English Language and Literature, General

English is a classic degree. It’s one of the most popular and long-standing major options for students entering college-level education. Defined, English majors study composition. This degree, more than any other, is reading-intensive and expects that students will hone their communications skills (both verbal and written), organizational abilities, and critical thinking. Research, intense attention to detail, and an understanding of multiple other subjects come into play, making this liberal arts major versatile and useful in any industry. English degrees are available at multiple levels, including associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctorate.  

Associate Level

Associate’s degrees in English will provide a basic foundation for the field of study and even provide the qualifications for an entry-level position. Keep in mind that English is a competitive field, though, and many applicants will have baccalaureates. At the associate level, curriculum will include an introduction to technical writing, world classics, advanced reading, expository writing, and be peppered with editing, copyediting, and likely even some creative writing. Programs typically take 2 years to completed when attending full time.

Baccalaureate

A baccalaureate degree elevates competitiveness within the industry. Intense diving into the world of advanced literary analysis, compositional writing, and creative writing is on the curriculum at this level. Most English major programs separate out literature by periods and offer a number of courses that focus on race, ethnic, or sexuality subjects. Key movements, innovations, and themes will be traced from the earliest works to present because, as Ezra Pound said and is often quoted in English departments, “Literature does not exist in a vacuum.” Naturally a multidisciplinary study, there are often requirements on how many course to take outside of the English department, as well.

One of the most common misconceptions about becoming an English major is that every graduate wants to teach. While this isn’t the case, attaining a bachelor’s in English can be an excellent path to teaching. If this is the career goal, the school will need a teacher-training program and most states require licensure and certification to begin working. With this level of education, graduates are able to teach 12th grade and below.  

Career paths for graduates with a baccalaureate in English who don’t want or intend to teach include: Content Writer/Manager, Content Strategist, Content Marketer/Marketing Manager, Technical Writer/Editor, Digital Copywriter, News Reporter, Journalist, Public Relations, Corporate Blogger, Policy Analyst, Search Engine Optimization Specialist, eCommerce Analyst, Social Media Manager, Brand Strategist, Editor, Freelance Editor, Publishing, Grant/Proposal Writer, TV/Radio Writer, Boutique Agency Worker.

Master Level

English is one of the industries that still puts significant weight to academic prestige. Earning a master’s degree in English does two things: one, it will improve your competitiveness within the field, along with streamlining opportunities for higher positions, such as managing editor or for the manager title in general. Two, it improves academic authority. Teaching English in a public school also requires a master’s degree. These programs can typically be completed within 1 or 2 years.

Doctorate Level

If you want to teach at the university level, a doctorate used to be the only qualifier, but MFA programs now qualify graduates to become professors. Competitively, though, a PhD always looks better. An MFA is a Master in Fine Arts and, yes, it is different than a traditional Masters. Lasting between two to three years, the goal of these programs is to complete a publishable work by matriculation. MFAs in English aren’t as widespread as those in Creative Writing, but they are available and are considered terminal degrees.

doctorate in English is the highest, terminal degree in this area of study. Programs span anywhere from five to seven years and are heavily focused in an area of concentration. PhDs often come with a commitment to teach on-campus and the expectation will be to publish scholarly work.  

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Colleges

“…ucla has a great student atmosphere: it includes great school spirit, rich history, excellent academics and research programs, and a well-rounded student body. it is also situated in west la, which is a great environment in itself to explore social...” – Kevin

“…Harvard is a place of innovation and discovery. It is a community of scholars, who are very intelligent, ambitious, and collaborative. The most distinctive feature of Harvard is the vibrant energy that characterizes its student body, and that drives...” – CLAUDIA from CAMBRIDGE, MA

“…by far the most diverse, relaxed campus full of happy, friendly students of all ages. clean, green and exuding student pride everywhere you go. the best choice anyone could ever make!” – Dahlton from Jackson, CA

“…Penn State was a large beautiful school. It offered many different fields for students to choose to major in. There were many activities to do, organizations to join, and people to meet.” – Michelle

“…The environment is incredibly welcoming and you'll always find a place to fit in. It's definitely challenging, but incredibly rewarding. Personally, I adore it.” – Whitney from Berkeley, CA

“…The University of Florida is a great college to attend because it provides a very diverse environment- which includes diversity within the students, professors, and employees, and diversity within the studies. It is a beautiful university with...” – Melissa from Silver Springs, FL

“…yale is the best place on earth. i felt at home within a few weeks and have yet to meet one boring or unlikeable person. the residential college system is probably the highlight of the community.” – Elizabeth from Marietta, GA

“…The University of Chicago is known more for its academic rigor and all-encompassing intellectualism than its campus life or party scene. This is far from true, however! If you're looking for hard-hitting academics, a picture-perfect campus, top-notch...” – Chris from Houston, TX

“…Columbia University is extremely challenging and therefore extremely rewarding. It does not allow you room to be average or mediocre because it encourages excellence. CU will show you what you are made of.” – Krizia from Fort Bragg, NC

“…Cornell University is an unparalleled college, filled with opportunities. Currently, I am in the Arts and Sciences College and though I wish to aspire to be a doctor, I am given the chance to study Latin and Ancient Civilization as a minor and to...” – Lisa from Commack, NY

“…Big, but doesn't feel so if you choose to join a Living Community or have a particularly social floor. Social, but definitely favors the extrovert who participates in Greek Life. Incredible amplitude of opportunity, but only if you actively...” – A Girl from Florida

“…Duke's a diverse school with students of all sorts of races and backgrounds. The education is vigorous, so you'll get out whatever you put in. There are hundreds of student groups, academic opportunities and living environments to choose from, so...” – Elisabeth from Durham, NC

“…My school is big on traditions and is overall a very friendly campus. The professors are willing to help you one on one to help you get the grade you need and deserve. I rate my school a 10 from 1-10 because its a very big happy family who look out...” – Amanda from Houston, TX

“…With over 50,000 students at the University of Central Florida, it is easy to feel like a small fish in a big pond. But, with all of the opportunities afforded by this institution and all of the resources available, a little effort on the student...” – Alexis from Wellington, FL

“…it is a great school because of the atmosphere, teachers, and everything that has to do with austin. it is at an awesome location. i feel welcomed and happily plan to live and get a job here.” – Emile from Dallas, TX

“…Boston University is an elite university that is constantly improving. It is a very expensive college but has a lot of resources for its students. Students who wish to attend should be somewhat independent and not afraid to take full advantage of the...” – Daniel from Staten Island, NY

“…Fantastic programs to fit every type of student! Whether you prefer an online or brick-and-mortar college experience, or if you are in a transitional period of your adult life- this college has the degree plan for you! Best educational decision I...” – Jessica

“…Fairly easy to get accepted by the school, but definitely challenging, especially for Engineering students. You should be prepared to spend a lot of time doing homework, projects, and studying. The campus is very nice, but some of the dorms are very...” – Iris from Brentwood, TN

“…NYU isn't for everybody, but if you want to become more independent, meet lots of interesting and diverse people, and eat a variety of food NYU is the perfect place for you. Even though sometimes it can feel like only wealthy people belong here, you...” – India from Bryn Mawr, PA

“…The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's campus, to me, is a great metaphor for the university as a whole; first off, it's full of color and zest, with all the beautiful trees everywhere. In addition, many of its buildings have very strange...” – Audrey from Athens, GA

“…Being at Princeton feels a lot like winning the lottery on a daily basis. The people are incredibly interesting and I'm being challenged like I've never been challenged before. It's a place for those who love to work hard and play hard.” – Annika from Eugene, OR

“…The University is a wonderful school because of its diverse student body, strong academics, and recreational facilities. There are so many great tutoring and advising resources available for me whenever they need help with certain classes. Also, I...” – Maria from Tucson, AZ

“…USC is the place for opportunities. You are not only paying for a great education, but also connections and resume builders that will help you get where you want in life. USC is a school for leaders and overachievers. ” – Madison from Los Angeles, CA

“…brown is awesome because it is very challenging and definitely a rigorous education, but students generally work together as opposed to competing against each other. the spirit on campus is one of acceptance of everything and everyone and anyone can...” – Danielle from North Potomac, MD

“…The University of Washington is a challenging school that blossoms independence and creativity. The majority of all faculty members are enthusiastic about the subject they teach, and are willing to assist all students. This school provides excellent...” – Ronald from Honolulu, HI

“…Penn students are defined by their passion, even if it is undefined upon entering freshman year. Classes are so difficult that you have to experience them to understand, but the sense of accomplishment that comes with mastery over them is liberating...” – Josh from Dayville, CT

“…michigan state had everything i was looking for in a university-challenging classes, all types of students, and a beautiful location to call home. as an undecided freshman, i appreciated the wide variety of available classes and majors. the 500+...” – Rachel from Ann Arbor, MI

“…Northwestern is a great school, blending first class academics and Big 10 sports in a way that typically isn't seen among comparable universities. Students are bright and are typically highly motivated, passionate, and active in leadership roles....” – Kayla from Camdenton, MO

“…Ohio State is it's own small world. Once you get involved, which is a must, you cannot walk across campus without seeing someone you know. From academics to sports, Ohio State is an excellent school with long standing tradition. ” – Amarilis from Newbury, OH

“…The Campus is basically a miniature city within Syracuse. There are always activities to attend and ways to get involved. The classes are tough, but very rewarding if you put in the effort.” – Catherine from North Sutton, NH

“…Great friendly campus in the middle of cornfield, USA. Classes are theoretical and challenging in the engineering dept. However, it's easy to take a variety of other classes (art, history, dance, etc), regardless of your major.” – Alleycats from Urbana, IL

“…UC Davis is a beautiful campus, with endless opportunities in all areas of interest. There are many research and academic internships, as well as being well-rounded with sport, music, and art opportunities. Every student can find clubs and academic...” – Kaitlyn from San Jose, CA

“…UGA offers an ivy league education, for a public school price. Situated in Athens, GA: ranked the #1 College Town that Rocks by Rolling Stones magazine in 2007 and one of 29 Must Visit places by LA Times magazine in 2009, there are plenty of things...” – Darien from Senoia, GA

“…Florida State University is an all-around excellent school and has provided me with a positive educational experience. Florida State also has a beautiful campus with many traditions that create an inclusive environment including the famous mascots...” – Alix from Oconomowoc, WI

“…The ambient and city surrounding UM contribute a completely unique cultural experience the likes of which are cannot be found any where else in the world. The academic environment is lackluster, and those seeking a truly rigorous scholastic...” – BME from Miami, FL

“…sdsu has given me a wide opportunity of expanding my interests in pre veterinary medicine, the honors college, and psychology. the water sports are a great option!” – Jamie from Moorpark, CA

“…I love Georgetown for the friendly and casual environment. Unlike most top tier Universities Georgetown has a great balance of academic rigor and mellow students. The best of both worlds, it is an ideal school for the 4 best years of your life.” – Chris

“…indiana university has the most beautiful campus in all of indiana and is surprisingly very easy to get around despite how large it is. the students and professors are great and really easy to get along with, and are always willing to help out in any...” – Kyle from Merrillville, IN

“…UCI is a very quiet school in terms of partying, but there are always activities going on throughout the day that any student can participate in. The school is fantastic in Academics and has many research opportunities. ” – Bi0N3rd

“…howard university is an amazing school filled with ambitious students. this university helps better prepare their students for succession in today's society. every graduate from howard university will be gladly to express to you how they received a...” – Brittany from Washington, DC

“…The atmosphere of Baylor is very relaxing. The people on campus are really friendly. It is easy to make friends on a campus this size.” – Chalice from Pflugerville, TX

“…The University of Oregon is not only a beautiful campus but offers the kind of liberal arts studies that I prefer. The excitement of living on campus and attending favored sporting events has contributed to my enjoyment at this school. I look forward...” – Katharine from Claremont, CA

“…WSU is more than meets the wheat fields in that it is diverse and full of great opportunities on campus and within the town. Known for being friendly, people in Pullman will welcome you whether or not you are a student or they are a faculty member of...” – Demi from Franklin, MA

“…UMD, College Park is a school full of opportunities and great education. It has a campus feel, but is large enough to feel like it's own town and easy access to Washington, D.C. and other commercial areas, providing plenty of opportunities for...” – Jennifer from Western Maryland

“…Clemson University is a community that strives to promote equality among it's students, promote environmental sustainability through numerous on-campus programs, and provide a rigorous education for preparation for their career field. Clemson also...” – Matthew from Mount Pleasant, SC

“…Northeastern is an urban university that still has a campus. The focus of the program are the co-op jobs that most students take three times throughout their five years at school. The focus is on career-track majors like engineering, pharmacy and...” – Catherine from Beverly Hills, MI

“…in my opinion, this school is underrated. it is an excellent university with excellent professors and spectacular school spirit. it can definitely compete with other texas universities. ” – Christopher from Houston, TX

“…The University of Notre Dame is a privately funded, Catholic, liberal arts university. It is most well-known for athletics, especially football, ethics and social justice studies, and the Mendoza School of Business. Notre Dame also boasts a beautiful...” – Marcus from WI

“…Central Michigan University has the best professors for the Recreation Department! Everyone here is a family and the people really do care about your well being and future. This college has made me a better person through it's programs.” – Jelina from Mt. Pleasant, MI

“…It's great! Take a bike though cause they seem useful. Have fun.” – Edwin from Cape Coral, FL

“…I transferred to OU from Marietta College and I believe it was one of the best decisions I've made in my life. I had much anxiety being a minority student on a campus with about 30,000 students but OU offers so many organizations that cater to the...” – Proud Bobkitty

“…Settled in the middle of Pittsburgh, students learn in one of the best, most interesting, and understated cities in the country. Pitt has it all with beautiful academic buildings, an abundance of interesting classes, and sports teams unifying the...” – Debra from Harrington Park, NJ

Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA

“…bc is a great university that is geared for all types of students. it is a liberal arts university with schools in business, nursings, arts and sciences, and education. everyone at bc is friendly and outgoing, and it is a great choice for a college...” – Anonymous from Chestnut Hill, MA

Auburn University
Auburn University, AL

“…auburn is a wonderful school with rich history and tradition. the faculty and staff are excellent and friendly, and always willing to help. the student life here is incredibly varied and offers something for everyone.” – Joshua from Auburn, AL

“…If you're not rich, it's totally a different world you will be living in. (the Vandybubble) It's annoying but the experience and education is SO worth it. WE BLEED BLACK AND GOLD- LET'S GO DORES!” – Z from Nashville, TN

“…Exciting and diverse” – Thomas from Philadelphia, PA

“…uva is a great school with lots of history, traditions and spirit. life on grounds is rigorous but engaging. the area surrounding charlottesville is very nice.” – Sidney from Charlottesville, VA

“…texas state is a picturesque school full of life, diverse, with a river that runs through it, and also full of people that are willing to help you on anything from personal problems, to math homework. ” – Genesis from Houston, TX

“…Johns Hopkins offers rigorous academics and research opportunities, and caters to a wide variety of academic interests. The smaller size of the school makes it feel like a home and connects you to the rest of your peers. There is a sense of unity...” – Vanessa from Thousand Oaks, CA

“…The campus is beautiful and not too spread out. All of my classes have been wonderful thus far, and really are shaped to my interests. There are so many study enhancements in this community to make sure that students do succeed. ” – Taelor from Columbia, SC

“…OSU & Corvallis has so much to offer (year-round) it's sometimes hard to know where to start. It has a beautiful, relaxed campus with nearly 25,000 students & Corvallis' central location provides easy access to plenty of activities in less than 3...” – Earl from Tangent, OR

“…lsu is culturally and socially diverse, making it an exceedingly welcoming place. classes are varied and pander to the interests of many different types of students. every event is culturally rich and provides a fantastic experience.” – Nicholas from Cypress, TX

“…Colorado State University has given me the best college experience I could dream of. There are opportunities for anything you could imagine - and these opportunities are everywhere! Everyone is friendly, and all anyone wants is for each and every...” – Bailey

“…this school is very different because it gives you a new environment. you are surrounded with more opportunities in part time jobs or actual careers once you graduate. you will never be bored at this school because there are a lot of things to do.” – Katherine from Buford, GA

“…Virginia Tech is a beautiful place full a good people and food. The community is very welcoming and engaging to students. There is a wide variety of courses and you will always find something to do that you like.” – Delaney

“…liberty is an absolutely fantastic school due to its involved staff, passionate students, and overall christian experience. as a christian school it carries certain stigmas, but i have found that despite the rules that are just there to protect us,...” – Jacquelyn from Crozet, VA

“…Emory is surprisingly the perfect grounds for culturing new ideas. Even though it doesn't have a football team, Emory is still high in spirit and makes up for it in swimming and soccer. Above all, Emory is the perfect combination of nature-esque...” – Sindhu from GA

“…U of Iowa is an institution that invites young minds to grow and develop with the help of highly educated leaders. Family values are important within the administration and add value to the environment within the grounds of the university. Service is...” – Eric from Pingrey Grove, IL

“…Rice is outstanding in all areas of college life, from academics, to partying, right down to the weather. I was a little hesitant to leave New York for Texas and pay a little bit more than my other college options, but honestly Rice was worth the...” – Janet from Carmel, NY

“…i very much love this school. the academics are amazing since the staff is so willing to help students with any problems or questions. the school offers many opportunities for students to go beyond their comfort zones to experience new things as they...” – Marcela from Northridge, CA

“…this school offers a diverse curriculum. studying abroad is heavily encouraged, and mandatory for multiple majors. the professors want you to succeed, you need only ask!” – Scott from San Diego, CA

“…George Mason University is very diverse. The classes and professors are also very helpful in class and throughout the application process. The school is also very, very welcoming and makes you have a sense of belonging. ” – LISA from Falls Church, VA

“…my school, although huge, makes you feel like your at a small school with professors who actually care for your academics; my school works very hard to make sure that we the students are getting the help we need no matter what subject in school or...” – Anujin from Elk Grove Village, IL

“…By far the most diverse private school I've ever encountered, I love it. Staff is always easily approachable! Extremely worth every cent I pay. ” – Cynthia from Chicago, IL

“…The students here are all brilliant, motivated, inspired people. Everywhere you go there is amazing science happening, and every individual has terrific opportunities through the UROP program and the many research connections that MIT has to gain...” – Jedidiah from Acton, ME

“…Rutgers University-New Brunswick has been all that I expected in a University and more. It has provided me with many different opportunities such as research and volunteer opportunities to gain experience in my field of interest while attending...” – Francesca from New Brunswick, NJ

“…University of Denver is an AWESOME school! The small and focused class sizes allow students to get a wonderful education and the professors truly care about the students well being. It also offers a wonderful social life with sororities/fraternities,...” – Tara from Highlands Ranch, CO

“…George Washington is the only place I'd want to be. There's no other college in the world that is just a few steps from the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. GW is a large school, with a diverse student body who all come together for fun events...” – Meredith from Marlton, NJ

“…Pace University is a great school that has afforded me so many fantastic opportunities I would not have received had I gone elsewhere. Pace has the most fantastic location in the heart of downtown Manhattan, making it ideal for anyone who wants to...” – Sarah in Brooklyn, NY

“…The place where God wants me. The place that makes that's helping me become a better person. The place where I will make lasting friendships and life-changing, world-impacting decisions.” – Camila from Encino, CA

“…This campus is small enough to get to your classes in a reasonable time, but still big to find fun things to do. They have great places to eat with lots of variety. The people are all really friendly.” – Alex from Cincinnati, OH

“…james madison university is located in one of the most beautiful places i have ever seen. the scenery is amazing and the school itself has a great campus. every one who comes here is extremely friendly, including the professors. ” – Jeanne from Chantilly, VA

“…utsa has a diverse student population, a wide range of student services (including an excellent gym facility, complete with cooking courses, personal trainers, and rock-climbing wall), and a rapidly growing academic program with professors from all...” – Catherine from Helotes, TX

“…if you are an incoming freshman, i highly suggest you live on campus for the best college experience. if you wana find a roommate that works well with you instead of letting it be random, you should check out roomsurf . com thats how i met my...” – Brittany from Coronado, CA

“…The University of Kansas has great professional schools with devoted professors who take education beyond the classroom. The campus environment is beautiful and the students population is very active in organizations. The University of Kansas houses...” – Zach from Overland Park, KS

“…Iowa State is a large university with the small college feel. It has many students but everywhere I go, I see people I know, and that are in my classes. Everyone is very nice and the professors know what they are teaching.” – Grace from Vermont

“…unique. rigorous. rewarding.” – Pre-med from Portland, OR

“…The University of Tennessee is a very large and diverse campus where there are plenty of opportunities to get involved on campus. It is listed as one of the top ranking research institutions in the region and is highly ranked among the nation. UTK is...” – Isa from Chattanooga, TN

“…this university is great for social service and catering to our community. the majors are designed to provide a liberal arts education, while preparing students for the real world. there is great diversity on campus, and opportunities to join clubs...” – nalini from Glendale, CA

“…NC State is a large school with a small school feel. You can walk around campus and always see a familiar face. There are always new people to meet as well. ” – Shayna from Germantown, MD

“…west virginia university offers an amazing experience that is second to none. not only are there very competitive programs on campus, but the mountaineers have become a staple in the world of college athletics. excitement looms in the classroom and...” – Jonathon from Morgantown, WV

“…Fordham University is a family with open arms waiting for you to walk in. Once you enter into the family, you are embraced and encouraged to tap into all of the family's resources. These resources WILL help your intellectual, moral and...” – Constantine from Randolph, NJ

“…Stony Brook University affords one the opportunity to achieve goals they never thought possible. You will be pushed and tested but it is for your benefit in the future. For the price of the school, the amount you will learn about life, relationships...” – Ashley from Amityville, NY

“…the university of colorado at boulder is a an amazing school with not only a great location but also a great academic program. boulder is a great city for any kind of person, athletic or not. with so much to offer both academically and with extra...” – Ana from Parker, CO

“…fiu is a great school for anyone who is looking for a diverse group of students and a great education. teachers will always have office hours open to help you whenever you need it and they truly encourage you to come ask them for help. fiu also makes...” – Vlera from Washington, DC

“…the campus is beautiful and there are so many helpful students and staff (and plus all of the student programs they offer!). there are plenty of ways to get involved on campus through clubs or greek life or even a job on campus. the academics are a...” – Kaitlin from Merced, CA

“…Florida Atlantic University is a fantastic school. Florida Atlantic University has a beautiful, growing campus in sunny Boca Raton. Florida Atlantic University has excellent professors that are more than happy to help students in all aspects of...” – Andy from Coconut Creek, FL

“…UCSB is an amazing university located in beautiful Santa Barbara, California and is surrounded. UCSB will provide any student with great academics, a healthy social life, ways to get involved and most importantly a degree that you can be proud of. I...” – Katy from Murrieta, CA

“…Brigham young stands as a precedent for student education. It is a pinnacle of cleanliness of word and of character. It is a school like no other with the honor code as a standing tradition to be upheld by the students and the faculty. ” – Kaitlyn from Riverton, UT

“…Dartmouth Creates a welcoming atmosphere during orientation and then, unlike other schools, mantains it. Administration is approachable due to the small size. The students are accepting and encouraging of one another.” – Big Green!