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The B.A. in English with a concentration in English Studies is built upon a broad foundation in the liberal arts, combining the study of literature with the study of language and communication. The curriculum is integrated through sustained attention to linguistics, problem-solving rhetoric, and the interpretation of literature and other texts. Students learn the stages involved in successful writing and speaking, especially the value of revising and editing their work according to criticism obtained through feedback.

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. The program is particularly suited for students who plan to go to graduate school, or law school, or to pursue professional careers in a variety of fields. Students in this concentration may be eligible for the pre-law advisory program.

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

Freshman Year, Spring

Sophomore Year, Fall

  • CSCM 2040 Prof Comm in the Workplace
  • ENGL3010 Modern English Grammar & Editing
  • ELIT3080 American Lit Before 1865
  • HIST or POLS
  • Literature Elective, 2000 level (includes ELIT 2040, 2055, 2080)

Sophomore Year, Spring

  • CSCM 2050 Intercultural Communication
  • ELIT 2010 Study of the Essay
  • Writing/philosophy elective
  • ELIT3090 American Lit After 1865
  • SOCI1010 Principles of Sociology or SOCI2320 Contemporary American Social Problems

Junior Year, Fall

  • ENGL3110 History of the English Language
  • ELIT3520 Dramatic Art of Shakespeare
  • ELIT3120 British Lit to 1789
  • ELIT 2030, 2055, or 2080
  • Second writing/philosophy elective

Junior Year, Spring

  • ENGL3500 Study of Rhetoric
  • ELIT3130 British Lit 1789-Present
  • Third writing/philosophy elective
  • Open Elective
  • Science Elective

Senior Year, Fall

  • Literature elective, Seminar
  • ENGL4010 Advanced Nonfiction Writing
  • ENGL4903 Cooperative Education/Internship
  • Open Elective
  • Open Elective

Senior Year, Spring

  • Second literature elective, Seminar
  • ELIT4800 Seminar in English Studies
  • 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:

Creative Writing
Advanced Nonfiction Writing
Modern English Grammar & Editing
Major Credits
English, Philosophy, English Lit
Core Credits
Communication Skills, Economics, Humanities, History, Sciences, etc.
Elective Credits

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