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

William Reed Quinn (B.A. '10), who graduated with his Ph.D. in English from Northeastern University last December, has had his first article, "Readerly Revisions: Letters to the Editor in the Crisis," published in American Literature journal: https://read.dukeupress.edu/american-literature/article-abstract/92/2/257/165168/Readerly-Revisions-Letters-to-the-Editor-in-the?redirectedFrom=fulltext.

Poets' Roundtable of Arkansas has announced the winners of its 2020 statewide Jeanie Dolan Carter Memorial Collegiate Poetry Contest. Addison Mahaffey and Anna Beth Lane, both in the honors program of the Department of English in the J. Willliam Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, won 1st and 2nd place for their poetry, respectively.

The Program in Creative Writing and Translation is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Muscari has been awarded the undergraduate Felix Christopher McKean Memorial Award for her poem, "Poem for Ann."

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. 

Finally, we encourage those within the department, across campus, and beyond to check out The Diamond Line, the department's undergraduate literary magazine, overseen byJane Blunschi, Assistant Director of the Program in Creative Writing & Translation. The magazine is published every fall and spring semester by students enrolled in ENGL 3903: Literary Magazine Production.

cover of literary magazine


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.