English Courses For English Majors

English Courses For English Majors

Almost all college degrees require basic courses in English composition. Reading, writing and correct use of the English language is pertinent in all career fields.

Some college students choose to major in English. If you are someone who is looking to earn a great deal of money, then the sciences would be a better route to take than the arts. However, an English degree prepares people to teach, conduct research and write articles, and it also lays a good foundation for those who would like to further their education.

For example, many English degree holders pursue careers in other fields, such as Law.

 Most people with a Bachelor’s in English choose to study Literature or Composition and Rhetoric. Literature courses tend to focus more on reading classic works of literature and writing about them. Composition and rhetoric focuses on reading and writing, but it also involves the spoken word. In short, if you are someone who doesn’t enjoy reading and does not like to write, then an English major is not for you.

English literature courses often focus on a particular place and time. For example, as an English major who studies American literature, you may study 19th century American novelists. In another English course, you may study 19th century British poets.

Some English majors choose to study creative writing. The curriculum for those courses involves studying the way that works are written. English courses common for these majors are contemporary fiction, contemporary poetry and the art of storytelling or poetry writing.

Workshops are also important courses for creative writers. In workshops, students write original poetry, fiction, non-fiction, plays, and screenplays, depending on which of those genres the student chooses. During the workshop, students bring in their original work and share it with the other workshop members. The workshop normally consists of 10 to 15 students and an instructor. Students receive feedback on their work. Workshops are an invaluable tool for any writer who wants to improve their writing.

The M.A. in English further advances a student’s knowledge of written works. It also serves to better educate teachers of English. Those looking to improve their teaching skills or desiring to teach at the collegiate level must complete the Master’s degree. Like the undergrad degree, the Master’s degree is most often completed with a specialization in Composition and Rhetoric or Literature and Composition.

English courses for the Master’s degree most often include advanced reading and writing skills. Most M.A. programs can be completed in 1-2 years.

Another option for graduate students is the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in creative writing. This course of study is often said to be more intensive than the Master of Arts program. The MFA general takes 2-3 years to complete. This option is for those who want to improve their creative writing skills. Like the undergrad creative writing degree, the MFA requires multiple workshops and discussion of student work. MFA programs require a book-length thesis to be completed prior to graduation.

The doctorate degree in English is an intensive program. Common majors are Composition and Rhetoric, American Literature, Multi-Cultural Studies, and Gender Studies. The degree prepares students for scholarly research and for teaching at the university level. Depending on the school, several courses completed at the Master’s level may be transferred toward the Ph.D. degree. A dissertation is required for graduation. English courses for the Ph.D. in English often involve the study of scholarly writing, research, literature, and rhetoric. Many schools also have a foreign language requirement.