Department of English: Literature, Teaching, Pre-Law, and Creative & Professional Writing

Join Team English! Tracing our literary roots to Charles W. Chesnutt, the first great African American novelist, we are the department that helps our students to create their own destinies. Now a nationally recognized university online program, in fall of 2023 FSU's English program received recognition as one of the top ten English Online programs in the nation by Forbes Advisor Education team. Strong reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills afford English: Literature, Teaching, Pre-Law, and Creative & Professional Writing (ETLW) majors with the ability to succeed at numerous careers or advanced degree programs, including law school or at a job in education, advertising, publilc relations, human resources, sales departments, marketing, finance, journalism, publishing, editing, technical writing, the arts, in effect at an array of corporate, government, and profit/nonprofit sectors. English majors are in high demand as they are needed in every institution, organization, and company.

Students who opt for an English major may earn the English Language & Literature (BA) degree along with the possibility of three additional/optional concentrations that offer a specific focus: Teaching Licensure Concentration (Secondary English 9-12), Pre-Law Concentration, and Creative & Professional Writing Concentration. FSU’s English online degree program allows students to complete upper-division (junior and senior level) courses online.

As of August, Forbes Education Advisor has named Fayetteville State University's online English Program one of "the best online English degrees of 2023" because of its "relatively high retention rate, relatively high socioeconomic diversity, and low average annual net price for students receiving Federal Aid," and, as the Forbes Advisor Education team puts it, "is committed to bringing our readers unbiased rankings and trustworthy, informative aricles" (Habas, Beagle, Forbes Best).


Calling all Pre-Law English majors or students of any major who wish to attend Law School, the Department of English is hosting a Pre-Law Mixer on Wednesday, March 20th from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm in the JC Boardroom in Chestnutt Library.  Elijah Brak, recently admitted to North Carolina Central University School of Law and Devin Trego, Esquire, managing attorney for Legal Aid of North Carolina's Pembroke office, will speak to attendees. Refreshments will be served!

Lead for North Carolina 2024-25 Cohort at UNC Chapel Hill is a paid, full-time fellowship program in local government for recent college graduates. Organizers, business leaders, and community organizers are looking for energetic students and graduates to work on transformative community projects. Projects include hurricane recovery and resiliency, economic development, citizen engagement initiatives, affordable housing, public health, and more! Apply here by the April 12th deadline to join the Lead for North Carolina 2024-2025 Fellowship cohort. Selected fellows will participate in the Lead for North Carolina Summer Academy at the UNC School of Government in late July – beginning August. Chosen applicants will begin their 11-month service year early August. The UNC School of Government is the nation's largest university-based local government training center. Students will work with our faculty and staff and join a cohort of 35+ other fellows looking to enact systemic change in rural and economically distressed communities across the state.  Local government has VARIETY. We will experience first-hand the many different career paths available within local government. We will work together to write grants for millions of dollars, help communities rebuild after hurricanes, increase the number of affordable housing units, attract new economic development, and reimagine communities in dire need of help. We'll be a part of a movement of young leaders looking to reinvent our public institutions. The skills we gain in this fellowship program will set us on a path of success - whether graduate school or full-time employment, Lead for NC will jumpstart our careers in the public sector. Our fellows receive full-ride scholarship offers or leadership positions in state and local government at the conclusion of their service year. Most alumni receive competitive scholarship offers to their top graduate school choices or receive full-time job offers from their local government at the conclusion of the fellowship. Anyone interested in looking for a stable career with great earning potential, local government is a great place to start!Lead for North Carolina is a full-time paid fellowship in local government for recent college graduates. Fellows receive a $35,000 stipend for their 11-month service, graduate credits from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government, a $7,395 SEGAL Education Grant to pay back student loans or apply to graduate tuition. Link to Download Handout or watch this brief video to learn more about the fellowship. Additionally, our program is featured on CBS This Morning including Dante Pittman, former Lead for NC Fellow and now the Director of Human Relations for the City of the Wilson – the youngest member of the City’s leadership team.  Please contact Liam Hysjulien (  with any questions or concerns.

NBLSA is proud to announce the 2024 Nelson Mandela Pre-Law Scholarship Competition! This opportunity is open to students planning to attend law school in the Fall of 2024, 2025, 2026, or 2027 and is intended to help aid the ever-increasing cost of pursuing a legal education.  Applications open on January 29th. To review the application, email NBLSA's National Pre-Law Director at

The 2024 Rutgers English Diversity Institute (REDI) is now accepting applications from students from diverse cultural, economic, and ethnic backgrounds.  The application process for the 2024 Rutgers English Diversity Institute (REDI) is now open! REDI is accepting applications from students who plan to graduate (or have just graduated) who have excelled in English. Consider applying today - the deadline is Friday, MAR 1!  REDI will be held sy Rutgers University and will run Saturday June 1st to Friday June 7th, 2024. Students will learn about different subfields in English and American literature and discover the opportunity that awaits them in many academic fields and approaches. Rutgers faculty who are slated to participate in the 2024 Diversity Institute include: Evie Shockley, Chris Iannini, Ben Sifuentes-Juaregui, Sarah Novacich, Ryan Kernan, Nancy Yousef, Dana Luciano, and Tajah Ebram. Additionally, current graduate students will supervise REDI students and offer advice and assistance regarding the graduate school application process, both informally and as part of a formal application workshop. The institute will cover travel and living expenses for the duration of the program and provide a stipend to each student of $750.   Further details about the program and an application can be found online at  Questions may be directed at

Tyler Parker, The National Director of Pre-Law Affairs for the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) has contacted FSU with an invitation to attend NBLSA’s National Convention/National Pre-Law Symposium on Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Houston, Texas at the Omni Houston Hotel.  Registration is free for FSU students. NBLSA is the largest student-run non-profit corporation in the country.  Their association currently has over 7,000 student members from over 200 ABA-accredited law schools. The Symposium is designed for students interested in learning what it takes to succeed in law school and the legal profession. The Symposium will feature a law school fair, networking opportunities with law students and lawyers, two 5000 scholarship awards, and multiple LSAT-related classes that can significantly help students improve their chances to succeed in the law school admissions process. To register, enter the code HBCUFREE under the HBCU Pre-Law Students registration tab. Please contact Tyler Parker at with any questions or concerns.

Calling all writers from all areas of study!  The popular FSU student-led Writers Club is holding monthly events! All FSU students are encouraged to join! At the Writers Club FEB 7 meeting held in RJSC Rm 106, Dr Hammack, Dr Swinford, and FSU Student/celebrated author Kianna Alexander (Carolina Built) unlocked the mysteries of the world of publishing for FSU students at our Publication Workshop Panel event! We learned how simple the publishing process could be! This dynamic program was led by FSU English Department's Professor Brenda Hammack and Professor Dean Swinford. All meetings are now held in person and on Microsoft Teams.  Contact Faculty Club Advisor Dr Micki Nyman (me) for more information if you'd like to join Broncos Advantage or the Writers Club.  We hope to see you at our APR 3rd Poetry Slam Event which will be held in RJSC's amphitheater (nice weather) or in RJSC 106 (inclement weather).  Monthly meetings and fun events now take place in person and on TEAMS!  Everyone is welcome! Feel free to e-mail Achilles Britt tbritt2 ,or Justin Evans mevans41 ,or me with any questions! 

Congratulations to the 2024 ΣΤΔ FSU inductees this year! Having achieved high standards of academic excellence at FSU as English majors, Angela R. Wilson, Taylor G. Davis, Zoe C. Hare, Jennifer Rigsby, Marinna Hunt, Peter Gramazio, Naomi Murphy, Jeffrey G. Davis, and Charlece Corbin were welcomed into the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society the evening of January 25th in the J.C. Jones Board Room in the Charles W. Chesnutt Library.  The 2023-24 Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society inductees/members received their official ΣΤΔ pins with their personally embossed membership certificates at the official pinning ceremony.  Sigma Tau Delta Facuty Advisor Dr. Nicole A. McFarland, and other English faculty members, including Dr. Ji Young Kim - English Department Chair, Dr. Eric Hyman, Ms. Shannon Warren - Writing Center Coordinator, Ms. Michelle King, and Ms. Heather Bass, as well as CHSS Assistant Dean Miriam Delone were on hand for the celebratory award ceremony.

Picture of FSU English Honor Society 2024 inductees

What does an FSU degree in English offer?

The great variety of English courses we offer prepare our students for law school and for careers in teaching, technical writing, publishing, public relations, marketing, finance, news media, and the arts. Our graduates are editors, lawyers, community organizers, entrepreneurs, and educators—some alumni even teach overseas.

An Epic Major

From Chaucer to Chesnutt, “Beowulf” to Batman, and Romanticism to rap, English is epic in variety, vitality, and versatility. Just as books are windows to the world, English opens doors to a myriad of careers. Witness English majors Clarence Thomas, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and Reese Witherspoon, the Academy Award-winning actor who played a lawyer onscreen in Legally Blonde.

Studying English can lead to law school, but strong reading, writing, speaking, analyzing, and researching skills can make a job in education, advertising, public relations, marketing, finance, journalism, publishing, editing, technical writing, the arts, or the public or non-profit sectors happen. Many English majors fashion careers that serve their abilities and proclivities, including teaching in Europe or China.

Building on the legacy of Charles Chesnutt, the first great African American novelist and former FSU leader, the Department of English offers programs and curricula that explore the relationship among language, literature, history, culture, and new media. We offer a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, with optional concentrations in Pre-Law, Teaching Secondary English 9-12 with Licensure, Teaching English as a Second Language, and Creative & Professional Writing. Our innovative/interative classes are taught by faculty who are distinguished scholars, experienced editors, and award-winning authors.

Our Department seeks to equip students with research, communication, and critical thinking skills in preparation for diverse, innovative, and global career options in fields ranging from education and law to business and the non-profit sector. The English Department incorporates high-impact practices, such as service learning, internships in marketing and publishing, and a senior culminating experience into its curriculum in its ongoing efforts to provide our students with high-quality teaching as well as practical and innovative training within the discipline. This approach helps to ensure that students are both engaged with the field's history and with its most cutting-edge trends, while also demonstrating the value of the humanities within the wider communities of Cumberland County, the state of North Carolina, and beyond.

Through pedagogy grounded in current trends in the digital humanities and cultural studies, as well as innovative scholarship on topics ranging from political rhetoric and African-American aesthetics to medieval literature, our mission is to stress the value of the humanities and the flexibility of the English major while providing a solid liberal arts education for our students.