The English major at Western New England University prepares students to read carefully, think critically, and communicate persuasively. Our majors become engaged, independent thinkers with the discipline to shape their own insights into meaningful creative and scholarly work. The result is a set of versatile skills that serve our graduates well in a wide variety of fields including education, journalism and publishing, law, and business.
Why Choose English?
The English major is more than just reading and writing. It is the understanding of history, critical thinking, and the English language. English literature is not only about the plot of the story, but also the time period, character development, and social commentary of the era. By pursuing a degree in English, not only will you have a better understanding of the world around you, you will also develop important skills employers look for, including writing, reading with a critical eye, and communication.
What Will You Study?
You will focus on literature, the structure and history of the English language, and expository and creative writing. An in-depth study of the major texts in the English language, as well as translations of non-English works, is the primary emphasis of the major. You’ll take a variety of courses including Literary Theory, Shakespeare, Major Authors, Literary Periods and Movements, and Cultural Studies. If teaching English is your interest, you may pursue a degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in English to earn the necessary qualifications.
English majors graduate with writing, speaking, and analytical skills that are highly desirable job applicants in a number of areas, such as teaching, journalism, public relations, advertising, publishing, law, and grant writing. Our graduates have been hired in primary and secondary schools, in writing-centered professions, and in a variety of business settings. Several work as full-time professional writers and editors. Many of our graduates have found jobs with large and diverse employers, including Baystate Medical Center and Mass Mutual, managing communications. Students seeking an advanced degree have gone on to study Professional Writing, Higher Education Administration, Law, Public Relations, Creative Writing, English as a Second Language (ESL), and Library Science, as well as in our own Master of Arts in English for Teachers program.
Clubs & Organizations
English students may have interests in: Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society), Tutoring at the Writing Center , The Review of Art and Literature (literary magazine) , The Westerner (University newspaper), and The Cupola (yearbook) . Many of our students also participate in varsity and intramural sports, special interest groups, and student government.
Our faculty members will not only facilitate your studies, but also learn alongside you as you workshop writing assignments and discuss themes in literature. Classes are small and intimate so that you will receive plenty of personal attention and get to know your classmates. The full-time faculty represents a broad range of writing and literary expertise. Many are published novelists, poets, critics, and scholars.
Unique Learning Opportunities
Internships and Field Work
As an English student, you'll gain professional skills and experience through internships. Our students have interned and written for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Springfield's The Republican, Bleacher Report, Lioness Magazine, and BusinessWest. Others have worked at Baystate and Mercy Medical Centers in public relations and fundraising, at ESPN, The United Way, Springfield Public Schools, Alison May Public Relations, and for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Recently, many of our majors have interned as editorial interns with publishing houses, including Anthem Press and Dzanc Books, as well as The Tobias Literary Agency. Several have worked as social media interns writing blogs and online stories as well, including the non-profit Borgen Project and web-based businesses large and small.
Study Abroad: Become a Global Citizen
Today’s workforce needs professionals who see the big picture. The College of Arts and Sciences will help you to become a student of world cultures and histories as they relate to your studies while making valuable contributions in your explorations. Whether you participate in a faculty-led summer seminar course or spend a semester at an international university, the experience will broaden your horizons and help you compete in the global landscape.