The study of the English language can ultimately lead to careers in a wide variety of fields that go beyond the teaching and writing careers generally associated with the English major. Studying literature and language teaches students to learn practical and career-transferable skills such as:

  • effective writing
  • critical thinking
  • problem solving 
  • communication 
  • research methods
  • revision and editing techniques
  • information gathering and analysis abilities

English is also a wise choice of major for those considering law or graduate school. Master's programs in business administration, communications, English and education, to name a few, are often the next step for undergraduate English majors. Some students obtain a licensure for adolescent and young adult education to teach in secondary education.

Graduate Programs

View Department of English Graduate Studies for information about the Master of Arts (MA) in English:

English - Literary Studies Concentration

English - Rhetoric and Composition Concentration

English - Teaching Literature and Writing Concentration

 Other areas of graduate specialization:

Rhetoric and Composition Graduate Certificate

English Graduate Minor

For application materials and catalog requests, contact the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School

For more information, contact Dr. Zackary Vernon, Director of Graduate Studies, at

See also our graduate handbook.

Honors Program

The Department of English offers an honors program on the sophomore, junior and senior levels for undergraduate students. In order to remain in the program, students must maintain at least a B average in honors work. Invited English majors meeting the requirements of the junior-senior honors program (ENG 4508, ENG 4509, and ENG 4510) with a grade of B or better and at least a 3.45 average in all English course work will graduate with honors in English.

You may contact Dr. Tina Groover by email or by phone at  (828) 262-2314 for more information.

If you are planning to write an Honors College thesis, please see the Honors College thesis guidelines: For more information on University Honors, please see

If you intend to graduate with University and Departmental Honors, you will need to complete both sets of thesis applications by the end of the first week of the semester you plan to graduate.