English Program

The B. A. in English is for students who love language and storytelling in all of its forms. This program develops skills in careful reading, critical thinking, and clear writing—skills that are readily transferable to virtually any occupation.

Now more than ever, the world needs excellent communicators who understand the value, diversity, and complexity of the human experience. Our students learn to harness the power of the literary arts to address real-world issues in diverse, moving, and transformative ways. When studying the work of great writers from across centuries and cultures, you will join an on-going global conversation as you discover how storytelling connects us to our histories and each other. In discussions and written work, you will learn to ground encounters with particular texts in larger historical and cultural narratives.

Regardless of your life goals and passions, the analytical and creative writing skills developed throughout your English B. A. will allow you to advocate meaningfully for whatever cause, vision, or organization best suits your future.

English B. A. courses offer students a grounding in core concepts of literary analysis and history. Students then apply and explore how these concepts apply to periods and genres of their choice in more advanced seminars.

The program includes internship opportunities, courses in film and digital media, and numerous creative writing courses. Its flexibility and manageable credit requirements also make it an ideal second major to complement academic work in any other field.

Career Possibilities

A UMD English major is an asset in any field. Job-specific skills change rapidly, and employees learn those skills on the job. What employers consistently seek are colleagues who can analyze effectively, think independently, collaborate, listen, and communicate clearly—the precise skills that English majors develop.

UMD English majors have gone on to a wide variety of successful careers including small-business ownership, public relations, law, grant-writing, journalism, teaching, and academic administration. Any field that involves telling a compelling story and putting ideas in context is a field for UMD English majors.

Central Clock Tower with Aerial lift bridge in a foggy background

English at UMD

UMD students live and learn amid the vibrant artistic community of the Twin Ports and the spectacular beauty of Lake Superior and the Northwoods. We combine the small classes, individualized mentorship, and close-knit community of a small liberal arts college with the economic and intellectual opportunities of the University of Minnesota system. Our faculty are highly-regarded researchers who are also accessible, award-winning teachers. Whether you prefer reading under the canopy of trees in UMD’s Bagley Nature Area, performing at open-mic nights in Duluth's arts district, exploring the rare book archive, or collaborating on our student-run literary magazine, our program allows you to tailor your education to your interests.