Arcadia’s English major is a unique combination of three strengths:
The depth and breadth of a classic literary curriculum
Unparalleled study abroad opportunities at some of the top universities around the world, and
The expertise of the English Department that pioneered Writing Across the Curriculum in the 1970s—the nation-wide movement to make writing a high priority in all classrooms.
Focus on Literature or Creative Writing
At Arcadia, you can choose the English literature major or the English major with a Concentration in Creative Writing. All courses stress critical thinking and problem solving as essential aspects of the composing and interpreting process. Our small class size encourages lively class discussions and frequent peer critiques.
As an English major, you will do an off-campus Career Internship, well-supported by Arcadia’s close proximity to Philadelphia. These internships often lead to full-time employment after graduation. *See Careers tab on this page for more information.
Beyond the Classroom
Outside the classroom, you can write for the University newspaper, The Tower. Or for Arcadia’s literary magazine, Quiddity, which publishes creative writing (and other artistic work) by students on campus. Or for The Compass, an online journal that publishes a range of student writing. To support the arts at Arcadia, the English Department brings to campus each year several successful poets, fiction writers and creative non-fiction writers, some of whom are alumni/ae of Beaver/Arcadia. Students have the opportunity to work with these writers in master classes.
In addition to interpretive and creative writing courses, the English curriculum includes several specialized professional writing courses: Business Writing, Journalism, Technical Writing, Writing for the Health Industry, Grant Writing for Non-Profits, Writing for Magazines, and others.
The Department gives three awards for student achievement:
The Doris Fenton Award for excellence in English by a senior was established in honor of the late Dr. Doris Fenton, former Professor of English.
The Excellence in Creative Writing Award recognizes superior achievement by a junior or senior English major enrolled in the Creative Writing Concentration.
The William Bracy Award for Distinction in Shakespeare Studies is presented to a graduating senior in honor of Dr. William Bracy, who inspired many students with his relentless enthusiasm for the bard.
The English faculty are a rich mix of experienced and award-winning educators, active scholars, and published authors.
Sigma Tau Delta is an international organization whose stated central purpose is to confer distinction on students who have done excellent work in English studies.
Membership is by invitation. At Arcadia, eligible students major or minor in English, have completed at least three semesters of college course work (at Arcadia), have completed a minimum of twelve credits in the major, with at least a 3.0 (or equivalent) GPA both in English courses and overall, and are currently enrolled.
The Bachelor of Arts in English program offers courses in literature, creative writing and professional writing. Our curriculum’s emphasis on critical thinking, effective writing, and oral communication prepares students for many paths after graduation, including:
Graduate school in English literature, law, library science, creative writing and journalism.
Careers in research, communications, government, publishing, editing, public relations and business, and teaching.
Teaching at the secondary level (with Secondary Education Certification for public schools) and at the college level (with a graduate degree).
All English majors must complete either a Career Internship or Student Teaching for Certification.
The English Department’s Concentration in Creative Writing combines a classic literary curriculum with a tiered system of practical workshops in fiction, poetry and non-fiction writing. After a required foundation course in writing fiction and poetry, you choose intermediate workshops in fiction or poetry writing. Then, starting in your junior year, you choose from among advanced specialized courses based on your interests: Writing for Children, Young Adult Writing, Memoir Writing, Fiction Writing, Poetry Writing, and Script and Playwriting, in which you'll work one-one-one with faculty members who are professional, published writers. The required internship gives you the opportunity to work with local presses, publishing companies or creative arts organizations.
Undergraduate students who are majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing are able to apply for admission to the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program during their junior year. Through this program, students can complete a graduate requirement while still in their undergraduate program, thus allowing them to finish the Creative Writing M.F.A. by taking fewer than the usual 39 credits.
To graduate with Secondary Education Certification, you must complete the requirements for both the English major and the Education certification. An adviser in each department will help you plan your curriculum. In addition to the courses in the English major, the following courses are required.
Creative Writing Minor
The minor in Creative Writing gives students an opportunity to develop their poetry and/or fiction writing skills and to engage in peer critique of their work.
The English Department actively encourages its majors to take advantage of Arcadia's outstanding study abroad opportunities, primarily in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Generally, the junior year is the most convenient time for English majors to study abroad for either one semester, one summer or an entire academic year. With prior approval, students can take courses to fulfill many Undergraduate Curriculum requirements. Many required major courses can be taken abroad. The Capstone Seminar, EN 490, however, must be taken in Glenside.
Since it is important that students plan ahead for study abroad, they should consult with their advisers as soon as possible and make their intentions known to the department chair and the Office of Study Away.
The English Major as Career Preparation
The English program is designed to develop skills essential in every profession: critical thinking, precise writing, and effective oral communication. You will be prepared for a wide variety of options after graduation:
Graduate school in literature, law, library science, creative writing, and journalism
Careers in research, communications, government, publishing, editing, public relations, and business
Teaching at the secondary level (with Secondary Education Certification for public schools) and at the college level (with a graduate degree). The required Career Internship opens the door to the professional world and gives you practical experience and perspective to judge what options interest you most. Many internships lead to jobs after graduation. If you pursue the Secondary Education Certification, your student teaching will fulfill the internship requirement.
EN 371: Off-Campus Career Internship for English Majors
As an Arcadia English major, you have the benefit of participating in an off-campus professional internship, either during your senior year or in the summer preceding your senior year. Arcadia’s close proximity to Philadelphia provides a vast array of possibilities, including interning for a publication, publisher, government entity, non-profit organization, or business. This is an excellent way to sort out your goals, hone your skills, and make connections before graduation. While you are doing the internship, you will take EN 371, Career Internship (4 credits).
In recent years, English majors have done internships at some of the following organizations:
The Free Library of Philadelphia
The Humane League of Philadelphia
Lab Rep Co. LLC
Montgomery County District Justice Office
Next Level Publishing
Philadelphia Higher Education and Network Development
Schools for Sustainability
State Farm Insurance
Whether teaching a writing workshop for children at Philadelphia’s Mighty Writers, serving as a courtroom clerk for a magisterial district court judge, or reviewing submissions for Philadelphia Writers literary magazine, you will get real-world experience that allows you to explore career options which could lead to a full-time position or graduate study.
Although you will find your own internship, expect enthusiastic guidance from the English Department and the Office of Career Education. Early in your junior year, check the list of internships completed by previous Arcadia English majors or search for your own dream position. You must secure your internship and obtain signed approval before you register for EN371. The course is offered in the summer, fall and spring semesters.
As an EN371 student, you will meet regularly with your professor and fellow Arcadia English interns, write weekly blog posts on your job experience, participate in on-line and in-person discussions of readings, and write a final reflective essay on your internship.
Both your on-site supervisor and your professor will monitor your progress and provide performance feedback. Combining the practical internship experience with the instruction and reflection of EN371 provides a meaningful transition into either graduate school or the professional world.