Explore the Power of Story
Shenandoah’s Bachelor of Arts in English program will hone your writing skills, teach you to address a variety of audiences and help you develop critical and creative thinking skills.
With a degree in English, you’ll have a solid foundation for an exciting future.
The writing community we are creating at Shenandoah University means the most to me. I’m thankful for meeting Jonathan Udelson, the head of the Professional and Popular Writing minor, my first semester at SU because his appreciation towards rhetoric is absolutely contagious; individuals caring about how we talk to others will make us all better.
Brooklyn Rosenberger ’23 | English & Exercise Science double major
Anyone who has ever loved a book of any kind — or a play or poem or song or movie or TV show or comic book — knows about the power of language. Since the first prehistoric campfire entertainment, stories and songs and poems have taught us, enlightened us and held us in thrall. The study of English, which encompasses the study of great books as well as all aspects of cultural communications, is the study of this most ancient and enduring aspect of our humanity.
Our program integrates critical and creative writing, and includes an emphasis on professional and creative writing, preparing you for a variety of writing careers in the academic community or the corporate world. Our small classes and low faculty-student ratio mean you’ll receive individualized attention from experienced and caring professors. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to meet and work with visiting writers, and to develop the knowledge and skills you’ll need for a rewarding career in communications.
As an English student at Shenandoah University, you’ll learn to write, edit, think critically and communicate orally – everything you’ll need to succeed in almost any career, from law to marketing to teaching. And in this program, offered by the university’s College of Arts & Sciences, you’ll get to know your professors and learn in an environment that feels almost like a family unit.
Learn More About This Program
In addition to courses in creative writing, the English Department sponsors both an annual student literary magazine, Avalon, and annual writing contests in poetry and fiction.
Avalon Literary Magazine
Avalon is an annual literary magazine publishing poetry, fiction, drama, visual art, photography, and compositions. Avalon is written, edited, published, and managed by students. Submissions to Avalon are accepted throughout the year. Email email@example.com with questions and submissions.
Creative Writing Contests
The Bruce Souders and Gordon Link prizes are awarded annually to the best poetry and fiction submitted by a full-time student. The contest deadline is normally the Friday before Spring Break.
Shenandoah University’s College of Arts & Sciences is your direct connection to a classic, broad-based education to satisfy both your intellectual curiosity and career goals. With a 10:1 student-faculty ratio, small classes and individualized learning opportunities, we put students at the center of all our decisions and events.
We blend the liberal arts with pre-professional courses and hands-on learning to prepare you for careers in the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. You’ll learn through small, engaging classes and relationships with faculty mentors; hone your skills to solve problems; and learn to use creativity and critical thinking to make informed decisions.
Minor in This Program
A minor in English can help prepare students for a career as an advertising executive, business consultant, editor, English teacher/professor, journalist, online writer, public relations practitioner, speaker/consultant or strategic planner among many other non-traditional options. Studying English produces graduates who can think and speak and write, who know how to learn, and who understand life and people. These skills form an essential basis for all of life’s activities.
Declaring A Minor
Shenandoah students work with their Academic Advisor to declare a minor. Academic Advisors will continue to work with students to ensure that they fulfill all of the requirements to complete the minor.
Incoming students should not indicate their intended minor on their Shenandoah application. Applications are for intended majors only.
As we develop and deepen the professional writing aspects of the program, you’ll have opportunities for internships that feature an emphasis on written communications.
The Career & Professional Development staff helps Shenandoah students search and apply for internships related to their major and career goals. Internships differentiate you as an applicant in your future job searches, provide hands on experience in your field, allow you to sample different career paths for your major, and help you find a specific position that fits your passion before graduation.
Career and Salary Possibilities
Shenandoah’s undergraduate degree program in English will prepare you for a variety of exciting careers in communications, including advertising executive, business consultant, editor, English teacher/professor, journalist, online writer, public relations practitioner, speaker/consultant or strategic planner, and more. In addition to developing your writing and public speaking skills, our program will teach you how to think critically and apply a variety of communications strategies and problem solving skills throughout your life.
Career and Salary Examples for English Majors:
- Technical Writer: $49,100
- Web Content Editor: $46,200
- Copywriter: $45,000
- Marketing Market: $43,019 – $93,883
- Executive Assistant: $31,957 – $76,026
- Paralegal: $30,000 – $57,337
- Marketing Director: $36,614 – $122,449
- Administrative Assistant: $24,392 – $40,754
- High School Teacher: $30,913 – $65,931
- Editor: $26,553 – $69,041
My overall experience at SU was phenomenal and I really can’t say enough about how great all my professors were. They didn’t just teach me, they inspired me. I received so much help and support from the faculty, staff, and even the university president. Shenandoah University helped me to think globally and creatively in regards to my job search.”
Tiffany Eakins ‘11 | Teaches foreign language at Yeongsanpo Elementary School in South Korea where she helps children with a lower level of English speaking skills
I owe SU, more than I could ever say. I gained a confidence I’d never had before and I carry it with me still. Never stop writing…or reading. There are a lot of rejections to experience, but as any author will tell you, it’s part of the process.”
Heidi Sales ’12 | Successful and established author
Career & Professional Development Provides A Comprehensive Range Of Services And Resources To Assist Shenandoah Students In Their Career Search. Services offered include resume and cover letter building, mock interviews, and professional dining etiquette workshops.
You’ll learn how to:
- become an effective writer able to address a variety of audiences
- develop your powers of analytic, critical, and creative thinking
- understand texts and the varied ways that communications make meaning
- understand the role of textual culture in human life
- critique cultural mores and values
Learning support services are available to all students in every course at Shenandoah. Free peer tutoring with a student who has previously succeeded in the course is available for any course across the university. The Writing Center is available for every stage of the writing process from thesis development to proofreading and bibliography assistance. The Math Enrichment Center is available for math and science assistance. Professors and Academic Advisors across the university also have office hours and open door policies to ensure Shenandoah students succeed academically.
Become an English Teacher
Learn about Shenandoah’s English education programs:
Join the Honors Program
The Honors Program is a multidisciplinary Honors Program for students who are curious, creative, self-motivated, and eager to engage in their education and community.
Not only do Honors Program students partake in honors courses that emphasize collaboration, service, and communication, but they will also have the opportunity to develop aspects of the program based on their own interests and goals. By participating in the Honors Program you will acquire the tools, knowledge and experiences necessary to make meaningful contributions to your community – whether it be globally, locally, or specific to your life’s work. You will have access to unique courses, exciting experiences and a community of peers and faculty who never stop asking questions and striving for excellence.
Shenandoah University works on rolling admissions and accepts applications throughout the year. Applications are reviewed individually and holistically.
Submit your application, review required admission materials, and find our admissions standards.
Meet the Faculty
Imagine participating in interesting conversations led by engaging professors who’ve already done what you dream of doing. You’ll be in a small class — the average class size is approximately 12 students — with professors who know your name, care about your success and provide advice as you pursue your academic and career goals.
Meet Sarah Canfield, Department Chair & Professor of English
Make studying abroad the highlight of your college experience! Whether you go for a year, a semester, or just a few weeks. You will never forget learning in another culture! The Center for International Programs is here to help you plan your study abroad experience. Start your planning early to ensure the courses you complete abroad count toward your degree and you graduate on time.
Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program
The Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program offers Shenandoah students a short-term, faculty-led, study-abroad experience for academic credit. These short-term, credit-bearing, faculty-led programs are offered winter break, spring break, and during the summer. If a course is not within your major, it might be used as an elective.
Shenandoah University is a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), a global network of 300 universities. This partnership allows students to study for a full semester or year at other member campuses abroad. By working closely with their academic advisors and the study abroad advisor, students can take classes taught in English abroad while receiving Shenandoah credit.
Shenandoah University also maintains direct partnerships with several universities around the world. These relationships allow students from SU to study abroad as exchange students and students from these universities to study at SU. All partner universities offer courses taught in English.