College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Beth Howells
Interim Department Head
Bachelor of Arts in English
English majors have a choice of pursuing either a traditional English track that focuses on literature or an English/Professional Communications track that emphasizes writing in particular professional contexts. Both programs require 36 credit hours of upper-level, major courses.
Our programs provide students with the foundation for almost any career they might want to follow. Majoring in English will broaden and deepen understanding and enjoyment of literature, enhance appreciation of the surrounding culture, develop analytical and critical skills and prepare students for a host of opportunities. We have approximately 250 students pursuing English majors and these students will have a variety of career options upon graduation. Many of our recent graduates have pursued advanced degrees in English, law, history, comparative literature and foreign languages. Our students have been accepted into prestigious universities including Yale, University of Florida, University of Georgia, Michigan State University, Notre Dame and Columbia University. A number of our graduates teach locally in public and private schools or pursue careers in education administration.
Our English majors are not restricted to the field of teaching, however. A recent survey shows that a majority of our graduates choose nonacademic professions. These graduates have found rewarding employment in business and the public sector. Their career choices attest to the diversity of an English degree. This diverse group of employers includes publishers, newspapers and magazines, insurance companies, public relations departments, real estate firms, banks, and government offices.
Recently, our graduates have been hired by numerous local employers, including the following: Richmond Hill High School, Windsor Forest High School, Derenne Middle School, Savannah High School, Armstrong State University, Hyatt-Regency Hotel, Public Relations Department of the City of Savannah, WSAV Television, Armstrong Library, United Shipping Lines and Alloy Industrial Contractors.
To support you in your writing projects, we have a Writing Center where you can talk one-on-one with faculty or with trained student tutors. You will find the latest computer technology and assistants to answer your questions. Near the Writing Center is the Language Lab, where audiovisual equipment will help you master a foreign language. As you pursue your scholarly endeavors, you may access college and university libraries throughout the state and nation. As an English major, you may contribute to our prize-winning literary journal or join our student newspaper. You will also have an opportunity to meet prize-winning authors who visit our campus through the Visiting Writing Series. In addition, you may be eligible to join Sigma Tau Delta, a national honorary fraternity for outstanding English majors, and you may be the recipient of scholastic awards and/or monetary prizes on Awards Day. Furthermore, as an English major with a specialty in communications, you may serve as a student intern. In the past, our interns have gained invaluable experience by serving local businesses such as WTOC-TV, Savannah Morning News, Savannah Magazine, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, Savannah Sand Gnats baseball team, Vawter & Vawter Advertising and Comedy Central.
Finally, you will attain your English degree under the direction of impressive faculty who are solid teachers and active scholars. You will reap the benefits of small upper-division classes. Typically, our upper-division classes have about 15 to 20 students, so you can be assured of receiving individual attention and learning in a friendly, comfortable atmosphere as you expand your horizons and prepare for a productive future.
Course of Study
Students in the literature track prepare for advanced study by completing Introduction to Literary Studies and survey courses in American and British literature. Having built this foundation, they take three courses from historical periods of American and British literature, five elective upper-level courses, and two courses devoted to Cultural Studies—such as African-American literature, postcolonial literature, southern literature, and literature by women. The track is completed with a Senior Capstone Seminar built around original student research. All students in the Professional Communication track take four common courses: Introduction to Communication, Freelance Writing, Business and Technical Communication, and Rhetoric. They then select an area of concentration from among Journalism, Creative Writing, Technical Communication or Film Studies. A required internship provides crucial professional experience for a career in communication.