Tag Archives: English degree

Academic Spotlight: English

The department of English at PUC is home to students with a love for language, literature, and philosophy. Students gain experience and training in detailed analyses, writing, and expression through a wide variety of literature, linguistics, and writing courses to prepare them for graduate research, writing, teaching, and countless other possibilities.

Programs offered:

  • B.A. in English, British and American Literature Emphasis
  • B.A. in English, English Education Emphasis
  • B.A. in English, Writing Emphasis

Special Recognition

In 2018, students voted and selected Dr. Peter Katz for the prestigious annual Educator of the Year award. A 2010 alumnus of the college with degrees in English literature, European history, and music, Katz has taught at PUC since 2015 and currently serves as an assistant professor of English.

Check out Dr. Katz’s #FacultyFriday profile on the Admissions blog to get to know him a little more!

Fast Facts

  1. For students who qualify, the department of English at PUC offers membership in Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honors society. PUC’s chapter promotes literacy and hosts literary activities throughout the year. Students also attend and present their work at the annual Sigma Tau Delta international conference each year.
  2. Each year, students from the department of English collaborate with students in the department of visual arts to produce Quicksilver, PUC’s annual art and literary publication. Majors in each department are editors.
  3. The department offers a variety of interesting classes, including Acting I: Fundamentals, Themes in Literature: Travel Narratives, Shakespeare in Performance, Development of the Novel, Creative Writing: Short Story, Literature for Adolescents, Approaches to Poetry, and many more.
  4. English majors have the option of completing an internship or a capstone project their senior year. Read “My Summer Working in PUC’s Nelson Memorial Library Archives” to hear about one student’s experience interning cleaning, digitizing, and curating an exhibit of early 20th century PUC magic lantern slides for PUC’s special collection.
  5. According to Payscale.com, the average salary for English majors is $56,000, which is right on trend with the average salary for all occupations in the U.S.

What You Can Do With This Major

Let your love for the written word lead you to become an English major, where you have endless opportunities for your future career. Not sure what you can do with this major? Check out some careers PUC graduates have below.

  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • Grant writer
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Scriptwriter
  • Teacher
  • Technical writer
  • Technical/production assistant

Learn more about the department of English at puc.edu/academics. Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about PUC’s English programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

Why the World Needs English Majors

By Dr. Cynthia Westerbeck, Chair Westerbeck_Cynthia
English Department

Words. Words. Words. We text them. We tweet them. We “Google” them. Far from diminishing their value, the digital age has made us more dependent than ever on words to communicate with others and negotiate the ever-expanding horizons of cyberspace.

Now, more than ever, the world needs English majors who value both the power and beauty of words. While the rest of the world is fragmenting into sound bites, English majors embrace the joy and challenge of reading long, complex texts. Whether reading Arthurian legends, Shakespeare’s plays, or contemporary novels, they develop the abilities to adapt, focus, empathize, communicate, and problem-solve that are so critical for success in the modern workplace.

As NPR Commentator Juan Vidal observes, “Reading requires—especially today—intense discipline and the capacity to sit still and engage. It’s a skill you can develop, this quieting of the mind. Some books make it easier than others, sure, but the fact remains: A strong reader is a champ at refusing the sweet mutter of distractions.” This ability to “sit still and engage” means that English majors are uniquely prepared to offer employers the kind of focus and discipline they seek in their employees.

So who are these employers, your parents might ask. Who wants to hire someone who spent college lost in a good book? The answer: every business and organization that uses words to communicate. In other words, ALL businesses. Who writes the press releases? The product descriptions? The web site copy? The policy drafts? The board reports? Who better than an English major who understands the power of words and knows how to “refuse[e] the sweet mutter of distractions”?

While many of our English majors do pursue careers as teachers and writers, others have found satisfying careers as librarians, journalists, lawyers, doctors, documentary filmmakers, museum curators, human resources directors, and administrators. In fact, PUC’s president and three vice-presidents all have degrees in English. They likely selected English as a major because they loved to read and only much later discovered how all of that reading prepared them to face the challenges that come with administration. Who knows where the journey into a great book might lead.

It is true that there is no easy answer to the question “what are you going to do with your English major,” but only because there are so many options. The good news is that the major prepares students to confront that question with all of the analytical tools learned through years of reading deeply, thinking critically, and writing well.

If you love words, join us in Stauffer Hall where you will find a community of fellow readers and writers engaged in making words matter – whether teachers holding paper conferences with students, actors learning to convey words on the stage, or students engaged in class discussion about a novel. Even our restroom walls are covered with words by great writers! Check out our Pacific Union College English Department Facebook page to see pictures of students and faculty celebrating words in poetry readings, writers’ forums, senior presentations and many other events. We’d love to have you join the conversation.