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Literature and writing fundamentally shape how we understand ourselves and the world. How do we plume the mysteries of ourselves, our cultures, our histories, and other people? We listen to their voices in poems and in stories. And we learn to make meaning of those voices by writing our way through to understanding.

Why Choose English?

Because life is a narrative. Because you love books. Because you love to read and write. And the English major will make you an expert. As an expert, you will join a community of alums in a range of professional careers and artistic pursuits: law, entertainment, education, non-profit advocacy, to name only a few.

The Classes

You will personalize your major by choosing a series of courses that will combine to give you a background in World literary traditions while pursuing your personal interests in topics like:

  • Creative Writing
  • Environmental Literature and Ecocriticism
  • Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies
  • Digital Arts and Humanities
  • Theory, Media, and Praxis
  • Author and Genre Studies

The Faculty

Our faculty are award-winning scholar-teachers with expertise in a wide variety of areas within literary and writing studies. Wholly devoted to the classroom, they are at Manhattan College’s English department because they believe that small class sizes allow students to engage in lively discussion and our location in New York City affords unique opportunities to explore how cultural institutions across the city intersect with the wide variety of coursework we offer. As an English major, you will get to know they, and they you, through a variety of informal gatherings, including “English Night” at nearby restaurants and frequent poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction readings hosted through the Major Author Reading Series.

Professors in this department are eager to collaborate with students on research projects – an essential experience for students considering postgraduate studies. Many of these partnerships lead to journal publications and academic presentations.

The Experience

Being an English major is arguing books in a classroom, a bar, or dorm room, being in the theater, meeting your favorite authors at MARS events, submitting your work to Logos or Manhattan Magazine, reading your own work (poetry/fiction readings), attending film screenings on campus and in the city, developing your own independent study with a favorite professor – the point is this: literary culture is alive at Manhattan College.

You will make New York City your classroom. Experience the city’s world-class theater scene in our Theater in the City class or discover the city’s unique ecosystem in Environmental Literature. You will come face-to-face with internationally acclaimed and prizewinning writers. Our Major Author Reading Series brings writers such as Jennifer Egan, Adam Johnson, Jia Tolentino, and Leslie Jamison to campus every semester. You will also have the opportunity to contribute creative and academic work to one of several campus publications.


What Will You Learn?

You will learn to make your voice heard in the way you want it to be heard. You will read all those books you wanted to read and some you didn’t know you wanted to read. And maybe you’ll make your voice heard in ways you haven’t done before: through essays, fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

The English major incorporates history, sociology, religion, philosophy, science, and psychology – all of the things that make human civilization, well, human. As an English major you will develop an understanding of literary texts and the issues that shaped them while you learn how to:

  • Communicate clearly in an appropriate tone
  • Develop logical, eloquent arguments
  • Observe and analyze complex information
  • Set schedules and work under deadlines
  • Think creatively and make more meaningful connections across academic disciplines and to the world around you

You may choose English as a concentration within the school of Education and Health.  English is also offered as a minor.

English is also offered as a minor.

See degree requirements

What Will You Do?

Employers often seek out well-rounded English majors because they are versatile, skilled communicators and can readily apply their training in a variety of careers. Our majors have gone off to rewarding professional lives in a variety of professions.

  • Jobs for English Majors

    Some of the hightlights include:

    • Writing and Publishing

      • Writers at Yahoo News, Refinery 29, Babble, Bloomberg News, Newsweek, Fox Business, Vice News, Playboy, Marie Claire
      • At major publishing houses: Director of Publicity, VP of Marketing, Associate Sales Manager, Communications Director
      • Copy writers at digital marketing, publicity, and media consulting firms
    • Entertainment

      • Television director and producer
      • Television Art Coordinator
      • Executive Producer of a design and animation studio
      • Cast member of a Broadway musical
      • Project Coordinator of a creative agency
      • Research Analyst for a news website
    • Education

      • In Higher Ed: English Professor, Creative Writing Professor, Composition Professor, Programs Assistant, Admissions Counselor, Learning Specialist, Instructional Designer, Student Development Specialist
      • In High Schools: Assistant Principle, Dean, Teacher, Social Worker
      • Elementary School Teacher
      • Librarian
      • Development Manager at major library
    • Law and Order

      • Attorney
      • Public Defender
      • Assistant District Attorney
      • EMS at FDNY
      • NYPD Police Officer
    • Non-Profit and Healthcare

      • At Non-Profit Organizations: Volunteer Coordinator, Campaign Director, Recruitment Director
      • Director of Programs and Partnerships for a foundation
      • Assistant Director of Care at a mental health center
      • Director of Corporate Marketing for a health services delivery firm
      • Senior Speaker Bureau Coordinator at a health services firm
      • Development Coordinator at a medical research center
    • Creative Careers in Business

      • Creative Director at a brewing company
      • Strategy Manager at a publicity firm
      • Director of Operations at a construction company
      • Project Manager at a consulting firm
      • Digital Creative Services Manager for a major outdoor clothing and gear brand
      • Assistant Account Executive for a major clothing brand

I learned how to think critically as an English major. Not everyone knows how, and when colleagues find that you can offer a different perspective, you become an invaluable resource.  Being an English major helped me to challenge the status quo.

Jessica Gallus '01, Strategic Studies Fellow at the U.S. Department of Defense