English



Bachelor of Arts
Major
School of Arts and Sciences
Four-Year Degree

Overview

Studying great literature is not only richly rewarding, it will help prepare you for a variety of careers including teaching, professional writing, publishing, non-profit administration, business, law, and library and information science. According to a recent article in Fortune magazine, "a liberal-arts degree, plus good communication and computer skills, signals to recruiters that you'll be adaptable to a wide range of jobs." A degree in English will develop your communication skills, critical thinking ability, and cultural literacy.

Key Benefits

  • Excellent teachers and great teaching. We are a large department with diverse opinions, talents, and connections. All of us make first-rate teaching our highest priority.
  • Wide career opportunities. Our graduates go into teaching, law, business, non-profit, social justice work, journalism/communications, and many other fields.
  • Writing Skills. Effective writing is the most sought-after skill in the American workforce. Westminster English majors become strong writers through regular practice with close attention from trained faculty. English students are eligible to work as consultants at the Writing Center, gaining valuable professional experience in teaching and editing.
  • Small classes. Our writing workshops are never larger than 15, and our literature classes rarely top 20. We'll know you by name, and you'll get to know us and your classmates very well in this intimate setting.
  • Great literature. In addition to American and British literature, many of our faculty teach classes in Asian, Russian, and other national literatures. Besides great authors like Shakespeare and Joyce, we also teach the literatures of other cultures and languages including many excellent ethnic and minority writers.
  • A great creative writing program. Study with published poets and novelists in workshop format. We offer a creative writing emphasis within the major. Students can work on the staff of Ellipsis, a nationally-recognized literary journal.
  • Nationally renowned Visiting Writers Series. Each year, we bring some of the nation's top poets to campus for readings, class visits, Q & A sessions, and as much face-to-face time with students as we can manage.
  • Faculty expertise. Westminster English professors are active professionals in their fields and regularly publish scholarly books and articles, as well as poems, stories, and creative non-fiction.
  • Internships. We encourage students to try out their vocational ideas by working in local companies and organizations, and we'll help you find a placement suitable to your interests.
  • May Term. A month-long semester in which students take a variety of special topic classes that interest them. Some upcoming classes include Experimental Photography, Primitive Pottery, Science on the Sea of Cortez, Hopi and Navaho cultures. Jane Austen, Western Films, and many more. Many May term classes go on trips to a variety of foreign countries. Full-time students receive four credits of May term tuition for FREE.

About the Program

What You'll Learn

Generate Effective Written and Oral Communication

  • Creatively and effectively practice writing and revision across a variety of genres
  • Locate, evaluate, and synthesize secondary sources and integrate them with analyses of texts
  • Collaborate with peers to give and receive constructive feedback on writing

Closely Analyze Texts and Media

  • Closely analyze texts from a range of periods and genres and generate written and spoken arguments about them supported by evidence and reasoning
  • Understand the social foundation and functions of language and media and their effects on communication
  • Develop interpretations and evaluations of texts through discussion with others

Understand Literary History and Contexts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the width and breadth of English literature and the ability to make informed connections across the field
  • Understand how literature emerges from, responds to, and influences various historical, cultural, and political contexts
  • Understand the role of race, class, gender, sexuality, and other categories of identity in how authors produce and how readers interpret texts

Engage with Contemporary Literary and Critical Discourse

  • Read and interpret literary and theoretical texts in relation to one another
  • Critically approach contemporary literary and theoretical discourse
  • Develop self-awareness by questioning biases and embracing diverse perspectives in both reading and writing

Want to learn more about the English program?

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Career Opportunities

Potential Careers

The real question is what can't you do? After all, English majors are the hot new hires.

Completing a degree in English will hone your abilities to think critically, to write effectively, and to evaluate and synthesize information. These skills are highly prized in a wide variety of fields, so much so that some businesses and medical schools specifically seek majors in humanities fields like English (see, for example, this article from the New York Times). In fact, a recent survey of corporate leaders conducted by the Westminster College Gore School of Business identified writing and other communication skills as the number one ability they sought in applicants, followed closely by critical thinking.

Closer to home, English majors work in fields united by a love of language and a desire to communicate ideas and passions effectively. Many become certified to teach in primary or secondary schools or complete additional graduate study to teach at a college level. Some enter the world of print or electronic publishing, either as writers or editors. Others use their English skills to write news articles, advertisements, technical documentation, or grants and other materials for nonprofit organizations.

The following resources provide additional information on the careers you can pursue with an English major:

In a recent interview, Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Airlines, says that he looks for people with strong communication skills and likes to ask interviewees about the last few books they've read: "He Wants, Subjects, Verbs and Objects."

In a recent article in the New York Daily News, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, and Damon Horowitz, Director of Engineering at Google, say that the humanities are essential to success in the Digital Age: "Want a Job? Major in Liberal Arts."

New York Times blogger and University of Notre Dame philosophy professor, Gary Gutting, asks a question many people forget to consider, "What is College For?"

The following article in the New York Times asks an important question about what we value in the careers we seek: "Job Satisfaction vs. a Big Paycheck."

New York Times "Room for Debate" feature: "Career Counselor: Steve Jobs or Bill Gates?"

Student Success

Student and Alum Accomplishments

  • Katie Van Sleen (2015) has won second place in the Giovale Library Undergraduate Research Award competition for her senior thesis.
  • Willy Palomo (2015) is completing an MFA in Poetry and an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Indiana University Bloomington.
  • Nicole Holbrook (2014) will pursue a law degree at Boston University.
  • James DuPoint (2013) is moving to North Carolina to begin work as the regional sales representative for Epic Brewing Company.
  • Meg Singer (2013) worked as an advisor at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana. She is now pursuing an MA in Native American Studies at Montana State University, where she has been awarded a teaching assistantship.

Other English Programs

We also offer an academic minor in English.

Learn More About the English Program

Tuition and Aid

There's No Better Investment Than You

We know you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. We’ll work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, we help you make it happen.

With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, our students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of our students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.

Tuition and Fees (2016–2017)

Full-Time Annual Tuition (12–16 credits)

$32,104 ($16,052 per semester)

Financial Aid

Average Total Financial Aid

$26,631 (merit scholarship,work-study, grants and loan funds)

Scholarships

You’ll be Automatically Considered for Scholarship and Grant Opportunities

In addition to general merit scholarships, we have other scholarship programs to support you throughout your time at Westminster.

View Additional Financial Aid Opportunities

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