What Can I Do with My English Major?

Overview

Students majoring in English engage in the intense examination of language, literature, cultural studies, and writing. The English department aims to graduate students with a keen, critical mind for both reading and writing, along with strong analytical and communication skills. Each student works with an adviser within the department to design a course of study that matches personal interest while developing a range of skills. In their junior and senior years, English majors are encouraged to consider focusing their studies on a core area to which they were exposed during required Gateway courses. These suggested areas include British and American Literary Periods and Authors; Postcolonial, Ethnic, and Critical Race Studies; Genre Studies; Creative Writing; Studies in Gender and Sexuality; and Cultural, Media & Performance Studies. In addition, English majors are encouraged to enroll in a seminar course their junior or senior year in order to do high-level work in a small, engaging environment.

The English major prepares students for many different kinds of jobs. It offers an intellectually enriching preparation for entry-level positions in a variety of careers and provides students with a strong foundation for graduate work in law, education, business, and medicine.

Skills

The study of English facilitates the development of a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. A sampling of representative skills and abilities follows.

Research

  • Gathering information
  • Using a variety of resources
  • Interpreting data
  • Original analysis
  • Defining problems
  • Summarizing and presenting information
  • Understanding personal, social and cultural dynamics

Critical Thinking

  • Reading critically
  • Thinking independently
  • Recognizing unnoticed patterns and structures
  • Understanding components of complex problems
  • Offering diverse perspectives
  • Synthesizing themes

Communication

  • Comparing/contrasting interpretations
  • Language skills
  • Summarizing ideas
  • Writing effectively
  • Conveying complex information
  • Editing
  • Articulating ideas/theories
  • Creating persuasive arguments
  • Using precise language
Sample Internship Opportunities
  • Offices of Congressional Representatives
  • Media (e.g., MSNBC, CNN, National Geographic Channel, College Fanz Sports Network)
  • Publishing (e.g., Oxford University Press, Teacher Magazine)
  • Political Committees
  • Legal Firms and Agencies (e.g., the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NAACP Legal Defense Fund)
  • Journalism (e.g., The Washington Post, Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, Francis Ford Coppola Presents)
  • Non-Profit Agencies (e.g., SeaWeb, Peace Corps)
  • Literary Agencies (e.g., Gail Ross Literary Agency)

Where are Georgetown English Majors Now?

  • Editorial Assistant
  • Journalist
  • Public relations assistant
  • Television reporter
  • Publisher/Editor
  • Screenwriter
  • IT content manager
  • Public relations associate
  • Radio production assistant
  • Literary agent
  • Financial analyst
  • Technical writer
  • Advertising copy writer
  • Market research analyst
  • Professor
  • Consultant
  • Human resources manager
  • Teacher, secondary
  • Admissions representative
  • Legislative assistant
  • Research analyst
  • Audio-video specialist
  • Social worker
  • Speech writer
  • Fundraising coordinator
  • Paralegal
  • Legislative advocate
  • Librarian Grant writer
  • Corrective therapist
  • Probation and parole officer
  • Musician
  • Pastry chef
  • Freelance writer
  • Attorney
  • Writing Center Director
  • Copywriter
Relevant Web Sites and Publications

English Department at Georgetown
Folger Shakespeare Library
Media Bistro
Teachers & Writers Collaborative

Professional Organizations

PEN American Center
The National Council of Teachers of English
Community of Literary Magazines and Presses
Academy of American Poets

For information about career options, internship and full-time opportunities, contact the Career Education Center at One Leavey Center, (202) 687-3493. For more information about the major and degree requirements, visit the Department of English website or at (202) 687-7435.