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The core of the study of English at JMU is the exploration of our world and ourselves through words.

Throughout human history, talented writers, poets, playwrights and essayists have understood and used the power of creative, well-crafted language to inspire us, to persuade us, to make us reflect and question, to draw empathy from us, to entertain and awe us, and to expand our understanding – often many of these at the same time.

At JMU, we prepare our students to be appreciative yet critical readers and creators of language, texts and ideas, attending to the powerful link between the literary arts and the human condition.

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Small program cohorts allow for personal attention, so students can reach their goals and fulfill their potential.

The major is a part of the Department of English, an academic unit within the College of Arts and Letters.

The English major may be an entry point for graduate study, law school, or a career in teaching, and prepares students for many professions in which skillful use of language is important: publishing, journalism, public relations, broadcasting, government, non-profit work, advertising, and business.

English offers all students, whatever their vocational interests, an opportunity to experience the challenges and pleasures of the world's literature in a sustained program of study. Reading literature and literary criticism exercises skills in critical thinking, writing, and communication, and builds an awareness of diverse perspectives that will become important in students' professional and personal lives. Students may choose a variety of courses covering American, British, and world literatures, contemporary and early literatures, cultural studies, gender studies, creative writing, film, and linguistics.

English
  • Degrees Offered: 
    • B.A.
  • Concentrations:
    • British or American Literatures
    • World Literature
    • Creative Writing
  • Minors:
    • American Studies
    • Creative Writing
    • Film Studies

Declaring the Major

New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Students should declare the English major when they register for orientation.

Currently Enrolled Major Changers 
Current students wishing to declare or change a major, minor or pre-professional program must complete a request through MyMadison. Additional department specific information will be available when that academic plan is selected.  Follow all directions and steps necessary to execute your request. Once all necessary steps are completed, the department will either approve or deny your request or contact you for additional information.

For additional assistance making this request, view the Change/Declare a Major/Minor tutorial in MyMadison or on the tutorials website.

Progressing in the Major

Remain in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.


Graduation cap

Career Planning

A successful career and a meaningful life is what it’s all about. Whether it’s an internship, a great first job or a top graduate school appointment, JMU Dukes make their dreams ignite. You will, too.

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