Professor April Toadvine referencing a book in her English class

English: Literature

Majors in English: Literature include those who envision careers in teaching at the high school or college level and those who want to work in fields demanding writing and communication skills, such as advertising, public relations, law, journalism, and other media. Equipped with strong analytical and communication skills, English: Literature students are very well prepared for teaching, graduate work in the humanities, law, and professional work in publishing, business, and media.



BA in English: Literature (4 year)

Secondary education certification is available

Why English: Literature?

  • 1 According to The Princeton Review, “A working knowledge of literature is an invaluable component of any liberal arts education. It is tremendous preparation for a future in law (or any professional training that requires interpreting written material, journalism, publishing, graduate studies, and just about anything else.”
  • 2While the job market is constantly changing, one thing never changes - the need for effective writers and communicators.
  • 3 If you want to pursue a career in creative writing, technical writing, journalism, advertising, or public relations, an English: Literature major is the place to begin developing the writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills you'll need to succeed on the job. A degree in English: Literature is also excellent preparation for law school. 

Careers in English: Literature

  • Advertising Executive
  • Attorney
  • Editor
  • Public Relations
  • Publisher
  • Teacher
  • Reporter or Journalist
  • Web Editor 
  • Writer

Alumni Graduate Schools

  • Harvard University
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Chicago
  • Purdue University
  • Indiana University
  • Ball State University
  • Valparaiso University

Why Study English at Saint Joseph's College?


Our English: Literature program will provide you with a strong foundation in various areas of world literature, with concentrations in American and British works. In addition to taking American and British literature classes, you will also be able to demonstrate your own writing skills in your choice of our creative writing classes, including Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Scriptwriting. Our English Literature graduates have found success in graduate school in literature, composition, and rhetoric, as well as law shool. 

Hands-on Experience

English: Literature students often staff our two department publications - Measure, a creative arts magazine, and The Observer, our student-produced campus newspaper. Performance scholarships are available to those who take part in The Observer and/or Measure. Many English: Literature students are also hired to direct and staff the College's Writing Clinic, where they give other students one-on-one help with papers. Students are also encouraged to pursue internships. SJC English students have recently held internships with Franciscan Health - Rensselaer, SJC’s Integrated Marketing Office, the Robinson Memorial Library, the Prairie Arts Council, the Rensselaer Public Library, Green Alternatives, Inc., and Vandon House in London.   

Twice the Knowledge

SJC’s Core Program has proven to be advantageous for our English students. Because our Core Program is writing-intensive, a degree in English: Creative Writing from SJC means you will have read and written twice as much as English: Creative Writing graduates from other schools. Thus, you will virtually have a double major in English. Core will also give you the opportunity to better understand the cultures of those who have written the literature that you will be studying. The interplay between Core and the major develops graduates who are confident in their reading, analytic, writing, and oral communication skills.

Faculty and Class Size

At SJC, you will work closely with professors who have published articles, fiction, and poetry in a variety of respected journals and magazines; these professors help and encourage their students to do the same. You will have direct access to these experts in classes ranging from 10 to 20 students, and they will get to know you personally throughout the course of the program, helping you develop as both a writer and a thinker.

Explore the Core
  • SJC Education Students in the field

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Like Elementary Education major Brittany Cooper ’12, you start your major as soon as you walk in the door, so you will have four years of knowledge and experience in your field.You can even change your mind about your major and still graduate on time with lots of experience.

    Core and the major work in harmony to develop the cognitive skills requisite for success in a competitive, global society. Students better understand the forces that shape the future by exploring the past. They discuss contemporary events; analyze the impact of science on our understanding of humanity and the universe; and investigate diverse cultures and world civilizations. 

  • Professor Fred and Sally Berger at Graduation


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors, such as Communication Professors Fred and Sally Berger, do more for you—they serve as mentors. Studies show that having a mentor leads to success in your field. Alumni often tell us how their professors not only played a major role in their success, but also became lifelong friends.  If you are undecided about what to major in, we help you decide.

  • High Quality Academics

    In the Core Program, you will be inspired to debate, analyze, and solve problems. Discussion of culture and society, the modern world, and Christian Humanism are just a few highlights of the Program. New perspectives will be gained, your worldview will expand, and you will graduate from SJC as a well rounded, highly marketable person.

  • Visiting Chinese Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life. LaMichelle Sanders ’14, for example, has spent two summers helping Chinese study abroad students adapt to life in the U.S. and at SJC. If you want to start a club or activity that doesn’t exist, we encourage you to start one. At SJC, prepare yourself for what you want to do in life.

  • Hoop House student workers

    Real-life Skills

    Because of the skills you develop by having the Core Program interact with your major for four years in addition to internships, job shadowing, and service learning, you get hands-on experience in preparation for your career or graduate school. Students Hanna Kane ’14, Emily Baird ’15, and Alyssa Guarnaccia ’14 collect food in the SJC hoophouse to be distributed on campus. You will also get four years of analytical, writing, and speaking skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

  • Images of Students

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.  

  • Images of Students


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.

  • Images of Students

    High Quality Academics

    The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.


  • Images of Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.

  • Images of Students

    Real-life Skills

    Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.