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“I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

English highlights

If you love to read, would like to become a better writer, and would like to sharpen your critical thinking and communication skills, then the English major is for you.

The English major is devoted to the understanding of language and literature. But the major is much more than just reading and writing. You will find space and encouragement to examine the relationship between faith and culture and, in response, to consider your purpose and vocation.

You will come under the influence of the written word, with its power to inform, to delight, and to testtransform. Due to emphases on writing, speaking, analysis, research, and problem solving, you will learn to communicate more effectively, to relate to others more fully, and to engage the world more deeply. And through study abroad and internships like the Oregon Extension and the King Italy Excursion, you can experience firsthand what you have read.

Our department is close-knit and vibrant. We share meals together, attend local plays and movies, have Christmas and Spring parties, go on weekend trips to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, and much more. In Fall 2016, the English Department debuted an undergraduate journal, The Holston, a rigorous and beautiful publication that you can take part in shaping.

What can I do with an English major?

As an English major, you will be well-equipped to enter any field that requires critical thinking, and solid speaking, reading, and writing skills. You can pursue teaching, writing, law, publishing, marketing—to name only a few. Or, we will help prepare you for graduate school to further your study.

Potential Careers for English majors


Freelance writing



Government Service

Library science




Public Relations

English Faculty

Laura Hicks Hardy

Erin Kingsley

Craig McDonald

Karen Shaw

Brandon Story

English Coursework

To view all required courses please click here.

For English course descriptions please click here.