Why Be an English Major?

Our department offers one of the most popular majors at the university, with approximately 320 students pursuing a degree in English in 2016.  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

Sandra Kincaid is not an English teacher yet, but the research she conducted for her Honors College thesis at the University of Arkansas convinced her that students need reading and writing assignments based on content that is relevant to their lives....

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....

When they signed up for English professor Robin Roberts' Representations of New Orleans course, Kelsey Berkel, Brooke Bennett, Lauren Boatright and Meredith Palmer didn't know each other. They also didn't know that this course would lead them to achieve one of the hallmarks of professional success in English studies: A conference presentation and subsequent publication....

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. Lissette Szwydky 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.