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English, Literary Studies, BA

The English, Literary Studies, BA program allows you to not only learn how to analyze literature, but to apply that critical thinking and engagement to life. Literature informs how we move through the world, and, as such, understandings of it provide us with skills beyond the classroom. Graduating with a degree in English enables students to engage in careers in publishing, journalism, web content writing and design, public relations, teaching, and marketing, among countless others. From small businesses to large corporations; from local newspapers to mass media outlets: with an English major, the job possibilities are endless.

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What Will I Learn?

You will learn to read, write, converse, and think critically, developing critical thinking and written communications skills that employers value. In addition to taking American, British, and global literature survey courses, you will take a least one course from four categories:

  • Writing
  • Genres
  • Histories and movements
  • Identities

Thus, you will not only focus on literature as artifacts, but how literature is produced, both as a craft and a product of its sociocultural/political environment. You will develop strong skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing, learn how to research and manage data, and learn to work effectively in teams.

Anna D’Orazio

Meet Anna D’Orazio

“I was able to foster connections with a wide variety of people that I would not have been able to otherwise if not for the English Department. They connected me with so many mentors and opportunities.”

How Anna Found Success at Ship

What are the requirements for this degree?

In addition to the 120 required credits that include general education courses, there are 42 credits of required core courses in English. Additionally, you will take a number of courses focused on advanced studies in literature.

View the Course Requirement Checksheet.


Possible Minors:

  • Ethnic studies
  • Women's and gender studies
  • Disability studies
  • Interdisciplinary arts
  • International studies
  • Theatre
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Psychology
  • Criminal justice
  • Communication/journalism
  • Human communication studies
  • Business
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German studies

What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?

This degree prepares you to enter into a variety of fields post-graduation, including advanced graduate studies, journalism, publishing, public relations, and law, just to name a few. Some specific positions include:

  • Web content creator
  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • Publishing assistant
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Grant writer
  • Technical writer
  • Author
  • Public relations specialist
  • Social media manager
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Speech writer
  • Proposal manager

What Career Outcomes Do Alumni Have With This Degree?

A list of of the top job titles for English alumni
The estimated salary for English alumni

What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have?

Ship English faculty are among the most well-published literary scholars in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, with dozens of award winning books and articles. That means you will learn from and work alongside expert practitioners in the field, and conduct undergraduate research with skilled mentors.

Class sizes are typically small, which promotes a student-centered environment where faculty and students share ideas about the literary texts they are reading and writing about.

Outside the classroom, there are many opportunities to get involved in clubs and activities related to literary studies, including working on or contributing to undergraduate student publications like The Reflector, Write the Ship, and Spawning Pool. The department also regularly hosts nationally-recognized novelists and poets as well as renowned literary scholars.

Contact the English Department

Dauphin Humanities Center 128 1871 Old Main Drive Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1495 Fax: (717) 477-4020