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. 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 law school or at a job in education, advertising, publilc relations, marketing, finance, journalism, publishing, editing, technical writing, the arts, or the public or nonprofit sectors. English majors are in high demand as they are needed in every institution, organization, and company.

ETLW Students who opt for an English major earn the English Language & Literature (BA) degree along with the possibility of three 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.


What does a 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.