Visit Campus
Live Events
Pay Deposit

English Frequently Asked Questions

 What should I know about the English Department?

The core of the study of English at James Madison University 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.

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.

English Highlights:

  • In 2019, two English majors received prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Awards.
  • Nineteen faculty have led more than 20 international study abroad programs.
  • Internships offer students the opportunity to explore career options to develop skills related to the English major or minor, to connect classroom theory to work-based experience and to build career networks.
  • Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, hosts an annual undergraduate conference.
  • The Keezell Review features undergraduate and graduate student work.

 Are there any prerequisites for English courses?

There are no prerequisites required to take English courses.

 What are the requirements for the major?

Students majoring in English earn the B.A. degree unless they are completing an English major with an interdisciplinary focus or an additional major in a degree program other than the B.A. The minimum requirement for a major in English is 36 credit hours of courses in the major. Nine credit hours must be taken at or above the 300 level.

 Where can I find the English major checklist?

Our Enlgish major checklist can be found here.

 What kinds of minors and concentrations are offered in the department?

The English Department offers minors in English, Creative Writing, and Secondary Education specializing in English.

English majors can also choose one or more of these concentrations:

  • British Literature
  • American Literature
  • World Literature
  • Environmental Literature and Writing
  • Language and Theory
  • Print Culture
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Race and Ethnicity Studies
  • Creative Writing

 Which minors, including cross-disciplinary minors, complement English?

These popular minors complement the English major:

  • African, African American and Diaspora Studies (coordinated by Drs. Besi Muhonja and Mollie Godfrey in English)
  • American Studies (coordinated by Dr. Laura Henigman in English)
  • Book Arts
  • Creative Writing (coordinated by Erica Cavanagh in English)
  • Environmental Humanities (coordinated by Dr. Katey Castellano in English)
  • Film Studies
  • Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies (LAXC) (coordinated by Dr. Allison Fagan in English)
  • Medical Humanities
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Secondary Education
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (coordinated by Dr. Mary Thompson in English)
  • World Literature (coordinated by Dr. Debali Mookerjea-Leonard in English)

 What kinds of internship and career development opportunities are available for majors (and minors)?

"ENG 294: Internships in English" offers English majors a supplemental educational opportunity to explore career options, develop skills related to the English major or minor in a work-related setting, connect classroom theory to work-based experience, and build up their career-related experience and networks. The requirements of the course are designed to help students refine their job application materials and interview skills in order to ready themselves for their prospective career paths after graduation. For more information, visit English Internships and Career Resources.

 What kinds of work do English majors do?

  • Archivist
  • Attorney
  • CIA/FBI analyst
  • College Career Counselor
  • Copy Editor
  • Corporate Executive
  • Documentary Scriptwriter
  • Editor
  • Event Planner
  • Journalist
  • Legal Researcher
  • Librarian
  • Linguist
  • Literary Agent
  • Medical Professional
  • Museum/Gallery Director
  • Non-Profit Sector Employee
  • Program Director
  • Public Health Publicist
  • Public Sector Employee
  • Publisher
  • Screen/Script Writer
  • Social Media Director
  • Teacher/Scholar
  • Writer

 Where can I find more information about the Department?

Department of English
Keezell Hall, Room 215
MSC 1801, 921 Madison Drive
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807 or
Phone: 540-568-6170
Fax: 540-568-2983

 How can I keep up with news and events at JMU English?

Facebook – JMU English
Instagram – JMUENGLISH
Twitter – @EnglishJMU
Website –

Back to Top