Why Major in English?
Employers in all industries love to hire English majors. Why? Because they appreciate the fact that English majors know how to communicate effectively and think critically. Penn State Altoona English majors master these skills through courses in literature, writing, and rhetoric. By studying American, British, non-Anglo-American, and world literatures, you’ll learn how to synthesize and analyze information; formulate reasoned arguments and judgments; and develop perspectives on human nature, culture, and diversity. These skills prepare English majors for careers and postgraduate study in:
- education (K-12 and college-level teaching)
- creative writing
- social media management
- nonprofit management
- professional and technical writing
- various liberal arts disciplines
You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in career internships and in Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, and to learn from published faculty who have won University-wide teaching awards.
Minors and Concentrations Within the Major
The English major offers two minors—the minor in English and the minor in Professional Writing—and three concentrations, Creative Writing, Technical Writing, and Global Narratives. The English minor will allow you to take any combination of literature and writing courses to hone your critical reading and analytical skills. The Professional Writing minor will prepare you to write effectively in the workplace and in academic settings. The Creative Writing concentration will hone your skills in both practical and creative forms by providing you with instruction and intensive practice in writing. The Technical Writing concentration is designed for students who enjoy writing, problem-solving, and engaging with technology. The Global Narratives concentration is designed for students who wish to expand their literary studies in English by exploring literatures and other narrative forms from a wide geographic and temporal scope.
Hard Freight Café Fall 2023
Fall 2022 English Senior Seminar Presentations
Writing and Publishing Opportunities
Interested in creative writing? Penn State Altoona students can take workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and playwriting, as well as pursue a more focused study through the creative writing concentration. Want hands-on experience and practice of your professional skills? Consider writing for the Collegiate Review, the student newspaper, or Hard Freight, the college literary magazine. Outside of the classroom, engage with visiting writers and with the current Emerging Writer-in-Residence. Creative writing faculty have won national and international awards, have published dozens of books, and are excited to help you reach your potential.