Mount Saint Mary's College



A Letter from the English Department Chair

I am delighted you are exploring the English major.

But I bet that, although you really like literature and writing, you are wondering if you should actually major in English because you have heard you can’t  get a job with an English degree unless you teach English.  Wrong.  Mount English-major graduates have distinguished themselves in business, public service, law, administration, social work, journalism, and other fields.  

How can an English major help you get a job?

When you work through the fascinating courses required to complete your major, you will

  • enrich your ability to analyze as you examine plots and symbols;
  • appreciate the complicated psychological make-up of human beings as you examine characters in novels and plays;
  • handle abstraction with ease as you work with irony, symbolism, and theme;
  • become conscious of the magical role of language to transform meaning and intensity:
  • value your own ability to write well.

With those qualities, you are a very desirable employee and colleague.

What would you study as a Mount English major?

You will get a panoramic picture of some of the world’s greatest literature and the forms in which it came to life. After completing the preparation of two semesters of Freshman English and a year of Western Civilization, you will take the following courses:

  • American Literature: Beginnings to 1914
  • American Literature: 1914 to the Present
  • English Literature:  2 courses before 1700
  • English Literature: 2 courses after 1700
  • World Literature – A course to help you place English and American Literature in a global perspective
  • Advanced Writing—From a variety of creative and nonfiction choices
  • A genre course—In either the novel or poetry or drama
  • Shakespeare—How could anyone be an English major without studying the greatest poet of our language?
  • Theory and Criticism—The heart of how to analyze and examine literature
  • Two English electives—Your choice from English offerings
  • Senior Seminar—The capstone of your study of literature, taught like a course in graduate school; so if you go on for an advanced degree, you already know how grad study works.
  • English Exit Exam—A comprehensive exam required for the English major though not necessary for matriculation. Like the Senior Seminar the Exit Exam will give you a taste of graduate work.

    For more information, see Exit Exam Reading List.

What else?

  • Enjoy small classes and the easy and friendly interaction with the English faculty.
  • Pursue a double major by combining your English major with another major like Psychology, Sociology, Religious Studies, Political Science, History, one of the sciences, or Nursing to make you even more employable because you see life and your career in a bigger picture.
  • Help edit and write for the English Department’s literary magazine Audemus or the college newspaper The Oracle.
  • Do an internship to practice your English skills in the workplace.  Past English majors have done internships at KCET, magazines, newspapers, TV production companies, and other firms.  
  • Study abroad for a semester and take literature courses in England, the very birthplace of our literary heritage

Fr. George O'Brien

Dr. Katherine Brueck



Alumnae Snapshot

Jennifer Bagheri

Jennifer Bagheri