While majoring in English and history, Jill Bosserman used her liberal arts coursework to develop critical-thinking skills and gain perspective on her place in the world.
English Language in a Global Context
College Magazine ranks Purdue’s English Department #1 in the United States, and it’s easy to see why. Our degree programs offer individualized attention and access to excellent teachers and experts who shape how people think about literature, linguistics, and writing.
While pursuing a BA in English, students may select from three distinct concentrations: English Literature, English Education and English Language in a Global Context. In all three, students have access to unique learning communities, internships, scholarships, study abroad opportunities and more, providing them with the foundations for collegiate success, and beyond.
The English Language student is an internationalist. English has become a global language, with status as an official language in 88 countries, close to half a billion native speakers, and over a billion people learning English as a second or foreign language. In this concentration, students learn about the structure and history of the English language, the varieties of English dialects around the world, and the teaching of English as a second language. In their final year, students participate in an internship with Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange (PLaCE)—an ESL support program for international undergraduates at Purdue.
Upon completion of the program, English majors may choose graduate school or employment in an industry, which may or may not be related to their interest in English. Student experiences have included:
- English Teacher
- Web Publisher
- Bilingual Educator
- Technical Writer
- Marketing Director
- Production Assistant
- Graduate or Professional School
All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.
Within the field of English, students develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:
- Exceptional writing for multiple audiences, and in multiple styles (stories, poems, reviews, reports, memos, essays, and critical analyses).
- Deep reading (how to read patiently, with empathy and insight; how to recognize patterns in texts; and how to express your observations about them effectively).
- Creative and literary thinking (metaphorical and other non-literal reasoning; historical and global awareness; connecting the dots and telling stories with data).
- Analytical and research skills (how to take texts and ideas apart for a greater understanding of the whole; how to find, compile, and synthesize important information).
- Cutting-edge presentation skills (how to produce, read, and understand images and digital texts; how to present your ideas in the most effective manner).
English majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to: