Requirements for the English Major
The English Major consists of 36 hours of English (ENGL) courses, 18 of which must be at the 4000-level or above.
The English Major has three parts:
- English Core (9 hours)
- Linguistics or Rhetoric (3 hours)
- Globalism, Sustainability, and Diversity (3 hours)
- Literature course (3 hours)
- Major Track (18 hours). Students choose from either
- English Electives (9 hours) These can be any three ENGL courses not required in English Core or Major Track. No more than one of these courses can be from the 2000-level.
The English major now includes a minor! Your minor can be in English or in another College of Liberal Arts department. Additionally, English majors must now earn a minor in a field that will help the student achieve his or her career goals. College of Liberal Arts minors are listed on the CLA website. Students also can minor in fields outside of the College of Liberal Arts; see individual college websites for more information.
The English Core consists of three parts:
1). A course in Linguistics and Rhetoric (3 hours) chosen from among the following:*
3110 Survey of Linguistics
3120 Survey of Rhetoric
4140 Language Variation
4150 Topics in Language Study
4160 Technology, Literacy, & Culture
4180 Rhetorical Theory & Practice
5410 History of the English Language
*Students in the Professional and Public Writing Track CANNOT choose 3120 or 4180 to satisfy this requirement.
2). A course in Globalism, Sustainability, or Diversity (GSD)
(3 hours) chosen from among the following:
3710 Survey of African-American Literature
3850 Study in London
3870 World English Literature
4160 Technology, Literacy, and Culture
4450 African-American Literature
4710 Topics in Gender & Literature
4720 Topics in Minority Voices & Literature
4740 Environment, Literature, and Culture
3). A course in 4000-Level Literature**
**Students in the Literature Track MUST take 3130 to satisfy this requirement.
After deciding what school to go to, the next big decision is often that of what to major in. Many students rightfully seek majors that will help them learn skills that will enable them to do a wide variety of jobs, and English is a prime example of such a diverse major.
English is a major that offers marketability, flexibility, and applicability. It's marketable because it's a four-year degree that offers excellent pre-professional preparation for graduate, medical, law, business, or divinity school, to name a few. Our department offers courses in literature, advanced writing, technical and professional communication, creative writing, and linguistics, all of which are applicable to virtually any profession because they help you develop as a writer, a thinker, a communicator; these skills, as any recruiter will tell you, are highly desirable in any job. Our research has identified several jobs for which English is an excellent qualification; click on the Future Plans link on the left to explore those avenues. Additionally, there is the lifelong pleasure of reading and thinking about culturally diverse texts that have shaped our world and that remake it each day.
Basically, an English major at Auburn can give you the tools to make your college career exciting, challenging, and rewarding, and provide you with a firm foundation in order to make your life the same way. So, majoring in English at Auburn will answer two of those painful questions: what you want to major in and what you will do with your life.
Searching for a career after all of the fun of the undergraduate experience can be daunting. Luckily, a degree in English provides a flexible, marketable preparation for employment in a variety of positions. Employers everywhere are searching for students with the skills you will have gained in your English studies at Auburn. Look at all of the career options available for a student graduating with an English degree!
- Public Relations
- Editor, Manuscript Reader
- Research Assistant
- Freelance Writer
- Press Secretary
- Consumer Advocate/Lobbyist
- Public Information Specialist
- Public Relations
- Editor, Manuscript Reader
- Research Assistant
Technical and Professional Communication
- Web Editor
- Web Developer
- Web Designer
- Usability Testing Specialist
- Technical Writer
- Technical Editor
- Science Editor/Writer
- Publications Manager
- Public Relations Specialist
- Multimedia Specialist
- Medical Writer
- Media Researcher
- Marketing Writer
- Instructional Designer
- Information Architect
- Grant/Proposal Writer
- Document Designer
And this is just a selection of career options! With an English major, the possibilities are truly endless. Career Services at Auburn University is available to students for career counseling, interview tips, and other helpful employment knowledge.
Undergraduate Career Resources
On the Web
- Adjunct Nation: Lists part-time/adjunct teaching positions at the college and university level.
- Auburn Career Development Services: Auburn’s office dedicated to your future.
- Council for American Private Education: Job resource for positions at private schools.
- Journalismjobs.com: Provides job listings for journalists, including academic and government positions.
- Mediabistro.com: Lists media jobs and freelance opportunities.
- Teach for America: Recruits recent college graduates and other professionals to teach in rural and urban areas, with the mission to eliminate educational inequality in low-income areas.
- Writejobs.com: Freelance and permanent jobs in writing, editing, and publishing.
Career Guides, in Print
- Bolles, Richard Nelson. What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2009. At RBD Library
- Camenson, Blythe. Great Jobs for Liberal Arts Majors. New York: McGraw Hill, 2007. At RBD Library.
- Curran, Sheila and Suzanne Greenwald. Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads: Finding a Path to Your Perfect Career. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2006.
- DeGalan, Julie and Stephen Lambert. Great Jobs for English Majors. 3rd Ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2006.
At RBD Library.
- Giangrande, Gregory. The Liberal Arts Advantage: How to Turn Your Degree into a Great Job. New York: Avon, 1998.
- Lemire, Timothy. I’m an English Major – Now What? How English Majors Can Find Happiness, Success, and a Real Job. Cincinnati, OH: Writers Digest Books, 2006.
Graduate and Professional School Resources
- Auburn University Graduate School: Explore graduate programs at Auburn University.
- Gradschools.com : Helps prospective graduate students find graduate programs by field and location.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE): Learn about (and sign up for) the entrance examination that most graduate programs require.
- Graduateschooltips.com: Discusses how to choose a graduate program, financing graduate school, and admissions processes.
- Law School Admission Council: Learn about law school programs and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
- U.S. News and World Report Best Graduate Schools: Ranks graduate programs at U.S. universities.
Internships enable you to earn course credit and gain valuable work experience at the same time. An internship can help you transfer the skills and knowledge you have acquired in the classroom to a company, agency, school, or other place of possible employment, and add to that base of skills the kind of experience that can lead to career opportunities. The purpose of an internship is to allow you the chance to apply the reading, writing, analysis, and research skills developed in the English program to the workplace while receiving supervision for performing job-related tasks. The practical experience and networking skills you can gain through an internship will prove invaluable as you seek employment following your college career.
You should have an overall GPA 3.0 and have completed at least 5 upper-division English classes.
Outline of Course Content
With the approval of the Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies and under the supervision of an English Department faculty member, a student may arrange to do an internship in English Studies at a cooperating agency, business, school, or other suitable place of possible employment.
The course is taught on an as-requested, individual basis. The student finds an internship and a supervisor at the place of employment and arranges for a faculty member to supervise the credit portion of the course. The student then submits an internship form and a proposal for the internship to the Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies by no later than 10 days prior to the semester before the internship is to take place. The Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies, the supervising faculty member, and the on-site supervisor must all approve the proposal before the internship can be undertaken. No internships will be approved without a form on file.
Guidelines for the Internship Proposal
The 500-word proposal the student submits must include the following information:
- The faculty and on-site supervisor(s)
- Full contact information for the supervisor(s)
- A description of the office or organization for which the student will work
- The student's reasoning for selecting this office or organization
- A description of duties and tasks the student expects to undertake
- Anticipated problems in performing these duties or completing these tasks
- Work schedule
- The means of and schedule for informing the supervising faculty member of the student's progress
More Things to Expect
Student interns work as part- or full-time employees for the 15-week semester, performing duties regularly expected of employees in similar positions. They should work around 10 hours per week on the internship. They may receive pay for their work or they may work on a volunteer basis.
Students apply for these internships in the same way that they would apply for permanent jobs and should be prepared to be screened in the same way as permanent employees (for example, drug screens, background checks). They are required to inform the supervising faculty member of their progress throughout the semester.
Supervising faculty members should receive a weekly e-log from the intern describing tasks accomplished or skills learned. They will also evaluate the student intern's performance at the end of the semester. They could also require student interns to assess their own performance in other forms of writing.
On-site supervisors are asked to sign an internship agreement and an equal-opportunity form, provided by the English Department, before the internship begins.
Students are expected to work for an entire semester at the place of their internship, to perform the duties assigned to them, and to adhere to their work schedules. Students who need special accommodations in class should make an individual appointment with the instructor as soon as possible.
Grading and Evaluation Procedures
Requirements for the course: Part- or full-time internship, internship proposal, evaluation of internship.
Students receive 3 hours of credit for the internship. Grades are assigned on a "satisfactory/unsatisfactory" basis. The course grade will be based on an oral and written evaluations from the on-site supervisor and on the writing the student does to assess the internship. The supervising faculty member evaluates this material and assigns the "satisfactory/unsatisfactory" grade.
How to Identify Internship Opportunities
Some of the most interesting and beneficial internships are found by students themselves. You can contact companies, agencies, schools, or other possible places of employment working in areas that interest you and ask if they offer and internship opportunities. Make sure that these internships develop skills related to your English major (i.e. involve writing or writing related tasks, editing, proofreading, creative thinking, etc.). You may also obtain an internship by contacting previous employers, local or out-of-state companies or agencies, and have the internship approved by the English Department.
For more information
Professor of English
Director of Undergraduate Studies
9060 Haley Center
Last Updated: January 14, 2020