The Department of English offers excellent undergraduate majors and minors (for the Bachelor of Arts degree) in English and in Creative Writing.
The Undergraduate English Major gives students a comprehensive view of the field with core requirements in literature, analysis, language, and writing. This broad-based major prepares students for a great many careers, including (to name just a few) the law, library science, counseling, publishing, business and technical writing, and teaching at the primary, secondary, and college levels.
Creative Writing Majors and Minors in our department have the opportunity to work with distinguished faculty in small workshop settings in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Many of our Creative Writing students go on to receive Master of Fine Arts degrees, to publish their creative work, and to teach writing at colleges and universities, as well as to write for business, industry, and public relations.
With the help of their advisors, all of our majors can develop an individual “pathway” in the major. These pathways in the English major may include traditional fields of English and American Literature as well as areas such as Rhetoric and Composition (including business and technical writing), English Language and Linguistics, Under-Represented Literatures (Native American, Chicano/a, African-American, Women’s Literature), Critical Theory, or Visual Culture (including analysis, history, and theory of film as literature).
These concentrations have set up many of our graduates for a wide range of occupations where the basic skills they have acquired in analysis, synthesis, and writing can be used to great advantage, as many business leaders have told the Department of English. The question asked above thus has many good answers.
Consider these answers from nationally recognized experts:
- National Data on English Job Opportunities
- An English degree can mean opportunity
- Liberal Arts graduates do well with JOBS
- What do I do with a B.A. in English?
- Why Poetry Can Save Your Life
- Intersections Between Poetry and Science
- English Benefits in All Fields
Also note what many of our alumni have had to say:
"Studying English gave me the tools to better explore the human experience through literature and analysis. It gave me the insight into the universal struggles of man, and it provided me with the analytical techniques necessary to extrapolate from the world around me (not just literature) and synthesize a better understanding of humankind. I absolutely feel that my BA in English prepared me much more for my future career as a physician than any undergraduate science course I ever took."
"I think that students should come away from their English major with a strong sense of the historical depth of the language and literary tradition."
"Courses related to rhetoric/persuasion and analysis were most valuable, marketable. I have applied my 'rhetoric focused' English degree to the world of information Architecture, User Experience. It is very possible to adapt an English degree."
"My experience with the English Department was wonderful. I especially appreciated the fantastic professors available at all levels of the major."
"Two years ago, while working on my MFA in film at New York University, I found myself in the office of writer/director Todd Solondz, who'd been very impressed with a script of mine. He asked me where I'd studied as an undergrad, and when I told him the U of A, it was the first time anyone acknowledged that I was the product of such a great program."
"I became very involved in all fields of English study, as well as all the different extracurricular programs associated with the English Department. I am very glad that I did--there is a lot of intricacy and variety to the field of English, and my experience with the UA's English Department, as a whole, was stellar."
"The professors in the Creative Non-Fiction focus were incredible. Survey courses were wonderful as well."
"I had a fantastic experience as an English major and I feel that my literature courses, and especially the English Honors Program and seminar courses, really improved my writing and critical thinking skills. I apply these skills everyday in my 2 jobs."
"Teachers who cared about my success and peers who pushed me to improve are the things I remember most about the English Department."
"I loved my experience as a student at the U of A! I joined the teaching fellows in NYC in 2002, completed a free MS in education from Queens College, and I am completing my second fellowship, second MS, in S.T.E.M education at NYIT. My undergrad work helped prepare me for a lifetime of learning, even though I didn't follow the career path I expected."
"The Honors Program in English was also incredibly important to my graduate studies (and likely my future career)."
Do you (or your parents) want to know what you can do with an English or Creative Writing major?
Download the PDF below to see a list of the many jobs that our English and Creative Writing alumni have held: