English professor goes over term papers with students in her office

English (B.A.)

English studies is a proven gateway into any number of professional paths. Here at Bloomsburg, you'll gain critical analysis skills; cultural awareness through diverse literatures; an understanding of the power of language and how it functions; the use of language creatively for exposition, persuasion, and artistic effect; and, perhaps most important, the ability to adapt to what comes next. 

Degrees & Offerings
  • B.A.
Department
College
Program Contact
Chair of the Department of English, Professor, Director of Interdisciplinary Studies
Department Secretary
illustration of Carver Hall

Explore your passion for the written word.

We offer four major tracks designed to prepare you for a wide array of careers or graduate study: literature, creative writing, professional writing and digital rhetoric, and secondary education with an English emphasis. We also offer minors in literature, creative writing, technical and professional writing, and linguistics. In addition, we maintain the interdisciplinary minors in gender studies and in ethnic studies in the United States.

Courses and Curriculum

The Literature Track offers in-depth study of literary periods, styles, and genres, as well as linguistics and writing courses. It is perfect for students with interests in digital and print publishing, law school, marketing and public relations, and English graduate study. With its strong emphasis on developing students' strengths as creative critical thinkers and effective writers and on providing a strong foundation in the humanities, the Literature concentration prepares students for careers in the wide range of fields.

Learning Objectives

  • Communicate effectively in multiple modes
  • Read in multiple contexts
  • Recognizing and apply modes of inquiry
  • Read analytically
  • Recognize of the power of language

Have you ever dreamed of creating a strong character like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, whose multi-book adventures are complex and exciting? Have you ever wanted to build a world as creative and detailed as the one in your favorite video game? Have you always written poems, but never showed them to anyone?

Then creative writing is the concentration for you.

Students in our creative writing program study contemporary literature and participate in writing workshops in several genres of their choice. This concentration of the English major also gives you necessary skills for numerous jobs with a writing emphasis like social media manager, ad copy writer, and corporate storyteller.

Creative Writing Checklists

The Professional Writing and Digital Rhetoric Track offers in-depth study of technical and professional writing in print and online. It is perfect for students with interests in writing for business and industry.

The Secondary Education English Track is offered in conjunction with the Department of Teaching and Learning to prepare students to teach English in grades 7 through 12.

Minors complement a student’s major to increase their areas of knowledge and improve their competitiveness on the job market or for graduate study. With planning, students can easily add one or more minors to their major without delaying their graduation date. Students may also major in one of the English department tracks and pursue one of our other minors, such as majoring in creative writing and minoring in technical and professional writing. Typically, minors require 18 credit hours to be counted towards graduation. 

Other minors chosen by English majors in the past include foreign language, women's studies, theater, business, communication studies, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and political science. Choosing a minor may be a beneficial credential when looking for a career after graduation.

We offer a wide array of more than 30 courses that teach students to think critically, read analytically, and communicate effectively. Students interested in literature can choose between American, Non-Western, European, and British texts; while student writers express themselves in the form of fiction, nonfiction, scriptwriting, and poetry. We also offers courses in linguistics that allow students to study the history and structure of language.

We ask that majors in our concentrations — literature, secondary education, creative writing, and professional writing and digital rhetoric — begin an ePortfolio early in their course of study, update it at least yearly, and complete and refine it in the senior year. For the literature, creative writing, and professional writing majors, the ePortfolio is a graduation requirement; for the secondary education concentration, the ePortfolio will be a part of some required courses and will be a graduation requirement for those who graduate in Fall 2020 and later.

The ePortfolio is intended

  • to bring additional coherence and continuity to your English study experience; we want to encourage you to understand your own development as readers and writers; by including artifacts produced outside the English department as well as inside it, we ask you to consider how your major field of study interacts with your learning in other areas.
  • to encourage you to begin thinking early and often about career options and further education, and to assist you in preparing for these goals; the finished ePortfolio should be a diverse repository of your best college achievements, drawn both from coursework and from extra- and co-curricular activities; for career preparation and applying for positions, the ePortfolio will demonstrate what you've done and can do.
  • to extend and enrich the environment for advisement; academic advisors will help you update and diversify your portfolios, and can suggest helpful additions.
  • and to provide the department an opportunity to see how well we are meeting our objectives.

ePortfolio Guidelines for your concentration:

Creative Writing
Literature
Professional Writing and Digital Rhetoric
Secondary Education English (for those graduating Fall 2020 and later)

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Bloomsburg Because

Scholarships

Eligible English majors are encouraged to apply for a number of university scholarships for the coming academic year. In addition, once a year an announcement is made for entries for writing awards.

English Scholarships

  • Helen and Ervene Gulley Memorial Scholarship
  • Margaret Bittner Parke Scholarship
  • Catherine Oplinger and Clark R. Renninger Memorial Scholarship
  • Cecil Seronsy Scholarship
  • Louis F. Thompson Scholarship

Writing Awards

  • Peters Award for Creative Non-Fiction
  • Fuller Fiction Award
  • Baillie Award for the Critical Essay
  • The Savage Poetry Award

Internships

Students with more than 60 hours are strongly recommended to look into an internship. Opportunities include the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Town Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, and the BU Foundation office. Internships provide you with hands-on responsibility that better prepare you for the work force.

BU’s Writing and Literacy Engagement Studio (WALES) offers internships to students who demonstrate superior writing and proofreading skills. If you enjoy writing and helping other people better their writing, then WALES may be a good place for you. Training is provided, so no previous tutoring experience is necessary. If you're interested, contact Writing Center director Ted Roggenbuck.

Professional U is also offering the following:

  • Geisinger Children's Miracle Network Telethon
  • Harrisburg (more than a dozen government offices and projects)
  • Highlights for Children and other children's literature projects
  • Hershey Medical Center, Student Affairs
  • Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal
  • The Daily Item newspaper
  • Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble
  • Bloomsburg University Foundation, Inc.
  • Bloomsburg Town Hall
  • Bloomsburg Chamber of Commerce

The Husky Difference

English majors enjoys a lecture in his creative writing class
Affiliation
BU enjoys an agreement with Rosemont College for their MFA in Creative Writing and MA in Publishing, ensuring streamlined program admission with a 3.0 GPA. Students with a 3.5 GPA receive 25% reduced tuition.

Careers

English majors from all four of our concentrations normally find rewarding and important employment within a year of graduating. Our secondary education majors usually find a position at a public high school but may go on to other careers after a few years. The cluster of skills developed in courses for the English major — critical and accurate reading, analysis, research, and face-to-face and written communication — gives you a head start over other majors in communication for business, government, and non-profit organizations.

Potential Job Opportunities

  • social media manager
  • technical writer
  • public relations specialist
  • lawyer
  • grant writer
  • librarian
  • editor and content manager
  • human resource specialist
  • English teacher
  • fundraiser

Top Skills Employers are Looking For

  • critical thinking
  • teamwork
  • written and verbal communication
  • critical and accurate reading
  • research and analysis

Husky Unleashed

Program Contacts

Mark Decker

Mark Decker

  • Chair of the Department of English, Professor, Director of Interdisciplinary Studies

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