A degree in English doesn’t just prepare you for a career in a variety of fields, it can provide you with skills to help you succeed in life.

English majors find careers in law, management, marketing, teaching, government services, public relations, journalism and library science. Just as importantly, however, you’ll develop the important skills of critical thinking, clear organization and expression of ideas, problem solving and communication across the curriculum.

These lifelong and extremely valuable abilities set you apart and make you valuable to employers. Indeed, the ability to solve problems, think critically and communicate effectively is one of the most essential workplace skills.

At Alvernia, English majors complete either the pre-professional sequence or the English/secondary education sequence, which prepares students to teach at the secondary level. In addition to preparing you for careers, Alvernia’s English major provides opportunities for self-knowledge and growth as you explore the ideas of great writers of the past and present.

Your Career

English is a versatile major that can prepare you for a variety of exciting careers. You might be interested in working for a newspaper or an online news provider. Perhaps you’re thinking about a career in public relations or media relations, or would like to write speeches or direct communication for business and political leaders.

English majors work for publishing companies, where they write for magazines, edit books or research and fact check. Or, you might pursue a career in marketing or work for a non-profit organization.

The skills and qualities you develop as an English major can qualify you for jobs such as librarian, human resource professional, events coordinator, management analyst, copywriter, medical writer, social media specialist, radio sportscaster or staff member for a government official.

Earning an English degree at Alvernia can also prepare you for graduate school, including law school. Graduates have pursued advanced degrees at institutions such as Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania.

A sampling of employers of English Program graduates:

  • Manhattan College
  • The American Diabetes Association
  • The Reading Eagle
  • The Learning Channel
  • Reese Advertising
  • Parsons
  • Junior Achievement
  • UGI Utilities
  • Reading School District

For more information about Alvernia’s English Program contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or admissions@alvernia.edu.

Your Curriculum

At Alvernia, the main focus of the English program is the study and appreciation of literature, including early and contemporary poetry and fiction. You’ll examine novels, short stories and dramas, and learn about critical approaches to literature and the history of language. Your mind will be opened as you are exposed to the greatest writers of the past and present.

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree, and English majors must complete 39 credits in the major.

Required courses for English majors are:

ENG 202 Critical Approaches to Literature
ENG 302 Shakespeare: Histories and Comedies - OR - ENG 303 Shakespeare Tragedies & Romances
ENG 406 Research Seminar

Choose two of the following courses:

ENG 203 Early American Poetry
ENG 204 Modern American Poetry
ENG 305 Early American Fiction
ENG 306 Modern American Fiction

Choose two of the following courses:

ENG 205 Early British Literature
ENG 206 Modern British Literature
ENG 307 The English Novel
ENG 401 Romantic and Victorian Writers
ENG 404 History of the English Language

Choose two of the following courses:

ENG 106 Short Story
ENG 202 Critical Approaches to Literature
ENG 207 Contemporary Fiction and Drama
ENG 213 Modern Drama
ENG 309 World Literature
ENG 310 Modern Novel
ENG 321 Ethics and Tragedy
ENG 355 Theatre History

You also will take a 3-credit major writer or period course and 9 credits of electives in literature and communication.

English Secondary Education:

Secondary Education (7-12) Certification in English can be earned by Alvernia students who first complete their undergraduate degree in English and demonstrate content knowledge in this area on Pennsylvania's required Praxis exam in English. The following coursework is required and can be strarted as early as the undergraduate senior year, then comleted as part of Alvernia University's post-baccalaureate prgram: ED 203, 204; MED 505, 515, 545, 574, 615, 665, 670, 672.

Classes required to complete the Liberal Arts Core are:

COM 101 Composition and Research
COM 103 Fundamentals of Speech – OR – COM 155 Introduction to Acting
PSY 101 Introductory Psychology

Related requirements are:

MAT A Math course other than Survey of Mathematics or Math in Liberal Arts.
PSY 210 Educational Psychology

Secondary Education Professional Education courses are subject to change. Contact your admissions counselor for the most up-to-date information.

Students in other majors who have career goals that require good communication skills can consider a minor in English. You will be required to complete 18 credits in English and Communications, with a maximum of 6 credits in Communications. COM 100 and COM 101 cannot be applied toward the minor.


Ryan Lange, Ph.D.

English, Communications, CIS Department Co-Chair

Business/Comm. Building, Room 19



Jodi Radosh, Ph.D.

English, Communications, CIS Department Co-Chair

Business/Comm. Building, Room 9