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Why English?

Get LitThanks for your interest in an English major! We'd like to invite you to find out more about one of the most vibrant and interesting departments on campus. English is a major that turns doing what you love into the key to your future, and it’s a great minor to pair with just about any other major.


English Department Video 2020

English Minor Video


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. And you can do many things with an English major. Just ask former English majors Michael Eisner, Reese Witherspoon, Clarence Thomas, Justin Trudeau, Diane Sawyer, Poet Laureate (and former UT Professor) Joy Harjo, or check back soon for our new series about what our own alumni have done with their English majors.

Savannah DefreeseEnglish majors sharpen three basic skills. We learn to think, read, and write. Once you have those in your pocket, I think your possibilities are endless.

Savannah Defreese
Technical Communication


Savannah Defreese“Art and commerce do, in fact, mix.” 

Austin Church 
English major and UT MA
Writing Entrepreneur

English. Do what you love.

Customize your English major by choosing one of four tracks:

Creative Writing | Literature | Rhetoric and Writing | Technical Communication

What is the major?

A major in English is 30 hours, or 10 courses, at the 300 and 400 level. The distribution requirements are simple, and you can choose from four different concentrations: Literature; Rhetoric & Writing; Technical Writing; and Creative Writing.

What is the minor?

A minor in English is at least 15 hours at the 300 and 400 level. You can design your own path and pair classes that support your first major. Some of our students enjoy these classes so much that they get a second major in English. Either way meets the College of Arts and Sciences requirements for graduation.

What do we study?

We study stories: story making, story telling, and interpretation. We teach everything from the classics to contemporary literature. We’ll take you from the ancient oral tradition of Beowulf to the rhetorical power of podcasts, from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to Instagram stories, and from illuminated manuscripts to just-published graphic novels. Where do you want to go?


Resources