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Majoring in English develops skills in communication, research, critical thinking and focused creativity. You will deepen your understanding of people and cultures while learning how to use language effectively in a variety of contexts.


What is English at WVU like?


Our Department offers programs for students who want to develop skills in writing, analysis and critical thinking. These are some of the most desirable skills in any number of career paths. English majors learn to analyze complex material, interpret and assess historical and cultural issues, conduct language-based research and communicate ideas of different audiences. Degrees in English are extremely flexible and pair well with many of the other majors or minors offered by the Eberly College.

Courses are available in the areas of literature, language, creative writing and professional writing and editing, allowing you to plan a course of study best suited to your interests. All students are encouraged to take courses in literature, language, writing and cultural studies with nationally recognized faculty who are researching and publishing in their field. Class sizes are small, allowing you to receive personal attention and to find a home within the greater University.

English program highlights:

At a Glance

Next Steps

Interested in this major? Here are some suggested next steps:

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Areas of Emphasis

Tailor this major to your interests by taking courses in one of these areas:

  • Creative Writing
    English majors who concentrate in creative writing study the craft of writing under the mentorship of faculty who are accomplished authors. Workshops focus on poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, and the course sequence culminates in a capstone that allows students to produce an extended body of original work. The creative writing program also hosts an active reading series and oversees the publication of Calliope, a literary journal edited and designed entirely by WVU undergraduates.
  • Professional Writing and Editing
    Professional writers work in a variety of settings, including scientific and engineering firms, nonprofit and government organizations, colleges and universities, hospitals and clinical environments, as well as law firms. They do more, though, than simply translate complex, technical information into easy-to-read prose. Professional writers bring a variety of skills to workplace settings, from designing print and digital documents and managing large-scale writing projects to collaborating with co-workers in other professions on grants or proposals.

Fast Facts

What makes English at WVU unique?

Research and Academic Opportunities

  • The West Virginia Dialect project studies language variation and fosters understanding and appreciation of the speech of West Virginians. Undergraduate research assistants study the intricate nature of Appalachian dialects while gather cultural information.
  • Calliope is WVU’s undergraduate literary journal that is exclusive to publishing works by WVU students.
  • Cheat River Review is a literary magazine edited by MFA students and the Council of Writers of the WVU MFA program.
  • Kairos is a referred, open-access online journal exploring the intersections of rhetoric, technology and pedagogy. The journal reaches a wide audience—currently 45,000 readers per month—hailing from Ascension Island to Zimbabwe.
  • Victorian Poetry, a critical journal of Victorian literature, is edited by the Department of English. The journal was established at WVU in 1963 and has become internationally known, with subscribers in 27 countries.

3+3 Law Degree Program

This major is eligible for the 3+3 Law Degree Program that allows qualified students to earn a bachelor’s degree and law degree in six years instead of seven years.

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs)

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU. Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Professional Organizations

Network with professionals in your field as a student member of:


How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Graduates find careers in business, government, journalism, law, publishing, editing and education. Recent placements include Natalie Liounis, editor for Metabiota (2015, MA in PWE; 2013, BA in English Literature); Meagan Szekely, editorial assistant at Johns Hopkins University Press (2015, MA in PWE); and Melissa Yost, Marketing Consultant at N-Play RE LLC (2013, BA in PWE).

Possible Careers

Wondering what you can do with a degree from WVU's English major? Check out these ideas from WVU Career Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is the midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.


Graduates from this major have gone to work at:


What are the courses like in English at WVU?

ENGL 180:
Literature of Love, Sex, and Gender

Analyzes representations of love in literature and film across historical periods and genres, with particular attention to narrative representations of sex, gender, and sexual identity.

ENGL 212:
Creative Writing: Fiction

An open enrollment introduction to the writing of fiction.

ENGL 226:
Non-Western World Literature

Selected readings in non-Western world literature, ancient and modern.

ENGL 252:
Appalachian Fiction

Reading of short stories, novels, and other narratives by Appalachian authors.

ENGL 257:
Science Fiction and Fantasy

A study of the history and nature of science fiction from H. G. Wells to the present, with special attention to features of prose narration.

ENGL 263:
Shakespeare 1

Several of Shakespeare's most important plays.

ENGL 339:
Theatre Tour

Introduces students to texts in performance by reading dramatic texts and traveling to see those texts in performance. Performance sites may include either international or U.S. locations.

WRIT 303:
Multimedia Writing

Study of communication and design issues in multimedia composition. Focuses on communication, creative expression, persuasion, interactivity, and rhetorical principles. Practice in composing multimedia documents such as online publications, interactive literary works, and tutorials.

Cost and Aid

How much does English at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

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Net Price Calculator

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Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Ohio Tuition Reciprocity

As the result of a special agreement, students from Ohio who are fully admitted to English can enroll at WVU and pay in-state tuition rates. Students must be admitted to both the University and this major.

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Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits


What are the requirements to apply for English at WVU?

To be admitted to WVU's English major, you must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Next Steps

I like this major. What are the next steps?

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Your first step to becoming a Mountaineer is applying for admission. Our online application makes the process as convenient as possible.

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Request Information

Want to know more about English at WVU? Fill out the Request Information form to receive more information about the program and life at WVU.

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