The Department of English 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 students to plan a course of study best suited to their 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 English majors to receive personal attention and to find a home within the greater University.
The department provides many opportunities for English majors (which are also open to any WVU student), including participating in the publication of Calliope, WVU’s award-winning literary magazine; entering one of the annual departmental writing contests; joining the English Club, which is open to any student with an interest in literature or creative writing; working at the Center for Literary Computing or the Writing Center; and participating in a variety of annual symposia, readings and workshops. Outstanding English students are recognized by induction into the national English honorary, Sigma Tau Delta, and are eligible for several scholarships coordinated by the department.
A degree in English prepares students to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex workforce. Graduates have used their English major as a pre-professional degree for medical or law school, while others have gone on to work in media-related fields, professional writing and editing, healthcare, teaching at public and private institutions, business, sales, the Peace Corps and much more. Still others have continued on in graduate school, further developing their credentials in creative writing, literature, professional writing and editing, composition and rhetoric or by earning master’s of education degrees. Because the course work in English is flexible, many students are able to use well-chosen electives or strategically selected minors or second majors to customize their course to suit the career opportunities they would most like to pursue.
Sample Course Schedules
Wondering what your typical day might be like? We used students’ real course schedules to create these examples.
Freshman YearWVUE 191 First Year Seminar ENGL 200 Foundations of Literary Study SPAN 101 Elementary Spanish 1 ENGL 199 Orientation to English Studies ENGL 101 Composition and Rhetoric
Senior YearENGL 312 Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction ART 109 Basic Drawing 1 for Non Majors PHIL 100 ENGL 382 Contemporary Literary Theory COMM 306 Human Communication in Organizations and Institutions
English Proficiency Requirements
All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.
WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
WVU’s 20th Truman Scholar, John Armour served as president of the WVU chapter of Habitat for Humanity and was the managing editor of the student literary journal Calliope. He majored in English and in management information systems.