The English major is designed to be extremely flexible. You can focus on literature, linguistics, cultural studies, or work with your academic advisor to develop another plan of study that will achieve your educational goals. In general, this major requires a lot of reading and writing and includes courses in literatures of America and the world; advanced courses in British literature and writers; courses in writing about literature; a language course; and an advanced course in poetry, drama, or fiction.

Points of Pride 

  • An English major learns many skills that employers find desirable, which may lead them to jobs in publishing, marketing, management, etc. Skills include: Ability to communicate, both in writing and orally, grammatical accuracy, editing and re-writing skills, ability to analyze and interpret data, documentation skills, creativity, foreign language ability, ability to present a clear and logical argument, understanding of human motivation.
  • The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers a vast library of resources ranging from style guides to instructional material to assist Purdue students. OWL also is an international resource, with a Web site that receives nearly 100 million hits a year from more than 125 different countries.
  • Books and Coffee is held on campus each Thursday in February. Coffee and tea are available, followed by a half-hour talk about a selected work. The series is highly attended by faculty, staff, and students.
  • Purdue has several student organizations for English students which include the Student Association, Haraka Writers, and the Professional Writers Club.


  • Technical writer
  • Medical writer
  • Promoter
  • Publisher/editor
  • Business jobs in training/management
  • Management consultant
  • Reporter
  • Management trainee
  • Graduate or professional school

Plan of Study

Department of English

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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