Studying English prepares students for graduate study, teaching and a wide range of professions such as law, journalism, publishing, government and business.
Whatever career a student enters, they find employers value the written and verbal communication skills and education in the humanities that an English major receives.
In both sequences, our students are encouraged to be creative and learn how to take analytical positions and back them up. They become keen analyzers of literary texts, which are as complicated as life; they learn to write and construct compelling arguments.
New technologies have created new career opportunities for writing. Writing remains an essential tool for our graduates, but often in ways they wouldn't have expected, or might not have even existed 10 years ago. Because we give them a strong foundation and a broader picture, they gain the flexibility to thrive through these inevitable changes.
Every writer desires an audience, and at IWU students have many outlets to write and to publish, including the campus newspaper The Argus, the literary journal Tributaries, the stand-up poetry group Lyrical Graffiti, the undergraduate magazine The Delta and the online community for writers Pseudonym Required. Coursework also creates publishing opportunities: for example, students enrolled in "Feature Writing and Investigative Reporting" published an in-depth report on coal ash contamination in Illinois.
Because we're a small school, students have many opportunities to be involved – in writing, editing and producing publications – without too much competition.
Whether it’s helping students find the right graduate school, internship or study abroad program, guiding them on a research honors project or just offering a sounding board to discuss concerns, our faculty spend time with students and develop authentic mentoring relationships.
Our faculty include playwrights, film critics, songwriters, award-winning authors and literary scholars. Whatever your interest, there’s a good chance it will be shared by someone on the English department faculty.
1st Place Award for Excellence in Illinois College Newspapers.
At the 2015 Illinois College Press Association conference, Illinois Wesleyan sophomore and English-Writing major Michelle Wong '16 was presented with the 1st Place Award for Excellence in Illinois College Newspapers. The award recognized her 2014 opinions column regarding on-campus safety and security.
Illinois Wesleyan University Department of English Prize for Short Fiction Recipient: Nunzia Martino, for "Carina Mia."
The Academy of American Poets Prize Recipient: Erica Kucharski
The Kay Nelson Memorial Essay Prize Recipient: Olivia Anderson, for her essay, “Blood Tide.”