English: The Versatile and Valuable Major

People may ask you why you want to be an English major, and beyond telling them that you enjoy reading and writing, you might enjoy having some evidence to demonstrate that it is a versatile--and valuable--degree. Just take a look at the many career options open to English majors or the lengthy list of famous people who earned degrees in English. Another great resource is Dear English Major, a website dedicated to showing English majors all that is possible with an English degree. These pages may also give you some ideas about your own future.

student reading book in class

Based on a strong general education foundation in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, the undergraduate major in English is built around a set of core requirements. All English majors take six courses (18 hours) in American, British, and World Literature, Film, Rhetoric, and Linguistics.

Beyond the core, English majors must choose a 21-hour concentration from the following five options:

Creative Writing (CRW) 

This concentration focuses on creative writing in several genres, including fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and screenwriting.  Students take a range of courses in English as well as intensive writing workshops that enable them to hone their modes of expression and develop creative approaches to writing in a variety of genres.

Film Studies (FLM)          

This concentration trains students to work across genres of literary and cinematic representation, focusing on their common source in narrative representation.  Students take courses in film analysis, film history, and film and literature, along with additional film and English electives. This is an ideal concentration for students who want to develop their skills in analyzing and writing about film. 

The Film Studies (FLM) link above will take you to advising information and requirements for the English major with a concentration in Film Studies.  For more information about the NCSU Film Studies program in general, visit the Film Studies website

Rhetoric and Professional Writing (LWR)               

This concentration trains students to work with the essential tools of writing, communication, presentation, and persuasion.  Students in this concentration take courses in rhetoric, journalism, effective communication, and digital media. This is an ideal concentration for students who want to develop their skills in technical and professional writing, journalism, and web design.

Linguistics (LIN)

The linguistics concentration compliments the skills learned in the English core classes by exposing students to scientific approaches to study language, communication, and culture. Students will take at least 18 hours in linguistics classes which will introduce them to quantities and qualitative analytical techniques and develop problem solving and critical thinking skills that are sought after in today's marketplace. Students who complete this concentration might find employment in diverse fields such as market research, advertising, publishing, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, speech and language pathology, and more. Graduates may also be competitive for graduate programs in linguistics, communication, speech and language pathology, or law school. Visit the Linguistics website

Literature (LLT)

The newly revised literature concentration (Fall 2017) offers exciting opportunities to explore interdisciplinary approaches, complete deep study of individual authors, and practice using and creating digital media.  Diversity and globalization alter how to read the cultural histories and experiences that define the humanities. In upper-level literature courses (and in the capstone), new interpretive skills are modeled in seminar settings through individual presentations and innovative projects that make the most of small class sizes usually found only in liberal arts colleges.

Teacher Education (TED)                  

This curriculum provides the study of education theory and teaching methods that leads to teacher certification in English on the high-school level (grades 9-12).  TED graduates typically pursue careers in teaching.

All students pursuing a B.A. in English must fulfill the complete degree requirements for the B.A. in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.