english degree students

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English


Looking for a degree that enables you to build the exceptional writing, critical thinking, interpretation, and analytical skills valued by top employers?

Earning a bachelor’s degree in English will help you do that—and much more.

By studying historical and contemporary examples from American, English, and world literatures,
you will gain deep insight into the human condition. You’ll explore topics ranging from gender to multiculturalism, building new perspectives about what drives human behavior. You’ll also acquire new awareness and empathy for those perceived as different or “other.”

In addition, you’ll study composition, textual strategies and terminology, linguistics, and various genres of writing ranging from fiction to non-fiction. You’ll participate in writing workshops and apply what you learn to produce a range of creative and fact-based writings that inform and engage your audiences.

Why choose a B.A. in English at Marian?

Forget the old stereotype about career options for English majors being impractical or low-paying.

An article titled “Liberal Arts Majors in the Data Age,” published in the July-August 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review, notes employers from Silicon Valley to the Pentagon realize the value of hiring English and other liberal arts graduates.

In fact, some of the world’s top government, entertainment, law, media, and other professionals were college English majors, including:

  • Lena Dunham
  • Jack Ma
  • Conan O’Brian
  • Mitt Romney
  • Stephen Spielberg
  • Clarence Thomas
  • Barbara Walters
  • Emma Watson

Whether you want to work for a high-tech start-up company, in a fast-paced industry like business or healthcare, write video treatments, TV scripts, and screenplays for film, or attend law school, a B.A. in English will help you make your career goals a reality.

As an English major at Marian University, you’ll get hands-on teaching, learning, internship, and related experiences that prepare you for a great career.

You will develop critical and creative skills in research, interpretation, problem-solving, information analysis, and cultural literacy—all skills that are in high demand in today’s economy.

Here are a few things that make Marian’s English program unique:

  • With our B.A. in English program, you can choose from two tracks: literature studies or teaching. 
  • Depending on your interests and career goals, your academic advisor can help you develop a customized plan of study by adding a second major, an academic minor, or a concentration, which can help make you even more marketable and attractive to potential employers.
  • You can choose from an impressive range of required and elective courses—like medical humanities, gender studies, peace and justice studies, global studies, politics, ethics, business, and the physical sciences, among others.
  • Strengthen your writing, communication, and teaching skills by working as a peer tutor in the Marian University Writing Center, which includes on- and off-campus programs and services for students as well as community members.
  • Find your voice, polish your presentation and public-speaking skills, and take advantage of our Speaking Studio.
  • Express yourself and submit original creative works (short stories, poems, illustrations, and photography) to the Marian Writers Press which publishes The Fioretti, an annual student-led literary publication.
  • During your senior year, you’ll take a seminar course in which you’ll prepare critical and creative work for a senior portfolio showcasing your work.

With a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, you’ll get individual attention and mentoring from English professors recognized for their scholarship and teaching.

Our faculty will encourage you to broaden your cultural horizons. As a Marian student, you will have opportunities to attend (and participate in) music, theatre, and arts events. You can also complete Maymester study-abroad courses as well as summer, semester, and year-long study-abroad programs.

Want to make the community a better place to live, learn, and work? Take advantage of service-learning opportunities throughout the academic year.

What will you study?

The 128-credit B.A. in English major requirements include completing general education, required, core, and elective coursework that explores the ways words shape, imagine, and reflect our world and challenge cultural norms.

You will study a range of historical periods and genres of literature and issues in literary criticism and contemporary theory. You’ll strengthen and sharpen your writing skills, including those used in creative writing and journalism.

Examples of some courses that you may complete include:

  • ENG 210: Public Action Writing
  • ENG 239: Professional Writing
  • ENG 250: History of Literary Criticism
  • ENG 255: News Writing
  • ENG 317: American Modernism
  • ENG 322: Line Editing
  • ENG 323: Literature and Medicine
  • ENG 340: World Literature in Translation
  • ENG 460: Internship in English
  • ENG 470: Advanced Creative Writing Workshop

Sample four-year plan and checklist

What are your career paths?

From corporate communications to editorial positions with print and digital publications,English degree graduates have a range of career options from which to choose.

According to a 2018 report by BusinessInsider.com, top jobs for English degree graduates are:

  • Sales account manager
  • IT project manager
  • Proposal manager
  • Web developer
  • Nonprofit director
  • Marketing manager
  • Managing editor
  • Marketing communications manager
  • Technical writer

In a November 2017 article titled “Five Trends Shaping the Future of Content Marketing,” Entrepreneur.com reports technology is making is possible for businesses and organizations to target specific audiences with specific content that relates to them.

A growing number of jobs exist in content strategy and management. Examples of job titles in this field include:

  • Content strategist
  • Content marketing manager
  • Web producer
  • Social media manager
  • Video production

Other jobs for English degree graduates include:

  • Writer
  • Editor
  • Middle or high school English teacher
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Publicist or public relations manager
  • Fundraiser
  • Journalist

Nationally, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports these occupational growth rates and average salaries for these types of jobs that are often pursued by English majors.

Occupation Growth through 2026 Median 2017 salary 
Sales manager  7 percent $121,060 
Writer and author  8 percent $61,820 
Middle school teacher  8 percent $57,720 
High school teacher 8 percent  $59,170 
Advertising, promotion, and marketing manager (includes social media marketing and content marketing managers) 10 percent $129,380 
Public relations and fundraising manager  10 percent  $111,280 
Technical writer  11 percent  $70,930 
Producer and director  12 percent  $71,620 

For admission information

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300 or (800) 772-7264

For program specifics

Gay Lynn Crossley
Chair, Department of English (317) 955-6397

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