What is English?
This broad major is intended to orient you to English
language and literature as a whole. You will learn about the structure
and history of the English language and about various forms of
literature such as essay, prose, and poetry. You will study its effects
on the beliefs and emotions of its readers, and on the literature and
culture of English-speaking peoples.
This major is divided into different areas: literature -- to
awaken your understanding of point of view, tone, metaphoric terms and
irony, and image and allusion; and writing -- to enable you to develop
and use the style and techniques you have learned through your study of
the literature. You will be constantly involved in reading, research,
and writing. Through these activities you will become an analytical and
creative thinker who can express ideas logically and in an organized
manner, both verbally and in composition.
The English department regards the teaching of writing and
the teaching of literature as equally important and thoroughly
complementary. Courses in the department seek to help students read
with comprehension and enjoyment and write with skill and grace, to
appreciate their cultural background and explore its values, to examine
the relationship between art and life and to discover the liberating
qualities of the imagination. A major in English provides valuable
preparation for careers in professional areas such as law, business,
banking and public relations as well as in those fields usually
considered “literary” in nature: editing, publishing, journalism,
advertising, teaching or librarianship.

Working in English
Characteristics and Skills Necessary for Success

  • Strong interest in the uses of the English language and literature
  • Sensitivity to sound and texture of the written word
  • Can communicate ideas thoughtfully and creatively
  • Read, write, and speak proficiently

Click HERE for a table on Career Areas, Employers, and Strategies for Employment

Sample Job Titles

Advertising Executive
Copy Writer
Desktop Publisher
Poet/Lyrasist/Creative Writer
English Teacher
Public Relations Specialist
Technical Writer

Learning More About English

  • Visit the Career Services office and check out our Career Resource Library which includes:
    • Great Jobs for English Majors
  • Visit the SLU English Department website
  • Check out English course descriptions in the Catalog
  • Talk with a professor in English about the major. Click here for a list of possible questions to ask.
  • Perform an informational interview with a professional in the field. Click here for information on how to find a professional, contacting them, and a list of possible questions.
  • Get connected with SLU alum in the field through SAINTSLink, participate in Shadow-a-Saint or complete an Internship.

Additional Resources

Related Majors and Minors at SLU

Performance and Communication Arts