Who Should Major in English?

          The JMU English major is designed to meet the varied needs and interests of students in the major. If you’re considering the English major, you may wish to consider the questions below.  They afford a tool to assist you in thinking about what is important to you in your academic career. More specific information about the structure and requirements of the English Major is available on this checksheet. In addition, information about careers or career preparation as an English major is available via our internship program.

          In addition, students interested in pursuing Secondary Education licensure in English are in the right place and should also investigate the middle and secondary education website. Please feel free to contact the English Department with any questions about the major. 


  1. Do you love to read?  

  2. Do you enjoy being challenged by your reading and being introduced to writers who use forms and styles you’ve never read before?

  3. Do you want to be able to communicate more accurately, powerfully, and/or beautifully with written language?

  4. Have you ever been moved by the beauty of what someone has said or written?

  5. Do you like history and diverse cultures and points of view presented through narrative storytelling?

  6. Do you want to develop a more sophisticated ability to identify techniques and creative choices through which people can be and are influenced by words?

  7. Are you fearless in the face of a dictionary?  Of a library?  (If not, do you wish you were?)

  8. Are you drawn to careers in which strong writing, reading, research, persuasion, and/or language analysis skills are required?

  9. Are you comfortable with a major that sets the foundation for a wide range of different career options rather than one that is focused on a particular career path?

  10. Will you regret it in ten years if you missed your opportunity to study English?


James Madison University JMU English Department
Keezell Room 215
P: 540-568-6170
F: 540-568-2983

JMU Web Privacy Statement

© James Madison University Department of English - All Rights Reserved