Undergraduate Studies

The English Major

The curriculum of the English major at the University at Albany fosters two fundamental abilities: the first is critical thought and interpretation; the second is thoughtful expression.

Students of English Studies pay attention to language, literature, and culture in their historical and theoretical contexts; in their aesthetic and practical dimensions; and in their social, as well as political significance. Working with the Advisement Office and a Faculty Mentor, students tailor a program of study that develops specific areas of intellectual interest, while preparing for post-graduation goals.

The Department offers a variety of special programs to its majors, such as the English Honors Program, a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (International Honors in English), the Writing Center, and undergraduate internship opportunities. English majors have gone on to successful careers in education, law, editing, publishing, medicine, theater and film, broadcasting, politics, public policy and administration, advertising, and librarianship, to name just a few!


Some recent articles on the English major after college:

Frank Bruni writes about the value of education in the Humanities that goes beyond financial (February 2015):


Jeffrey Dorfman shows that long term earnings in the Humanities far surpass the cost of education (Nov 2014):


Jordan Weissman cites and discusses the positive employment numbers for English majors:


Author, columnist, and small business expert, Steve Strauss, writes on the value an English major brings to a job or career (June 2013):


Mark Edmunds discusses the unique ability of English majors to recognize, understand, and utililze our world, which truly is immersed in language, and the many ways English majors benefit from that understanding and skill:


A report from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, which shows that liberal arts majors actually out-earn their peers in other majors:


The next article focuses largely on business, but highlights the importance of writing and written communcation in business; the comments discuss the importance of writing and communication in any field or position.