English

Engage with diverse literatures and contexts to develop your critical thinking and writing skills as an English major at Wilkes. Concentrations in digital humanities, literature, writing and education will prepare you for a wide range of careers.

Program Snapshot

Program Type Format Credit Hours
Major, Minor On Campus 120 (18 for minor)

Why Study English at Wilkes?

The close-knit community and co-curricular activities are hallmarks of the Wilkes English department.

As an English major, you spend a significant amount of time reading and writing. To thrive, you will need not only concentration, but conversation. No writer writes alone! Our faculty share their expertise and creativity, and welcome yours in and out of the classroom. You’ll be a vital part of the Kirby Hall community, the English Department’s home on campus.

You can hone your writing, editorial and leadership skills outside the classroom through co-curricular activities like:

What Will You Learn as an English Student?

  • Through an examination of American and world literature, you’ll develop critical thinking skills that will serve you in your professional and personal life. You’ll learn to effectively communicate your thoughts through exercises in academic, creative and workplace writing.
  • You’ll build an appreciation for and understanding of genres, including fiction, poetry, drama and nonfiction.
  • In our digital humanities courses, you’ll analyze and create literary and non-literary digital texts to enhance your experience in the remote work space.
  • Choose one of four concentrations that best suit your education and career goals:
  • You can also minor in Creative Writing to develop your creative imaginations or Workplace Writing to prepare for opportunities outside of the classroom.
Loading...

Program Highlights

Workshops with Guest Artists

English majors have access to intimate writing workshops and conversations with rising and established authors through the annual Allan Hamilton Dickson Spring Writers Series. Past guests include Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers, Alice Sola Kim, Phil Klay and Valeria Luiselli.

International Membership

You can become a member of Alpha Gamma Alpha, our award-winning Sigma Tau Delta chapter. This international honor society lets you exhibit your academic achievements and have the opportunity to present at conferences, network at conventions and earn scholarships.

Real-World Experience

Earn valuable hands-on experience in leadership roles with The Inkwell and The Manuscript Society.  Develop skills as a consultant and workplace writer in the University Writing Center.  You can also earn scholarship funds for your commitment to editorial positions. If you want to venture into off-campus opportunities, you have access to a variety of local and remote publishing and workplace writing internships.

Ӱֱappwas a place for me to foster my intelligence and critical thinking. Keep your options open. Don’t be afraid to go off road and see what happens.

Brianna Schunk '20 - English and Individualized Studies
4

concentrations (digital humanities, literature, writing and education)

90%

of English majors get full-time work in a related field with their bachelor's degree Asterisk

4+1

BA/MA in Creative Writing program offered

Asterisk indicates based on self-reported survey data.

Explore Our Courses

Do you wish to...

  • Explore the rhetorical and linguistic strategies used by legal, government and media experts?
  • Discover the roots of English drama starting in the 10th century?
  • Analyze the conflict of rational and irrational that permeates Gothic literature?

Our diverse course offerings provide an abundance of opportunities to study every and all aspects of the English language.

Featured Upcoming Courses: Fall 2023

Tuesday/Thursday 2 - 3:15 P.M.
Kirby 108

This course will closely examine several major works of the American Romantic period, 1819-1860. In particular, we will focus on what has been called the American Renaissance, the period during the 1830s-1850s when Americans sought to define themselves—to invent a national and cultural identity for themselves—both in opposition to European models and in complex, often conflicted, relation to their shared colonial past. Primary authors will include: William Cullen Bryant, James Fenimore Cooper, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Margaret Fuller.

Primary texts will likely include:

  • Herman Melville, Moby Dick (1851)
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun (1860)
  • Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)
  • Margaret Fuller, Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 (1843)
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836) and other essays
  • Edgar Allan Poe, tales and poems
  • Emily Dickinson, poems
Taught By: Dr. Lawrence Kuhar
Fall 2023

How do we know what we think we know? How are we being told what to think and who we should be? How can we understand our relationship to reality and experience in our 21st-century stories and lives?

How can we better understand the complex world in which we're living while not succumbing to grand or absolute narratives of knowledge and identity that, in essence, tell us what to think and tell us who are supposed to be?

In this Seminar in Postmodernism, we will address these questions through our study of postmodern and contemporary texts, including fiction, poetry, drama, and film/screenplays.

Readings

To be announced but may include Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, Kathy Acker, Italo Calvino, Quentin Tarantino, Jorge Luis Borges, Don DeLillo, Donald Barthelme, David Foster Wallace, Bret Ellis, Angela Carter, William Burroughs, Jorges Luis Borges, Paul Auster, Margaret Atwood, Julio Cortezar, Milan Kundera, Raymond Carver, and Kurt Vonnegut.

We will also read theoretical works that inform postmodern thinking, including works by Lyotard, Baudrillard, Foucault, Derrida and Jameson, to name a few selected writers.

Class Approaches

Our day-to-day classes will emphasize reading and discussions. Required work will include short writings, two essays, and a presentation.

Courting Success

If you’re pondering a career as an attorney, consider pursuing an English major. A BA in English will give you a solid foundation of reading comprehension, compelling writing and analytical thinking.

Through Wilkes’ pre-law program, you’ll work with a pre-law advisor in addition to your advisor in the English department. The pre-law program provides guidance on law school preparation and admission, as well as access to guest speakers and law school visits.

ӰֱappEnglish majors consistently earn some of the highest scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) as well as admission and full scholarships to highly ranked law schools.

Explore the Pre-law Program

Careers & Outcomes

English majors often pursue careers in writing, publishing, education or law, but a variety of industries and corporations need the creative and analytical skills English majors bring to the table.

Job Titles

  • Secondary or Middle-Level Educator
  • Attorney
  • University Professor
  • Managing Editor
  • Senior Editor
  • Content Writer
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Grant Writer
  • Health Care Manager

Employers

  • Google
  • Wyoming Valley West (PA) School District
  • Winchester (VA) Public Schools
  • Berkshire Hathaway Guard Insurance
  • Syracuse University Press
  • Elsevier Publishing
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior
  • Web.com
  • Salisbury University
  • Think Company (PA)
  • Epic Games

Graduate Schools

  • Penn State Dickinson Law
  • University of Illinois
  • UCLA School of Law
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Hofstra University
  • Rosemont College
  • Villanova University
  • New York University
  • Tulsa University

Spring Writers Series

The Allan Hamilton Dickson Spring Writers Series brings published authors to campus, providing the Ӱֱappcommunity and other literature lovers with access to readings and book signings.

English majors have a unique opportunity to connect with these professionals and gain insight into the creative process through small class sessions and writing workshops.

We’ve hosted writers such as Margaret Atwood, Zach Linge, Poupeh Missaghi and Howard Norman, who shared a diverse look at poetry, fiction and memoir.

Explore the Writers Series