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About the English Program

The English department is one of UT’s most prestigious and dynamic departments. Educating and training our undergraduate students is vital to our mission. Smaller class sizes and one-on-one attention to writing and thinking allows students and instructors to develop close working relationships that can last a lifetime.

Through our faculty’s nationally renowned scholars, writers, and teachers, our students experience the latest intellectual, creative, and professional developments in the discipline’s many fields. Once enrolled in the major, English students can choose from four concentrations: Literature, Creative Writing, Rhetoric and Writing, and Technical Communication.

The department also supervises an honors concentration that brings together the best students in smaller, challenging classes; a semester-long seminar; and an independent honors theses of their own design.

Special topics courses cover such subjects as the Beat poets, Arthurian legends, feminist theory, Toni Morrison, post-colonial British and Indian literature, and the crime novel.

The department also offers off-campus courses in which students study drama in performance in New York and in Stratford and London in the UK.

The English major is designed to be both intellectually stimulating and versatile. Our classes train students to write with clarity and sophistication; to analyze and interpret literary and other kinds of texts and place those texts within historical, theoretical, and aesthetic contexts; to evaluate arguments according to their logical and rhetorical features; and to understand, think about, and respond to the values offered in written texts. This training allows English majors to take their places within a rapidly evolving society, a globalized culture, and an increasingly information-based economy. In the spirit of liberal education in the humanities, the study of English also allows our students to respond to society’s increasing need for a citizenry skilled in critical thought and communication.

As a result of this rich and extensive training, our majors are presented with a range of career options in the areas of finance, law, medicine, business, and more. Some of our alumni pursue teaching careers both here and abroad, and a number of majors apply each year to be admitted into the English Education Licensure program within the College of Education. Some become freelance writers, working for themselves or in the fields of creative writing and journalism. Others become professional editors and publishers or embark on careers in management, public relations, advertising, sales, administration, library science, or public service.

Graduates with a special interest in academic life pursue advanced study in English or related fields. Finally, students who take advantage of the department’s strong technical communications course offerings pursue careers in technical writing and editing, website design, and other fields essential to today’s rapidly-evolving communication atmosphere.


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