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English Major


We engage students in the many genres and periods of literature, exposing them to the cultures, movements, authors, and texts that have enriched literature over the years. You’ll collaborate with your peers and faculty to create new ideas, discover important narratives, and learn how language is applied globally.





Total Credit Hours: 120

English Core Requirements (21 hours)

English Option Courses (18 hours)

General Education (45 hours)

Free Electives (36 hours)

What You'll Study

  • 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Arts in English, including Virginia Tech's Pathways 
  • 21 credits of English core courses, including:
    • Introduction to Critical Reading
    • Introduction to Critical Writing
    • Literary History
    • Acts of Interpretation
    • Writing and Digital Media
    • Capstone Experience 
  • 18 credits of courses in your selected option:
    • Literature
    • Pre-Education
    • Pre-Law
  • 36 credits of free elective courses

Curious about adding a minor or additional major? Email Dawn Knight at

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What is a Major in English?

An English major prepares you to think critically and solve problems. You can tailor your degree to your areas of interest, choosing an author, historical context, and genre to study. The sophisticated thought and analysis of literature will take you more deeply into literary studies or specifically prepare you for careers in education or law. 

Why Study English Here?

We specialize in a range of authors, genres, and historical periods, ensuring you will have a mentor to guide you on your quest for knowledge. Our literature, pre-education, or pre-law options help propel you into your chosen career field through alumni industry connections. Our students have gone on to careers in publishing, law, teaching, and technical writing. 

Beyond the Classroom


Talk to a professor about designing your own research project to take a deeper look at a topic of your interest. You'll work closely with a faculty advisor to plan a course of action and discuss your findings. You can also participate in a collaborative project where you help a faculty member with their research.



Get Experience

By working in the field, you'll earn job experience and learn more about the industry of your interest. Literature majors have recently interned with national corporations, local schools, and law firms.



Study Away 

We host a faculty-led trip to London, an exchange program with Loughborough University, and a Wintermester Experience that visits different locations each year. These experiences enrich your understanding of the history and culture of the English language and its literature.




Strong Community

You will join an active and welcoming community. Our student organizations include the English Club, Linguistics Club, Creative Writing Club, and Sigma Tau Delta. We hold an annual literary festival, Glossolalia, that features original works including readings and performances by students and visiting writers.



What Our Students Are Saying

Careers and Further Study

What do I do with an English major?

Our graduates are in demand to fulfill positions that require communication, creativity, and critical thinking. The options of literature, pre-law, and pre-education are designed to give you a solid foundation for pursuing further study, equipping you to solve problems in the global environment.

Our graduates are pursuing successful careers in:

  • Law
  • Government
  • Entertainment
  • Publishing
  • Teaching
  • Higher education
  • Marketing


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