Most employers emphasize the importance of being able to think critically, communicate clearly - written and oral - and solve complex problems.

Students studying English at Wesleyan become strong readers and writers as they work with texts from a range of cultures, periods, and perspectives.

Small, discussion-based classes invite students to consider the power of language in shaping experiences of place, gender, race, class, and other essential components of culture and identity. Through coursework, individual and collaborative projects and interactions with faculty, students practice critical thinking, analytical reasoning, empathy, and creativity. Together with writing and speaking skills, these attributes ensure that English majors are prepared for the workplace and for the important task of communicating across cultures and in a variety of genres, both traditional and evolving.

Major: English
Minor: English
Academic Catalogue

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A Vaste Scope of Learning

English majors at Wesleyan read American, British, and world literature. They also focus in depth on such topics as globalization, sustainability, digital culture, science fiction, African-American literature, Victorian and Edwardian drama, Southern women writers, and African women’s fiction. They discover various theoretical approaches to literary analysis in an Introduction to Literary Criticism class, and they strengthen writing skills through professional writing, creative writing, and writing for the web courses. Students conclude their studies by designing a creative or scholarly project integrating their studies in English with another area of scholarship. Internships and study abroad experiences are available for all students.

Outside the Classroom

Each year the English Department hosts the Campbell-Stripling Distinguished Writer in Residence. Established in 2010 to honor family members of poet and alumna Kathryn Stripling Byer ’66, the program invites a visiting writer to give readings and convocations, attend classes, lead workshops, and meet individually with student writers. Students may submit pieces to the Wesleyan Creative Arts Magazine, serve as magazine staff members, and work as Writing Center Tutors where they also develop teaching skills. Students may enter their writing in Wesleyan’s annual poetry and essay competitions. Finally, students have the opportunity to become HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Sciences and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) Scholars, and join an online scholarly community that explores digital culture.

Sample Courses

ENG 205: Perspectives on World Literature.
Each semester this class selects a particular perspective from which to consider authors' use of creative writing to address issues in their lives and the lives of their communities. Such perspectives may include a particular geographical region, cultural phenomenon, or component of writers' identity (for example, African literature, globalization, or expatriated writers).

ENG 213: Survey of United States Literature.
Writings by important literary figures from America, from the Puritans to modern times.

ENG 217: Readings in African-American Literature.
Works by African-Americans such as Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, Malcolm X, Jean Toomer, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Morrison, and Tayari Jones.

ENG 280: Writing for Equity.
In this course, students will practice creative writing and participatory art strategies to examine social and racial equity issues on both the national and regional level. Students will analyze and create participatory art and writing experiences using various visual, performative, and writing methods to engage in self-reflection, creative expression, social critique, and social action. Students in this course will also partner with the Lane Center for Social and Racial Equity to create community-engaged writing experiences.

ENG 300: Literature and Film.
Students will gain the tools and vocabulary to complete both literary and film analysis, and they will use these skills to observe, comment on, and write about effective techniques in each medium.

ENG 302: Digital Culture.
Students will consider the significant social changes that have taken place since the rise of digital communications, including areas as diverse as copyright and ownership, artistic and literary production, privacy rights, corporate media control, fandom, and grassroots social movements. A history of writing technologies will help students to see the computer as one of many such historical shifts in human consciousness and social institutions.

ENG 337: Seminar in American Literature.
Texts by poets, dramatists, essayists, and/or novelists as appropriate to topic. Critical essays pertaining to relevant works.

ENG 347: Seminar in World Literature.
Texts by poets, dramatists, essayists, and/or novelists as appropriate to topic. Critical essays pertaining to relevant works.

More English major requirements

Why Wesleyan?

Why Wesleyan?

No one knows Wesleyan better than our alumnae who have experienced learning, living, and thriving at Wesleyan. Alumnae reflect on their experiences on campus and the impact on their lives through lifelong friendships to skills acquired on campus impacting their careers.

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Career Development

Career Development

A liberal arts education prepares you for your first job and your last. Wesleyan has a four-year plan to prepare students to make the connection between a liberal arts education and success in the workplace.

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Wesleyan offers 25 majors and 35 minors, including self-designed interdisciplinary studies, eight pre-professional programs and the bachelor of science in nursing and bachelor of fine arts degrees.

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University of Michigan, Rutgers University, Eugene Lang New School,
George Washington University, The City University of London


3+3 Program

Earn your Law Degree in just 6 years instead of the traditional 7 years by completing both their undergraduate bachelors degree at Wesleyan and their Juris Doctor degree at Mercer.

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The best way to decide which college is the best fit for you is to VISIT the campus, are the best way to do just that. We can tell you about all the great things you’ll find at Wesleyan, but we encourage you to come see for yourself. 

Laura Lease
Associate Professor of English / Dean for Teaching, Learning, & Student Success (478) 757-5232 Profile

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