Our undergraduate courses and majors prepare students for any field in which communication and critical judgment go hand in hand: careers in marketing and public relations, teaching, writing, publishing, and multimedia research and design; and graduate or professional studies in literature, writing and media, law, library science, or business. Many of our majors take advantage of Northeastern’s unique co-op program to try out intersections between interests and opportunities.
For students wishing to broaden and enrich their studies, the Department of English also offers combined majors with Biology, Communication Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Graphic & Info Design, Linguistics, and Media and Screen Studies. Students can also create a new combined major with almost any other program. Contact Prof. Beth Britt, faculty advisor for English majors, for details.
Learning Goals and Objectives for the English Major
The three sets of learning goals and objectives shape the English major curriculum:
Development of abilities and strategies for analytical reading and critical thinking across a broad range of texts
Students completing the major should be able to recognize the generic conventions, rhetorical strategies, and linguistic features of different kinds of texts. They should be able interpret to and take pleasure in these features, including ethical or discursive ambiguity, specialized vocabulary, and rhetorical constructions. Majors should also be able to locate texts in relation to ideological context, interpretive community, and representations of group or individual identity.
Development of confidence, clarity, and distinctive voice in written and oral expression
Students completing the major should be able to relate generic conventions and rhetorical strategies to different writing contexts and to use them in writing; construct arguments about texts and ideas, including comparative, critical, and persuasive arguments; and take an active role in dialogue and formation of intellectual community.
Development of historical understanding of English, American, and other Anglophone literary and expository traditions and their antecedents
Students completing the major should be able to identify larger historical and cultural contexts in which individual texts or groups of texts may be situated, and they should be able to narrate the relationship of texts or groups of texts to each other and to important historical and cultural developments.