English major

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Well-chosen and well-written words shape how we understand the world; they also have power to change it for the better.

As an English major at EMU, you will develop skills in reading, writing, thinking, and communication that will open doors of opportunity no matter what your field of study or career path. You will learn to analyze, understand, compare, and think creatively with challenging works of imaginative literature. Moreover, as you engage with EMU’s emphasis on service, justice, and community, you will learn how to connect your study of literature to what is happening in the world.

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Career Options

A major or minor in English prepares students to enter a variety of fields where keen perception and skillful use of language are valuable. These fields include publishing, web content development, journalism, creative writing, education, law, medicine, psychology and business.

The above data was drawn from ONet and is intended for informational purposes only.


Requirements consist of 36 SH. Students may take these courses in any sequence.

  • ENGL 201 Global Literatures I: Beginnings - 2  
  • ENGL 202 Global Literatures II: 1300-1650 - 2  
  • ENGL 203 Global Literatures III: 1650-1800 - 2  
  • ENGL 204 Global Literatures IV: 1800-present - 2  
  • HUM 200 Foundations of the Humanities - 2  
  • HUM 490 Seminar in the Humanities - 4  
  • ENGL courses (200- or 300-level) - 22*

*Note: Students who double-major, minor, or concentrate in a writing-, Spanish-, or theater-related area may apply up to 6 SH of WRIT, SPAN, or THR classes toward their ENGL 200- or 300-level requirements.

The 200-level "Global Literature" courses situate the history of British and American literature within the histories of literature from around the world. Generally taken in a student's first or second years, these classes are designed to improve close-reading and writing skills, as well as raise important questions about why we read literature.

HUM 200 Foundations in the Humanities is an interdisciplinary class designed to teach basic research skills and refine students' ability to interpret various forms of written and visual media, from poetry and scripture to fiction, non-fiction, photography, film, painting, and sculpture.

Other 200- and 300-level ENGL courses, all of which are open to non-majors, dive deeper into particular literary genres (fiction, poetry, and drama) and particular themes (such as conflict transformation, ecology, gender, and race). In addition to helping students learn to love great works of literary art, these courses explore how literature reconnects us to the world in which we live.

HUM 490 Seminar in the Humanities gives students an opportunity to write a long research paper by developing a paper written in a previous class, starting a new academic research project, or writing a research-based work of creative nonfiction.

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