Why Be an English Major?

Our department offers one of the most popular majors at the university, with approximately 340 students pursuing a degree in English in 2019.  The reasons are not hard to discover: a highly diverse curriculum, a dedicated faculty, and opportunities for our students to learn outside as well as inside the classroom.

English majors may explore many areas of special interest, such as composition pedagogy, creative writing, gender studies, literature of the American south, film as text, folklore, postcolonial literature, and literature in English by Native American, African American, Arab American, and Latino/Latina American authors, as well as the more traditional historical fields of English and American Literature.  All of these areas allow students to develop a deep and flexible understanding of human expression that will help them for the rest of their lives--both culturally and in practical terms.

Likewise, our English alumni excel whether they enter graduate school or go directly on the job market.  Businesses know that in addition to being good communicators, English majors are trained to approach problems creatively and from multiple angles--a skill that is highly valued in many professional realms. 

Undergraduate Students in the News

In this conversation, Rom talks about launching a new podcast with Trail Runner Magazine, the importance of engaging in the college experience, and how her studies in environmental literature led her to an amazing, adventurous career as a journalist who has covered everything from sled dog racing in Alaska, to mineral extraction in Arctic Norway and endurance running in Colorado. . . .

The Program in Creative Writing and Translation is pleased to announce that Martha Carstensen has been awarded the undergraduate Felix Christopher McKean Memorial Award for her poem, "Like a Lamb." Carstensen says she drew inspiration for the work from her upbringing "on a farm … seeing how food is processed from the very beginning and how it is necessary to pay homage to the animals being consumed and the farmers that raise them." . . .

Phi Beta Kappa congratulates University of Arkansas senior Michele Dobbins for winning a competitive writing internship for the upcoming spring with The Key Reporter, PBK's national publication for news and alumni relations. Michele Dobbins was inducted into PBK Alpha Chapter of Arkansas in May 2016. . . .

Our Undergraduate Community

Our English majors make up an accomplished group of students who excel outside the classroom as well as within it.  They pursue competitive internship opportunities, present at conferences, publish both academic and creative writing, and study abroad.

In addition, a network of support and a strong sense of community exist among our undergraduates, created by the efforts of the students as much as the faculty.  Dr. Karen Madison, Director of Undergraduate Studies, maintains the UofA Undergrad English Group page on Facebook to keep students advised of current professionalization news and opportunities.  We also have an active chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (English Honors Society) that meets several times a semester.

English majors may also enjoy checking out the University of Arkansas Creative Writing Club, recently started up by undergraduates from a variety of disciplines, and Fabula Bound, an undergraduate literary magazine and publishing group.


English majors are eligible for a wide variety of College and University scholarships. Information about these is available from the Office of Financial Aid, and on the Fulbright College Scholarships webpage.