About the Department

English Professor Joanne Diaz moderated IWU's Q & A with American actor, author, and playwright Jesse Eisenberg

Studying English prepares students for graduate study and a wide range of careers, including public relations, law, journalism, teaching, editing and publishing, business, government, library science, advertising, marketing, and professional writing. 

Whatever career students enter, they find that employers value the humanities-based instruction that an English major receives in research techniques, critical analysis, and both written and verbal communication.  

Two concentrations

At Illinois Wesleyan, we offer two sequences for majors: a Literature concentration and a Writing concentration that includes journalism and/or creative writing. Yet there is enough flexibility that students can still take courses from the other concentration.

Fostering creative freedom through a variety of opportunities

We encourage our majors to think outside the box and to take risks with their writing. The major is designed so that students will have plenty of opportunities to expand their worlds through study abroad, internships, and experiential learning. In fact, we encourage it. There are also opportunities for honors research and directed study.

Publishing experience

In our small, undergraduate-only, liberal arts environment, students have many opportunities to be involved in writing, editing, and producing publications that are wholly student-run.

Anna Lowenthal '16 describes the many opportunities that were available to her as an English major at Illinois Wesleyan.

Personal attention

Technology may continue to change, but our graduates tell us that the research, analysis, argumentation, and written/oral communication skills they learned as an English major at IWU have set them apart from others in their chosen fields.

It all starts at the English House, where our faculty enjoy working one-on-one with students to help them reach their potential and their goals. Among us are playwrights, film critics, songwriters, award-winning poets and fiction writers, and internationally recognized literary scholars who spend time with students and develop authentic mentoring relationships. Whatever your interest, there’s a good chance it will be shared by someone on the English department faculty.