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The B.A. in English with a concentration in Writing focuses on various aspects of professional and creative writing and is suited for students who seek a career based in writing, whether as a professional writer in industry, a social media writer, or a creative writer.

Graduates go on to work in advertising, public relations, writing and editing, and other fields. Jobs include writer, editor, teacher, public relations coordinator, and communications specialist.

Interested students in this course of study may be eligible for the Early Law School Admission Program.

Contact Information

Heather Pinson, Ph.D.
Department Head
412-397-6463 phone (M)
Wheatley Center 215

4-Year Course Plan

Freshman Year, Fall

  • CSEN1010 Reading & Writing Strategies or CSEN1020 Argument & Research
  • PSYC1010 General Psychology
  • MATH1050 Math Reasoning w/ App or STAT2110 Statistics
  • SOCI1010 Principles of Sociology or SOCI1020 Contemporary Am Social Problems
  • ELIT ____ Lit elective
  • FYSP First Year Experience

Freshman Year, Spring

  • ELIT2000 Study of Literature
  • CSEN1020 Argument & Research or CSCM1030 Public Speaking
  • ECON1010 Survey of Economics
  • INFS1020 Intro to Decision Support
  • HUMA1010 Humanities: Art & Music

Sophomore Year, Fall

  • CSCM1030 Public Speaking or CSCM2040 Professional Comm in the Workplace
  • ELIT2010 Study of the Essay
  • ELIT2055 World Lit or ELIT2080 Women & Lit or ELIT2030 African Am Lit.
  • Open Elective
  • History Elective or POLS Elective

Sophomore Year, Spring

  • CSCM 2050 Intercultural Comm or CSCM2040 Professional Comm in the Workplace
  • ENGL2540 Study of Language
  • ENGL3010 Modern English Grammar & Editing
  • ARTM2050, COMM3030, ENGL2050, INFS2150, JRNL3020, or ORGL3700
  • Natural Science Elective

Junior Year, Fall

  • ENGL3020 Creative Writing Modern
  • ENGL3025 Technical Writing
  • ELIT3080 American Literature Before 1865
  • ELIT3120 British Literature to 1789
  • ELIT3520 Dramatic Art of Shakespeare

Junior Year, Spring

  • ELIT3090 American Literature 1865-Present
  • ELIT3130 British Literature 1789-Present
  • ENGL3500 Study of Rhetoric
  • ENGL3110 History of English Language
  • ARTM2050, COMM3030, ENGL2050, INFS2150, JRNL3020 or ORGL3700

Senior Year, Fall

  • ENGL4010 Advanced Non-Fiction Writing
  • ARTM2050, COMM3030, ENGL2050, INFS2150, JRNL3020, or ORGL3700
  • Open Elective
  • Open Elective

Senior Year, Spring

  • ELIT4800 Seminar in English Studies
  • ENGL4903 English Internship
  • ARTM2050, COMM3030, ENGL2050, INFS2150, JRNL3020, or ORGL3700
  • Open Elective
  • Open Elective
FAQ for English Majors

What can you do with an English major?

An English major is a broad and flexible degree; rather than preparing graduates for a narrow occupation or job position, a degree in English “offers graduates a wide variety of career paths to follow. With an emphasis on communication and the written word, English majors learn to research, analyze and interpret information. They are encouraged to be critical and creative while exploring the many cultures of the world around them as well as the cultures that have come before them” (“Ten Things to Do with an English Degree”).

Why an English major at RMU?

Compared to competitor’s departments, RMU’s English department is very strong in its continuing tradition of forging interdisciplinary connections that integrate “liberal arts with a professionally focused, applied education that prepares students for leadership in a rapidly changing world” (Mission Statement). English faculty teach in the interdisciplinary DSC program, publish in interdisciplinary journals (such as The Journal of Popular Culture and Issues in Information Systems), and have been awarded grants to work collaboratively with faculty from the School of Education and the Department of Engineering. This models for students the multiple internship and career paths open to English majors with interdisciplinary interests and abilities. 

What is an English Education major?

An English Education major IS an English major who takes nearly all of the courses taken by English Studies majors, along with an additional eight education courses. To complete their program of study, English Education students complete a student-teaching internship. These students are certified to teach grades 7 -12 (and if in a middle school, with a principal’s letter, they can teach 6th grade as well). Middle-Level Education majors are Education majors with a multi-disciplinary focus of study (English, Math, Science, etc.) and are certified to teach grades 4 – 8. Early Childhood Education majors are also Education majors with a multi-disciplinary focus of study and are certified to teach grades Pre-K -4.

Successful English Majors
  • Mario Cuomo, former Governor of New York
  • Michael Eisner (English/ Theatre double major), former CEO of Disney
  • Jodie Foster, Academy Award-winning Actress
  • Kathryn Fuller, Director of the World Wildlife Fund
  • Angelo Giamatti, Seventh Commissioner of Baseball
  • Andrea Jung, former CEO of Avon
  • Stephen King, Author
  • Arthur Miller, Playwright
  • Toni Morrison, Author
  • Hank Paulson, former Treasury Secretary
  • Sally Ride, Astronaut
  • Mitt Romney, former CEO of Bain Capital & politician
  • Diane Sawyer, Journalist
  • Herb Scannell, president of Nickelodeon & MTV Networks
  • Martin Scorsese, Academy Award-winning Director
  • Steven Spielberg, Academy Award-winning Director
  • Amy Tan, Author
  • Clarence Thomas, Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize winner (Medicine)
  • Barbara Walters, Journalist
  • Emma Watson, Actress
  • Bob Woodward, Journalist
  • Renée Zellweger, Academy Award-winning Actress
Careers for English Majors
  • Actor/ Actress
  • Administrator (hospital, university, industry)
  • Agent
  • Attorney
  • Author
  • Bioethicist
  • Biographer
  • Blogger
  • Book Critic
  • Business Manager
  • Campaign Manager
  • College Professor
  • Copywriter
  • Diplomat
  • Editor
  • Education & Training
  • ESL Teacher/ Teaching English Abroad
  • Film/ TV Director
  • Freelance Writer/ Consultant
  • Government
  • Grant Writer
  • HR Specialist
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Law Enforcement
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Paralegal
  • PR Director
  • Politician
  • Social Media Consultant
  • Teacher
  • Technical Writer
  • Web Designer

Sample Courses:

These are some of the classes for students in this academic program:

Writing for the Media
Dramatic Writing
Technical Writing
Major Credits
English, Philosophy, English Lit
Core Credits
Communication Skills, Economics, Humanities, History, Sciences, etc.
Elective Credits

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Focus on delivering information in a way that makes an impact. Create images that capture attention, compose words that inspire, and design technology that changes how we live.

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