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UTK English

Undergraduate Studies

Whatever career you pursue, you’ll need clear thinking and strong writing.

Careers with a major in English

But good communication takes practice. Like any muscle, your capacity to write well and think creatively requires regular exercise and proper technique.

That’s where English comes in. Choosing from our diverse and stimulating classes, you will sharpen your reading, reasoning, and writing skills, giving you the tools to present the most polished version of yourself to the world. With classes capped at between 20 and 25, students get individualized attention from expert wordsmiths and critical thinkers.

As a result of their training, English majors and minors aren’t intimidated by today’s text overload. They’ve learned how to read efficiently and how to analyze content expertly; how to tell stories that engage and how to make arguments that convince; how to communicate to different audiences and how to express themselves inventively.

“English majors sharpen three basic skills. We learn to think, read, and write. Once you have those in your pocket, your possibilities are endless.”
—Savannah Defreese, Technical Communication

And they practice doing all this while enjoying themselves in energizing classes. They familiarize themselves with the classics of literature as well as the latest in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, film, and television, from the United States, Britain and the English-speaking world more broadly. See here for our latest course offerings.

Their communication expertise makes English graduates the most versatile of employees, who thrive in various fields from business to law, education to journalism, medicine to nonprofit work, to name a few. See here for the diverse career outcomes of English alumni.

Declare the Major or Minor Here

For the coursework to Major in English, see here.

For the coursework to Minor in English, see here.

Graduated English majors (ages 25-29) earn salaries on par with Business, Computer Science, and Economics. A typical graduate makes $2.76 million in a lifetime. Businesses and tech companies are asking for more English majors who can think critically, communicate clearly, and solve problems.

“Art and commerce do, in fact, mix.”
—Austin Church, English Major and UT MA

And you can do many things with an English major. Just ask former English majors Michael EisnerReese WitherspoonClarence ThomasJustin TrudeauDiane Sawyer, previous United States Poet Laureate (and former UT Professor) Joy Harjo, or check out our careers page for details on the professional paths of our alumni.