A bachelor's degree in English provides a classic liberal arts education grounded in reading, writing, and critical reasoning. Our students not only achieve a high degree of literacy but also have the opportunity to gain practical work experience through internships. Our location in the Twin Cities--a regional center for publishing, writing, theater, and the literary arts--provides opportunities for students to engage with the community and gain valuable vocational skills. Working with our outstanding faculty also provides students with one-to-one mentoring opportunities on collaborative and independent research projects. Our graduates have been successful in gaining entrance to the most prestigious regional graduate programs in law, literature, and library science. Finally, our program not only prepares graduates for exciting careers but also enhances life-long learning by exposing students to the greatest works of literature the world has ever produced. As Matthew Arnold once said, the true aim of education is "to know the best that has been said and thought in the world."
"Yes--a liberal arts degree is very practical! Even now. Especially now."
--David Brooks, New York Times. June 11, 2010.
"The ability to clearly, professionally communicate is a tremendous asset in business and life in general."
--Amy Joslin Geiger, Director of Marketing, English '93
"We hire English majors for writing and editing technical reports for our clients. We value their strong ability to generate concise reports that provide crucial data for the clients we serve."
--Eric Garvey, Personnel Decisions International, Minneapolis
"Most of our employees were English majors. We find that they possess the analytical skills to make exceptionally successful portfolio managers. Not only are they able to find unusually profitable opportunities, but they are able to precisiely communicate to a client why the investment will work so well in their particular case."
--Erick Becker, Chief Investment Officer, Clean Yield Asset Management
Although it is possible to get a job with just a stand-alone English major, the department strongly encourages its majors to double-major in English and another discipline or to at least complete a minor in another discipline to increase their marketability. English is a popular double-major with the following UST programs:
The Renaissance Program Minor also pairs well with the B.A. in English. In this program, students complete an internship in addition to a series of career-related courses in economics, business, and computer science.
Working as an intern is a great way to put your English skills to the test and gain job experience before leaving UST with your B.A. degree. UST English majors have interned with a variety of companies in the Twin Cities area, including the following:
Although internships are usually paid or unpaid, the majority of internships that English majors receive tend to be unpaid and most positions are highly competitive. Some companies that offer internships require that the student receive credit for the internship; at St. Thomas, students may earn either two or four credits of experiential learning credit, depending on the number of hours worked (applicable tuition fees apply to these credits).
Other potential English major internships can be found by exploring a list put together by the UST Iota Psi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta or by looking at opportunities found on the UST Career Development Center website.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment in the communications sector is expected to increase by 16.9 percent, adding 277,000 jobs annually. Employment of authors, writers, and editors is expected to grow by 8 percent in the future, and employment of teachers and public relations professionals is expected to grow by 12 percent. A bachelor's degree in English is excellent preparation for careers in the following areas:
* From the 2010 English Alumni Survey
According to the 2010 UST English Alumni Survey, 58 percent of our graduates go on to receive graduate degrees. A bachelor's degree in English is excellent preparation for graduate work in the following areas:
For more specific information about applying to graduate English programs, please click on our Looking Ahead to Graduate Programs in English web page.