Department of English & Literature


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Department of English & Literature


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

The English major is divided into four concentrations: literature, writing, literature and writing, and linguistics.

This might be the right degree for you if you

  • enjoy reading and writing
  • have a passion for text
  • want to research and deep-dive into literature
  • have a passion for language and culture
  • are interested in a career with various writing possibilities

Why study English at Northwestern?

You can learn from literary scholars who apply classic texts cross-culturally and research literary history through primary source documents. You'll work with published creative writing faculty who will provide graduate-level feedback on your work. We offer professional writing classes and internships that can lead to jobs after college.

You can attend writers’ readings in venues off campus such as Minnesota’s literary center, The Loft, or hear from special speakers at venues such as the University of Minnesota. Join the editorial staff of Inkstone, Northwestern's literary magazine and attend the Northwestern Christian Writer’s Conference.

As an English major, you’ll be able to assist professors, tutor students in writing at the Writing Center, and participate in internships by writing promotional media for the department or with Northwestern’s grant writer.

Off campus, students have interned with Bethany House Publishers, Minnesota Public Radio, and Redleaf Press. Other internships emphasize literary outreach in Twin Cities organizations.

Our alumni are accepted into graduate programs across the nation: Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, University of Saint Thomas, University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Arizona, Hollins, the University of Virginia, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.

If you enjoy reading and writing, have a passion for literature, and are interested in a career with various writing possibilities, this might be the right degree for you.

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What concentrations are offered in this degree?

Careers in writing

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in English with a concentration in writing.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Creative writing
  • Grant and proposal writing
  • Technical writing and editing
  • Media and journalism
  • Publishing
  • Curriculum development
  • Copywriting
  • Public relations
  • Teaching (Non-licensure)
  • Law/unions
  • Research
  • Editing
  • Corporate communication
  • Journalist
  • Legal transcription
  • Freelance writing/consulting

Who employs people with this degree?

  • Universities and colleges
  • Consulting firms
  • Publishers
  • Small-to-mid size businesses
  • Mid-to-large size businesses
  • Law firms
  • Newspapers
  • Technical industries
  • Magazines
  • Libraries
  • Public relations firms
  • Non-profits
  • Self-employed/freelance
  • Educational publishing

Strategies for success:

  • Develop a specialty area of interest via additional coursework and/or work experience for greater marketability within that specific career field.
  • For fields such as technical writing, finance writing, legal writing or other specific areas of writing, research the needed education and/or professional certifications.
  • Consider cultivating other career opportunities to supplement a freelance writing income.
  • Experience is key! Seek out any opportunity (paid or unpaid) to write so you can gain experience, network and build a solid portfolio.
  • An English major with a writing concentration can be good preparation for graduate or professional training in areas such as English, law, political science, religious studies, etc.
View Career Guide

of seniors view the faculty as available and accessible


of seniors feel well prepared for their first job in the field


of seniors say their major integrates biblical perspectives

What will I learn?

You will learn to analyze, think critically, and develop effective written and verbal communication skills.

Still have questions about this program or how to apply?

Our team is ready with answers!

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Professors at Northwestern are focused on their students first. Our faculty include experts in their respective fields who want to help you grow in your faith while you earn your degree.

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