English is the cornerstone of the liberal arts education because literature is also the study of history, culture, gender, class, race and nation as they work together to form human identity.
Students who love to read and who think stories are a window into history and human culture should think about becoming an English major. Majors will carefully analyze written works, understand their historical and cultural contexts, and converse with classmates and professors about their close readings in discussion-based courses.
It’s been in the news lately—companies love English majors and employers want to hire them. Why? English majors know how to read and think critically from years of textual analysis in class discussions. Furthermore, English majors have honed the craft of essay writing to an art form. Critical thinking and clear, effective written communication are essential to employers—and English majors excel in those areas.
Professional writing students work on real products for real clients in their courses. Students learn how to balance client and audience needs, assess and meet the conventions of professional genres, and successfully create a portfolio of writing samples to demonstrate their knowledge
English majors take a series of courses that survey a particular historical period in American and British literature, as well as choose from a selection of courses focused on a particular topic, such as:
- Literature from authors of minority ethnicity
- Gender in literature
- World literature or literature and the natural world
- Special topics such as the gothic, love, heroes and villains, murder and mayhem, etc.
English majors also choose from a series of writing and gender courses to round out their study, such as:
- Creative writing and production of an online literary journal
- Gender and sexuality studies or theories of gender and sexuality
- Professional communication, journalism, or grant writing
English majors have the opportunity to:
- Work closely with professors in small classroom environments
- Help produce the department’s online literary journal
- Participate in a monthly Salon where students and faculty share their creative work or share the work of others that they love
- Submit to an annual creative writing contest
- Identify and develop connections across classes
- Take plenty of elective courses outside of their major
English is the most transferable and applicable major to most any career field. Employers love English majors because they know they can communicate effectively and have refined their critical and creative thinking skills.
Our majors have gone on to pursue graduate school and careers as teachers, legal assistants, reporters, editors, marketing coordinators, and graphic designers in both corporate and non-profit settings.
Blackburn’s own Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Dr. Lauren Dodge, was an English major, and several of our former Admissions counselors were English majors in college.
- English Major/Minor
- Creative Writing Major/Minor
- Professional Writing Minor