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 advisor 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)
  • Nonprofit 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 Websites and Publications

Professional Organizations

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.