Thinking about being an English major?


Do you enjoy reading, writing, and having lively discussions? Then you might consider majoring in English in college. Here are different ways you can prepare for an English major: 

1. Read, Read, and Read Some More: English majors enjoy reading and their reading interests are varied. The best English majors read in a wide range of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama. Take as many high school leterature classes as you can. If your high school as an AP program, join it. Visit your public library often. 

2. Write, Write, and Write Some More: English majors look for opportunities to hone their writing skills. Typical high school writing opportunities include yearbook, school newspaper, speech writing, special event writing. If your high school teaches writing classes, take them. You can also record your thoughts and experiences in a daily journal or diary. 

3. Speak, Speak, and Speak Some More: Because language lies at the heart of everything an English major does, English majors are often called upon to perform carefully crafted words at public events. Even the shyest English major should welcome opportunities to read or speak in church, in clubs, at civic events, and at social events. 

4. Pay Attention to "How" it is Said: English majors develop a keen ear for language, for nuance, for sublety. They are close and careful listeners and readers. They often detect meanings that escape others. They listen with their pores wide open. While they often love music, they pay closer attention to lyrics than most. Words matter mightily to English majors. 

5. Cultivate Open mindedness and Tolerance: English majors are interested in the human experience and in the expression and portrayal of that experience in many forms. They learn to read with an open mind, avoid making snap judgements, and respect individuals who differ from themselves. They acknowledge that each human being is a valuable work in progress. 

6. Be a Friendly Person: English majors not only enjoy reading and writing, they often enjoy sharing their reading and writing. They like to talk about books and films, ads, and a wide range of media. Their interests in books, films, and other media often include works in translation and works growing out of other cultures. It's no surprise, then, that English majors are often experienced travelers. If your high school offers local or international tours, try to join one. 

What English Majors Do: teachers, copywriters, poet, novelists, screen writers, grant and proposal writers, journalists, broadcasters, librarians, stock brokers, advertisers, publishers, politicians, technical writers, sales, public relations, consultants, lobbyists, reporters, market researchers, corporate bloggers, lawyers, ESL teachers and much more!

Visit the Department of English website to learn about programs of study and who to contact for more information.