English and Journalism

students reading sonnets, erin waters, sarah zeeck, rebecca eineki

Bachelor of Arts—English Literature & Language

English majors read the classics of literature, graphic novels, film, ancient and contemporary poetry, non-fiction, and new media like online games and interactive fiction. Broad, inventive, careful reading helps English students become critical thinkers who understand literary forms as well as historical and cultural traditions.

By learning advanced methods of interpretation, and considering the implications for social justice, our majors approach cultural questions with subtlety and insight. Students who study English practice writing constantly, critically, and creatively, learning the craft of invention, revision and style.

Unlike other majors which focus on profession-specific skills and content, English majors learn approaches and methods relevant in many contexts. This gives English students the flexibility often demanded by today's employers, providing excellent preparation for a wide range of careers, or for graduate study in English, law, education, or other areas.


Our faculty work on the cutting edge of literature, language, and culture, sharing their interesting research in courses and individual study. All are dedicated teachers often recognized by Western for excellence in teaching.

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Why English at WIU?

All WIU English majors enjoy small classes which allow close collaboration with faculty. Student organizations such as Elements and NCTE offer opportunities to gain experience publishing and attending conferences. The department offers strong professional development and excellent advising. A robust schedule of events including visiting writers and scholars brings fresh ideas to the department frequently.

Career Paths to Consider

  • Librarian
  • Literary Agent
  • Novelist
  • Paralegal
  • Playwright
  • Poet
  • Politics
  • Proofreader
  • Public Relations
  • Research Assistant
  • Student Affairs
  • Technical Writer
  • Biographer
  • Book Critic
  • Business Manager
  • Copy Editor
  • Copywriter
  • Creative Writer
  • Editorial Assistant
  • English Teacher
  • Grant Writer
  • Human Resources
  • Interpreter/Translator
  • Law School