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Because the ability to communicate is a fundamental requirement of education, law, national and international business, medicine, technology, and other fields, improving communication skills is an integral part of degree work in English at Indiana State University. The study of English provides the skills and understanding needed to interact successfully with others, regardless of ultimate career goals.

The Curriculum

The Department of English at Indiana State University offers several programs to meet students’ needs and appeal to their special interests. The Department offers two undergraduate majors in English: English Liberal Arts and English Teaching. Students planning advanced study in English, related areas in the humanities, or law—as well as those preparing for careers in professional writing, editing, or business—pursue the English Liberal Arts major. Those planning to become teachers at the junior high/middle school or secondary level follow the English Teaching major, which combines English course work with classes and practical experiences in education. In addition, students may earn an English Liberal Arts minor or Creative Writing minor.

The Program

Courses for English majors, from freshman to senior levels, enroll approximately 25 to 35 students, which allows for close working relationships among faculty and students and contributes to discussion and individualized instruction. Faculty in the Department specialize in a variety of fields, including British and American literature, rhetoric, and creative writing. Most faculty hold doctoral degrees, and many publish books and articles, conduct research, speak at national and international meetings, and edit journals in their specialties. Although variations exist within specific majors and minors, study includes work in writing; British, American, world, and multicultural literature; literary criticism; and English language.

Scholarships, Awards, and Financial Aid

English majors at Indiana State have various kinds of financial support through a number of awards presented to outstanding students majoring in English. Most prestigious of these awards is the Hazel Tesh Pfennig Scholarship, which normally exceeds $2,000 and is awarded to six to eight students during their junior and senior years on the basis of academic excellence. Other scholarships of lesser amounts are awarded in critical writing and creative writing or are based on overall excellence in English studies. Financial aid is also available in the form of loans, grants, and work-study programs administered by the University's Office of Student Financial Aid. To receive more information and an application for financial assistance, write the Office of Student Financial Aid, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana 47809. For information concerning the Pfennig Scholarship or other assistance available to English majors, contact the Department of English. 

Career Opportunities

“From my standpoint, a background in English literature is a very valuable commodity. Contrary to the emphasis on technology that pervades media accounts of business, what actually happens in the business world happens through clear, logical thinking, speaking, and writing.” Paul Saxton, President and CEO , General Housewares Corp.

Employers have discovered that hiring graduates with degrees in English offers them people whose flexibility and creativity are needed in today’s dynamic world. English graduates are also highly valued for their ability to express themselves and communicate new ideas and needs clearly. A major in English also serves as excellent preparation for advanced study in English and related areas, for research, or for law school. English majors are also finding career opportunities developing at the managerial level in business and industry.