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Undergraduate FAQ


Why Major in English?
Why Minor in English?
What are the program requirements?
What options are available within the major?
How do I declare an English Major?
What careers do English majors follow?
What are some related fields of study?
Where can I go for tutoring?
What opportunities are available to English majors beyond the classroom?

Why Major in English?

If you enjoy reading and writing, it’s fun.

It’s an excellent liberal arts degree. You’ll become a more proficient and intelligent reader and writer, and develop a deeper, broader understanding of cultures.

Majoring in English will enable you to develop skills in writing, analytical reading, and critical thinking in preparation for numerous career paths.

Majoring in English will provide the foundation for a lifetime’s education. It is unlikely that you’ll hold a single job from graduation until retirement. Rather graduates are likely to find employment in four to six different fields before retirement.

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Why minor in English?

If you enjoy reading and writing, it’s fun.

Minoring in English, Professional Writing and Editing, or Creative Writing can help you to develop skills in writing, analytical reading, and critical thinking in preparation for numerous career paths.

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What are the program requirements?

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What options are available within the major?

The Department of English at WVU offers undergraduates several possible plans of study. In addition to a major or minor in literature, concentrations and minors are offered in both creative writing and professional writing and editing.

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How do I declare an English major?

If you want to apply to WVU as a new student or a transfer student, visit the Office of Admissions and Records web page.
Office of Admissions and Records
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6009
Morgantown, WV 26506-6009
Phone: 304-293-2121

If you are currently a student at WVU, visit the English advising office, 102 Colson Hall or call the advising office (304-293-9740) to set up an appointment.

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What careers do English majors follow?

Majoring in English enables you to develop skills in writing, analytical reading, and critical thinking in preparation for numerous career paths. A recent survey of some 300,000 English graduates nationwide suggests the range of possible careers. Our Alumni Profiles give personal insights into several career paths.

  • 15.2% – Elementary and secondary school teachers
  • 3.8% – Postsecondary teachers: English
  • 0.2% – Postsecondary teachers: foreign languages
  • 0.7% – Postsecondary teachers; other subjects
  • 14.4% – Artists, broadcasters, editors, entertainers, public relations
  • 9.0% – Marketing and sales
  • 7.5% – Lawyers, judges
  • 3.1% – Medical and health practitioners, nurses, psychologists, tech.
  • 0.7% – Top-level managers, executives, administrators
  • 7.2% – Other managers
  • 10.1% – Other administrative and secretarial
  • 5.3% – Computer and information science occupations
  • 3.3% – Insurance, securities, real estate and business services
  • 4.0% – Other service occupations
  • 1.5% – Librarians, archivists, curators
  • 3.5% – Accountants, auditors, and other financial specialists
  • 0.1% – Accounting clerks and bookkeepers
  • 2.5% – Personnel, training, and labor relations specialists
  • 1.5% – Engineers and scientists
  • 1.0% – Social workers
  • 0.2% – Clergy and other religious workers
  • 1.3% – Teachers and instructors in non-educational institutions
  • 0.5% – Food preparation and services
  • 0.7% – Social scientists (outside academia)
  • 2.6% – Other occupations

Source: “Report to the Teagle Foundation on the Undergraduate Major in Language and Literature,” Modern Language Association, February 2009 ( 2008 MLA Whitepaper )

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What are some related fields of study?

Many students are finding it valuable to earn two certified majors or to “double major.” An English degree, when combined with certain other majors, is exceptional preparation for graduate school and for the job market. English double majors can choose among Women’s Studies, Africana Studies, English Education, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or virtually any other major offered by WVU.

More information on related fields of study

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Where can I go for tutoring?

The WVU Writing Studio provides individualized tutoring for all students at any stages of the writing process. Students may also have the opportunity to learn how to become peer tutors as well.

For more information on the WVU Writing Studio click here.

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What opportunities are available to English majors beyond the classroom?

The department offers many opportunities to get involved. The following lists only a few.

Sigma Tau Delta

A member of the National Association of College Honor Societies, Sigma Tau Delta was founded in 1924 and currently has over 700 chapters worldwide. Members of Sigma Tau Delta participate in literary events and service projects of their own design. Members may apply for a scholarship and may attend international meetings. To be eligible for membership, students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher with 3 semesters or more of coursework completed. For more information, contact Associate Professor Anna Elfenbein
h4. West Virginia Dialect Project

The West Virginia Dialect Project (WVDP) studies language variation and presents the results of its research to civic and academic organizations. For more information, click here.

Theater Tour

During Spring Break, an English faculty member takes a group of students to London or New York for a theater tour. Any student may receive academic credit for this experience by registering for ENGL 339. For more information, contact the instructor of ENGL 339.

Enrichment Grants

The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Enrichment Program can provide undergraduate students enrolled in programs in the Eberly College the opportunity to participate in activities that complement, extend, and enhance their academic experiences at West Virginia University. Students may request financial support for the following activities:

  • field trips
  • internship opportunities
  • workshops
  • study abroad
  • research projects
  • working with faculty or career mentors
  • performing public service activities
  • traveling to meetings and conferences
  • completion of directed study
  • other projects which advance academic and/or career goals

For information about applying, students should contact an English adviser in the advising office, 118 Colson Hall.

Listserv

All English majors, English/English Education majors, and English minors are invited to be on the English Majors listserv (english-majors@listserv.wvu.edu). This listserv is intended to share information which may be important to the majors. For more information, contact Marsha Bissett via e-mail or call 304-293-9699.

Appalachian Prison Book Project

The Appalachian Prison Book Project sends free books to women and men who are imprisoned in six states: West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Many prisons lack adequate libraries, and books can be a real life line to people doing time. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks: contact Professor Katy Ryan.

Literary Magazine

Calliope is a journal of WVU students’ creative writing. To get involved, contact Professor Mark Brazaitis.

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writing center tutorials
advising
civic engagement
writing contests
Extended Learning
Summer Classes

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View More Events

December 6: English 418 Capstone Reading, 5:30 p.m.,130 Colson Hall

March 20: Mary Moore Reading, 7:30 p.m., Robinson Reading Room WVU Downtown Library

April 10: Clare Beams Reading, 7:30 p.m., Robinson Reading Room WVU Downtown Library

April 20: Calliope Reading, 7:30 p.m., 130 Colson Hall

April 27: MFA Reading, 7:30 p.m., Gold Ballroom, WVU Mountainlair