At Penn State, we prepare you for the complex communication tasks you will face in the professional workplace and in your personal life. The bachelor of arts in English (B.A.) and the minor in English provide you with highly marketable skills in writing, research, critical thinking, and verbal communication.
At our core is the experience of language and stories as powerful forces shaping relationships, spurring imagination, and defining communities. In addition to the major, our faculty teach general education courses in writing and literature that offer every student the skills and pleasures of intelligent self-expression. We also support your writing in other courses by tutoring at the Nittany Success Center.
The tradition of great literature helps you to appreciate our cultural and intellectual heritage, to understand the ideals that drive people and communities, and to make humane and imaginative choices about the future. At Penn State York, we offer the Writing and Literature in Context option in the major, which offers students flexibility in structuring their experience.
Our course offerings reflect the multidisciplinary nature of English studies:
- You will explore not only literature but also film, theatre, history, gender studies, and creative writing. You will begin with introductory literature and writing courses and then proceed to courses that develop skills in interpretive approaches, research methods, and literary theory. Juniors and seniors study specific areas of literary history, genre, and theme in greater depth and intensity. Penn State York offers English majors:
- Small, discussion-based classes
- Interaction with faculty who are creative writers, active researchers, and community activists
- Connections to students and faculty experts across the University through digital teaching formats. Recent offerings include 19th-century print culture, medieval literature, and 18th-century satire. African American poetry is planned for the future.
- All English majors cap their college careers with a required senior seminar (English 487W), in which students reflect on English as a plan of study and pursue independent research projects. Students present their projects as part of the Penn State York Undergraduate Research Fair. Recent English majors have addressed topics ranging from pseudonyms and Sherlock Holmes to film adaptations.
- Majoring in another field? An English minor (18 credits) demonstrates your commitment to the communication skills employers’ value.