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English Studies: Make Your Way with Words

If you have a love for all things English, IUP has the major for you. Our English major offers specializations in Literature and Culture, Writing Studies, New Media Literacy, and English Education as four distinct pathways to immerse yourself in the literary arts. You’ll gain a solid foundation in literature and language and graduate with a host of abilities that will help you stand out as you build your career or continue your studies.

The English Department has four distinct specializations that allow you to tailor your bachelor's degree to your interests and goals, including:

  • Literature and Culture: Analyze and appreciate all kinds of literary art—from ancient myths to graphic novels and digital texts. Draw on a variety of perspectives, ideas, and critical questions as lenses to interpret, and critique literary texts.
  • Writing Studies: Study the theory and practice of writing in a variety of genres, and be well-prepared for a career as a writer.
  • New Media Literacy: Focus on the study of interactive digital writing, media, and film, so you're able to identify the unique aesthetic, formal, material, and symbolic qualities of new media and digital texts.
  • English Education (English Studies, BA + Secondary English Teaching Certificate)Become an effective, confident English teacher who knows how to make literacy meaningful for each of your students. This program leads to Pennsylvania state certification to teach English Language Arts for students in grades 7–12. 

Why Major in Literature and Culture or Writing Studies at IUP?

The IUP English program is well respected throughout the world.

  • Our faculty strive to create an atmosphere of respect. You'll have opportunities to speak up and share your perspective through discussions as well as creative and scholarly projects. Learn from caring professors who are themselves active scholars and literary artists.
  • Our students have a passion for the language arts. Learn with classmates who are outstanding writers, speakers, researchers, and critical readers.
  • Our program is committed to preparing you to become an accomplished writer and speaker, and you'll learn to work well with diverse collaborators and for diverse audiences. You’ll utilize the same digital authoring and research tools found in creative studios and businesses.

Imagine Your Future

Earning your BA in Literature and Culture or BA in Writing Studies prepares you for a multitude of rewarding careers. You might go on to nourish your imagination and express your creativity as a writer, inform others through the written and spoken word as a journalist, or share your love of reading and writing with others as a teacher.

Many of these career opportunities have an added benefit of work that can be done online. Plus, many of these positions are seeing projected above-average job growth rates.

Career Opportunities

  • Book author
  • Brand strategist
  • Digital copywriter
  • Digital production manager
  • Editor
  • Freelance writer
  • English teacher
  • Grant writer
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Literacy coach
  • Medical writer
  • Museum curator
  • News analyst
  • Researcher
  • Social media director
  • Technical writer
  • University professor
  • Video game story editor

Median Annual Salaries


Book author




English teacher








Museum curator


Technical writer


University professor

Classes and Requirements

Choose a track based on your interests—BA in Literature and Culture, or BA in Writing Studies—with support from our advising team as you progress. No matter which English major you choose, you’ll have an interdisciplinary experience, drawing on a variety of ideas and perspectives as lenses for appreciating, interpreting, and critiquing literary texts.

What You’ll Learn

Take a combination of required and elective courses as a BA in Literature and Culture or BA in Writing Studies major. You’ll pursue intensive writing practice and foster your interests through electives and extracurriculars, including foreign languages.

As you read great literature and become more familiar with diverse cultures and traditions, you’ll find your worldview expand. You'll hone your ability to speak and write your own truth, and you'll become confident using language effectively—all important skills you can use in any field. Earning your degree is just the beginning; your time as an English major at IUP will help you become a lifelong learner.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Double Majors

Majors that make good double majors when combined with an English degree:

  • Anthropology
  • Foreign Language
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Theater and Design
  • STEM Majors

Facts to Know

Here are just a few reasons why you can feel good about choosing an English major at IUP.

  • Join the more than 160 talented students in our program and become part of an inspiring group.
  • Learn from our faculty: published scholars and literary artists who share your passions.
  • Find a supportive environment that fosters your academic success and career exploration.

Organizations for English Majors

National Council of Teachers of English: NCTE IUP​

Organization for English Education Majors​

Advisor: Dr. Dana Driscoll (ddriscol@iup.edu)​

Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society​

Upper level English honors group​

Advisor: Dr. Daniel J. Weinstein (daniel.weinstein@iup.edu)​

New Growth Arts Review Editorial Board​

Organization which publishes a literary magazine for IUP​

Advisors: Dr. Chauna Craig (ccraig@iup.edu)​ and Dr. John Yu Branscum (jbcs@iup.edu)

Award Opportunities

You have a lot to look forward to at IUP, including opportunities to share and showcase your creativity.

Picture yourself competing in the annual writing contest, showcasing your original poetry, fiction, critical essay, or lesson plan. Contest winners and outstanding English majors (students with 3.5 GPAs or higher) are recognized at an award ceremony each spring.

Stretch Your Skills

You’ll have opportunities throughout your time at IUP to put your skills to the test as a working professional or scholar.


Gain professional writing experience or pursue another English-related role your junior or senior year through an internship. English majors have interned with a wide range of organizations, including:

  • Law firms
  • Libraries
  • Local Fox News affiliate
  • Marvel Comics
  • Pittsburgh Penguins

Internships can be completed for 3–12 credits or for pay. Contact Daniel J. Weinstein, English Internship Coordinator, at daniel.weinstein@iup.edu for details.

Scholarly Showcases

Present an original paper at the IUP Undergraduate Scholars Forum, or at the English Association of the Pennsylvania State Universities' (EAPSU) Pennsylvania State English Undergraduate Conference, where you can also meet and connect with other English majors from across Pennsylvania.

Minor in Literature and Culture or Writing Studies

Whether you’re looking to pursue an interest, add marketable skills to your resume, or advance your literacy, consider adding an English Minor to your IUP education.

Contact Daniel Weinstein, English Minor Coordinator, at daniel.weinstein@iup.edu to sign up.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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English Honors Program

The honors program is open by departmental permission to declared English majors with a minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA and a 3.5 GPA in English courses.

To apply, students must submit a letter of application and a list of English courses taken (with instructors’ names) to the chairperson of the Honors Track program. To be accepted, students must receive favorable evaluations from a majority of professors of courses taken and approval by the Honors Track program committee.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Advising for English Majors

All English majors and minors will have an English advisor who is assigned by the department.

Meeting People and Making Friends

The English Department hosts regular social events for English majors and minors.

English clubs (NCTE chapter, Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society Chapter, the New Growth Arts Review student-run literary magazine) are a good way to socialize around English-related activities and projects.

Getting Help from Professors

All faculty in the English Department schedule regular office hours when you can visit them to discuss your coursework. They will also answer your questions by email.

The undergraduate catalog has detailed course listings for each specialization of the English major.