English: Literature and Language

Western Michigan University offers a variety of undergraduate English majors, including options in education, creative writing, rhetoric and writing studies, and arts and sciences.

Arts and sciences is WMU's most traditional English program. It emphasizes British and American literature and the English language. The secondary education program is similar, but provides additional training that will prepare you to teach English and language arts at the middle and high school levels. WMU's creative writing program combines the traditional studies with creative writing workshops at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. If you choose this track, you will write poetry, plays, fiction and creative nonfiction. Our rhetoric and writing studies program combines traditional courses with focused studies in news, feature and professional writing.

Beyond the classroom

As an English student at WMU, you will have many opportunities to write outside the confines of a classroom. Many of the University's 300 registered student organizations ask English students to help create print and online promotional and educational materials. The Writing Center also solicits the help of English majors, who often serve as writing consultants and tutors to the rest of the University community. You will have at your disposal journals, a student newspaper, a University radio station and any number of books in the making—all looking for qualified contributors.

WMU also offers vast creative writing opportunities. We have one of the top theatre programs in the nation, and English students often assist in playwriting. The University's chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society is also nationally recognized, and our students frequently present at the society's international convention. To prepare, students write papers in every imaginable category, including: American, British and world literature; film and media studies; linguistics; and original poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction.

After you graduate

Recent WMU graduates with degrees in English are working as:

  • Authors and biographers
  • Copy writers
  • Creative writers and poets
  • Documentation and research specialists
  • Editors and editorial assistants
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Executive assistants
  • Journalists
  • Librarians and booksellers
  • Literary assistants
  • Literary critics, reviewers and judges
  • Nonprofit coordinators and officers
  • Playwrights
  • Proposal writers
  • Publishing assistants
  • Teachers
  • Translators

Among the organizations they work for are:

  • Schools and universities
  • Libraries
  • Media organizations
  • Nonprofit agencies
  • Publishing companies

Career Outcomes

Where is this program offered?

  • Kalamazoo

Other programs of interest