major is a department within the College
of Arts & Letters.
British or American Literatures
Admission and Progression Standards for this major:
Click on the link to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major: http://www.jmu.edu/advising/snapshots/SSENG.shtml
English is offered as a major and minor at JMU. The
program offered by the Department of English is designed
to prepare students to enter graduate study; to prepare
them for the teaching profession; and to serve as basic
preparation for many professions in which skillful use
of language is important, for example, law, publishing,
free lance writing, creative writing, journalism, public
relations, broadcasting, government, advertising and
business. Moreover, it offers to all students, wherever
their professional and vocational interests lie, an
appreciation of the great literary heritage of civilization,
with particular emphasis upon American and British literatures,
and, through the humanistic study of these masterpieces,
a better understanding of themselves and their culture.
The program also promotes global awareness and the appreciation
of cultural diversity through numerous opportunities
for world or multicultural studies. The programs
goal is that, through the humanistic study of a variety
of literature, students will obtain a better understanding
of themselves, their culture and other cultures with
which they must invariably come into contact. American
Studies, Creative Writing and Film Studies are interdisciplinary
minors offered through the English Department.
me more about this field of study.
Human interaction is all about communication, both verbal
and nonverbal. But the communication that we most rely
on for messages are those that are spoken or written.
Whether we are trying to outline to a computer specialist
the kind of database that needs to be constructed or are
attempting to convey to an executive caterer the relaxing
mood for a business function, we must rely on our understanding,
appreciation, and mastery of the English language. Almost
every work situation you can think of is about people
communicating. It is act of people explaining, arguing,
describing, elaborating, defining, agreeing, questioning,
probing, clarifying, and even obscuring meaning as we
come together to get work done. Regardless of the project
or goal at hand, the cost, or the technology involved,
almost all projects come down to the exchange of meaning
between individuals through language. English as a subject
provides students a comprehensive acquaintance with
English literature and American literature of the nineteenth
and twentieth centuries. A study of ideas, cultures,
mores, and concepts through time. English is studied
to be truly educated, and the English major brings to
his or her employment setting a high level of general
information about the ideas of people and how those
ideas have been expressed.
Tell me more about specializations in this major.
The most important professional skills are the ability
to read well and the ability to express ideas. The person
who can do those two things is most likely to rise to
the top of any career. Such a person is best equipped
to change with the times, to adapt to the needs of his
or her profession, and to assume a position of leadership.
In addition to teaching these basic skills, the English
Department also emphasizes the study of British and
American literature. A full range of courses from Chaucer
to the contemporary novel is taught by the English faculty
who are dedicated to making literary studies an exciting
and rewarding pursuit. In addition to traditional literary
areas, majors often concentrate some of their electives
in creative writing, professional and technical writing,
and the study of drama and film.
common major or minor combinations from other departments
complement this major?
English easily combines as a second major or a minor.
Some common combinations are: Africana Studies, American Studies, Classical
Studies, Communication Studies, Creative Writing, Criminal
Justice, Economics, English as a Second Language, Environmental
Studies, Film Studies, History, Human Resources Development,
International Affairs, Justice Studies, Management,
Marketing, Modern Foreign Language, Philosophy and Religion,
Political Communication, Political Science, Psychology,
Sociology, Theater and Dance,
or Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication.
OF SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS
What makes good liberal arts graduates, and particularly
English majors, attractive to businesses, government
agencies, non-profit organizations, and to professional
schools is their ability to synthesize, communicate
and research, skills essential to moving beyond an entry
level position. One financial executive, quoted in a
Washington Post article, remarked, "If I could
choose one degree for the people I hire, it would be
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated
with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated
careers that utilize skills and experiences developed
during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some
fields will require graduate study or further training.
The listing below offers examples of possible career
paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.