law school (see the Pre-Law Emphasis) or in graduate school in English or related fields such as Folklore, Comparative Literature, or Women’s Studies. Here are a few places online where you can find out more about Careers in English