English majors are asked to think in terms of both the breadth and depth of their knowledge, studying a wide variety of topics, periods and methods; developing skills in reading, critical thinking, and writing; and delving deeply into a particular area of interest. Students study literature from around the world and from all historical periods, learn about the theory and practice of writing through the study of rhetoric and composition, and acquire skills as writers of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The BA in English requires the following types of courses: period studies and surveys, author studies, genre/thematic studies, and theory/method studies. Students must also take several courses in an area of specialization such as Medieval Literature; Renaissance/Early Modern Literature; 18th and 19th Century Literature; 20th and 21st Century Literature; African Diaspora Studies; Post-Colonial Literature; Literary, Critical or Rhetorical Theory; Creative Writing; Composition; English Language and Linguistics; Folklore Studies; Film and Digital Studies; or Gender and Sexuality Studies. A degree in English is intended to provide a broad, open-ended education that can lead to many different careers, especially those requiring excellent communication skills and analytical thinking. Recent graduates have gone on to careers in teaching, publishing, television, film, advertising, public relations, insurance, government, public service, management, and law.
Common Career Paths
You can do nearly anything with a Mizzou degree, but here are some common career paths taken by graduates of this major: