What is the English Major?
The English department teaches its majors about literature and literary history, and helps them to develop the writing and critical thinking skills needed for literary interpretation. English majors, who might pursue a variety of options in terms of career and graduate study options, all develop skills in critical thinking, cogent analysis, and clear written expression.
With about 70 full-time faculty, 600 undergraduate majors, and 90 graduate students across the six campuses, the UConn English department is one of the largest and most vibrant departments at the university. The English major can be completed at the Avery Point campus or at any of UConn’s other campuses.
What can I do with this Major?
Nearly all of UConn’s English majors find jobs after they graduate. About a third of them go into careers in education. Another 22 % wind up in business, filling positions such as sales or human resources in fields such as insurance, finance, or medicine. Journalism, publishing, and clerical jobs also offer opportunities for English majors.
Nearly half of UConn’s English graduates join the public sector, working mostly in schools or as administrators in social services agencies. Graduate programs offer another opportunity, although only 4 % of undergrads pursue graduate school.
Only 1 % of UConn’s English majors find themselves unemployed or working in service jobs.
The Course of Study
The English major is designed to offer a strong foundation in literary and rhetorical analysis, while also leaving students free to choose the courses that will best prepare them for their future careers and/or graduate studies. The framework of the major includes:
ENGL 2600: Introduction to Literary Studies. This course introduces students to the key topics and debates within English Studies, providing a first taste of literary theory while introducing the major genres and periods.
Literary History Courses. Students choose three Literary History courses, each of which surveys a particular literature -- British, American, World, etc. -- across time. These courses introduce major authors and themes so that students can choose the areas of further study that most interest them.
Genre/Methods Courses. Students choose at least two courses that focus on a specific genre (Short Story, Novel, Poetry, Drama) or theme (Popular Culture, American Studies, Children’s Literature, etc.).
Major Author Course. Students take at least one course that focuses on a major author in order to learn the methods involved in attending to a single writer rather than a movement or genre. And yes, many students choose Shakespeare.
Elective Courses. Students take at least two electives, a requirement that can be fulfilled by additional courses from any of the other categories. This provides students the opportunity to begin specializing in their interests.
Capstone Course. The capstone course is designed around a faculty member’s current research projects, and provides students an opportunity to observe and participate in cutting-edge research. Recent offerings have included: The Vampire in Literature and Culture, Sailor Talk, and Science Fiction and Gender Theory.
Related Courses. Students also choose a related area in which to take four additional courses. This could be a minor (in American Studies, Anthropology, Geography, History, or Political Science, for example) or a set of courses from different disciplines that interest the students.