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Mission of the English Department
The purpose of instruction in the Department of English is to develop graduates who are proficient in analytical thinking, in critical reading of literary and non-fictional texts, and in a variety of writing modes. All graduates should be able to demonstrate their knowledge of features of language, interpretive approaches to literature in English from several periods, and in the writing process.
Courses offered by the department prepare students for reading and writing throughout the college curriculum, for communication in business and professions, for the advanced study and teaching of English, and for careers in professional writing, publishing, and related fields.

If someone asks what you can do with a degree in English, here are some answers:
  • Actors and Actresses  (Matt Damon, Katharine Hepburn , Alan Alda, Emma Watson);
  • Journalists and Editors (Thomas Matthews,  Bob Woodward);
  • Television and Radio Broadcasters (Diane Sawyer,  Andrea Mitchell, Howard Cosell, Conan O'Brian); 
  • Lawyers and Judges (Supreme Court Justices  John Paul Stevens and Clarence Thomas);
  • Politicians and Government Administrators (Mitt Romney,  Pete Wilson, Carol Browner);
  • Medical Doctors and Psychologists (Benjamin Spock, Harold Varmus, B. F. Skinner, Rollo May);
  • Business Executives (Hank Paulson,  Anne M. Mulcahy, Steve Wynn);
  • Scientists (Sally Ride, Rachel Carson, Edwin Teale);
  • University Presidents (John Cavanaugh [Notre Dame], Angelo Bartlett Giamatti [Yale], Hazo Carter [WVSU]). 
Simply put, majoring in English opens up several different kinds of doors.

The Bachelor of Arts in English has a common core of courses in language, writing, literature, and critical theory. Students may choose to pursue the more traditional Literature Option, which prepares them for graduate study, professional school, or any other number of professions; the Professional Writing Option, which prepares students for graduate study in writing along with a variety of careers as commercial or creative writers; or the Technical Writing Option, which prepares students for careers in technology fields that require documentation for technical, business, and consumer audiences.
Moreover, students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in English Education, to teach students from grade 5 to Adult, take English classes to learn the subject matter and methods for teaching literature and writing.

In addition to the three different options for concentration, the department offers several certificates. See the certificates page for more detail.
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