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Dr. Paula Makris
Department Chair
Email: pmakris@wju.edu
Phone: 1-304-243-4427

Department of English


English majors think critically, a skill valued by employers in all fields. You'll be able to analyze materials and situations and then communicate your findings effectively, either verbally or in writing. If you're weighing options, here is what a recent student said about the decision to major in English at Wheeling Jesuit:

"The decision to be an English major at WJU was one of the wisest of my academic career. The English program here gives students many unique opportunities. We have the chance to express ourselves and our opinions (no matter how unorthodox) on a daily basis. We have professors who truly care about our education and our lives. Classes are always entertaining, and the professors make us think about things in ways we may not have thought before. I would recommend the department's programs to any students looking for an opportunity to expand their horizons and learn new ways to think about literature and the world, to communicate in today's society, or to express themselves with greater passion or clarity. While many people may ask, 'What would you do with a BA in English?' the answers are a lot more diverse than one may think at first, especially if the degree is from this program."

Program Breakdown

English majors are interconnected with programs in Communications, Creative Writing, and the Fine Arts via overlapping course requirements. With courses in such programs they learn and refine very specific skills, gain practical experience, and enhance their understanding of the applicability of their language and critical thinking skills in the "real" world beyond academics. Students may select internships and capstone experiences depending on specific career goals. Further, English majors appreciate the art of creative expression, inspiring their own creativity in art, music, theater, and film, all programs of study available through the Department of E, C & FA.

Our majors and minors are frequently engaged in campus publications (Jewelweed, Cardinal Connection), Academic Resource Center tutoring, campus theater productions, campus radio/TV, Sigma Tau Delta (the English Honor Society), and the department's annual trip to the Stratford (Ontario) Shakespeare Festival.

Program Benefits

There is no specific "next step" for a literature graduate, which is one of the glories of the program. The next step genuinely depends on what a given student sees as his or her potential career goals. WJU English graduates have attended graduate programs at schools such as Carnegie-Mellon, Boston University, Villanova, Georgetown, The Ohio State University, and the UCLA Graduate Film School. Graduates from our program include copy editors, journalists, lawyers, secondary school teachers, script writers, clergy, theater managers, speech language pathologists, university research librarians, multiple Ph.D's in literature, and two college presidents. And oh yes, one graduate became a performing circus clown!

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