"If you know how to read and write you can take those skills and transpose them anywhere."
The center of the English major, the Literary Studies program starts with a three core principles of literary study: close reading, theoretical inquiry, and ways of thinking about literary history.
The Creative Writing concentration blends foundational work in literary studies, exploration for creative writing in multiple genres, and a focused capstone experience.
Popular Culture Studies
The Popular Culture Concentration draws on the department’s historic strengths in the study of popular culture, including genre fiction, comics, music, and popular cinema.
Students completing the certification in Teacher Education stake the core courses in the English major, and additional classes in English language, literacies, and pedagogy.
This program offers students in the Honors College faster-paced and more conceptually advanced options. Honors students also work closely with a faculty member on a supervised thesis.
English houses a BA in Film Studies, a Minor in Film Studies, and two filmmaking minors in Fiction Film and Documentary Production.
Why Study English?
Inclusive, Versatile, Flexible
In many ways, the value of an English degree lies in its inclusive and flexible nature. At MSU, students are trained broadly to identify, assess, and confront the types of complexities that surface in all social environments, including the workplace. Our graduates are employed as professional writers, teachers, and scholars, but they also work as administrators, advertisers, film programmers, Web developers, and attorneys—to name only a few career paths. English majors have—above all—versatility.
Learning how to Learn
English majors learn how to analyze language, to appreciate and understand complex and sophisticated texts, to solve rhetorical and logical problems. In brief, English majors learn how to learn.
Many degrees offer specific preparation and training for certain fields, but a degree in English develops critical thinking, critical writing, and problem solving skills that are applicable to most fields of work.