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A Letter from the English Department Chair

I am delighted you are exploring the English major.

But I bet that, although you really like literature and writing, you are wondering if you should actually major in English because you have heard you can’t get a job with an English degree unless you teach English. Wrong. Mount English-major graduates have distinguished themselves in business, public service, law, administration, social work, journalism, and other fields.

How can an English major help you get a job?

When you work through the fascinating courses required to complete your major, you will

  • Develop critical thinking skills through challenging reading and discussion
  • Sharpen your ability to communicate both orally and in writing
  • Learn to appreciate the complicated psychological make-up of human beings as you examine character through prose fiction and poetry
  • Become conscious of the magical role of language to create, transform, and intensify meaning

With those qualities, you are a very desirable employee and colleague.

What would you study as a Mount English major?

You will get a panoramic picture of some of the world’s greatest literature and the forms in which it came to life. After completing the preparation of two semesters of Freshman English, you would take these courses, the core of the English major:

  • American Literature
  • British Literature before 1700
  • British Literature after 1700
  • Advanced Writing—From a variety of creative and nonfiction choices
  • A genre course—In either the novel or poetry or drama
  • Shakespeare—How could anyone be an English major without studying the greatest poet of our language?
  • Theory and Criticism. The heart of how to analyze and examine literature
  • Two English electives—your choice
  • Senior Seminar—The capstone of your study of literature, taught like a course in graduate school; so if you go on for an advanced degree, you already know how grad study works.

What else?

Creative Writing Emphasis

If you elect to be an English Major, you may opt for a B. A. in English, Creative Writing Emphasis. If you select this emphasis, you will take the required courses for the regular literature-based English Major but with the following change:

  • You will take 12 units in Creative Writing: an Introductory Creative Writing Course (Eng 106) and three of four Creative Writing Workshops (Fiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction Prose, Drama: Eng 150, 151, 152, 153).

The Creative Writing Emphasis will allow you to explore your own voice through literature. Can you imagine anything more exciting than that? This thrilling emphasis will sharpen your sensitivity to the elements of fiction such as plot, character and symbol and it will prepare you for a Master’s in Fine Arts in Creative Writing (at MSMU or elsewhere) after you complete your BA in English.

In addition to the regular English minor, we also offer a Creative Writing minor (an exhilarating combination of literature and creative writing courses).

More

  • Enjoy small classes and the easy and friendly interaction with the English faculty.
  • Pursue a double major (or add a minor) by combining our literature-intensive English major with another discipline like Psychology, Sociology, Religious Studies, Political Science or one of the hard sciences to make you even more employable because you see the world from a broad perspective.
  • Help edit and write for the English Department’s literary magazine Audemus or work with Journalism and the New Media majors on the on-line university newspaper, The Athenian Print.
  • Practice your English skills in the workplace with an internship. Past English majors have profited from internships at KCET, the Food Network, magazines, newspapers, publishing houses, and TV production companies.
  • Study abroad for a semester and take literature courses in England, the very birthplace of our literary heritage.

brueck-k

Dr. Katherine Brueck
ktbrueck@msmu.edu

Degree Requirements