The English major at Drake is a highly customizable program that allows you to tailor the degree to fit your interests or career goals. Drake’s program emphasizes a multi-modal approach and you’ll learn to critically analyze different forms of text and media, including literature, language, films, the Internet and images. Faculty members in the English department are active writers, researchers, filmmakers and publishers, so you’ll be learning from individuals with extensive connections and experience in the field.
In addition to critical thinking, analysis and writing skills, you’ll gain a competitive edge through Drake’s practical application of the major. You can choose to participate in Drake’s Writing Internship Program, hone editing abilities on the Periphery art and literacy journal or complete an independent study on a topic that interests you. Recent independent studies have included a documentary on Dumpster diving and the homeless and a project on the history of science writing. You’ll also have the opportunity to hear from individuals who have excelled in the field through the Writers and Critics Series.
With an English major, you’ll have the option to explore other areas of interest throughout the University. The English Department encourages students to pursue interdisciplinary concentrations, second majors or minors. A number of the department's courses are cross-listed with interdisciplinary programs, facilitating such study. In addition, the English major will allow you to count related courses taken outside the department for credit toward your major.
Careers and Internships
An English degree can prepare you for a variety of careers, including professional writing, editing, advertising, publishing, education, management, computer technology, public relations and public service, or allow you to pursue graduate work in English studies, law school or medical school.
As an English major, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in Drake University’s Writing Internship program. You’ll work closely with a Drake advisor as well as a supervisor throughout the experience. Internships can be held at a variety of nonprofit organizations and businesses. Typical job responsibilities include grant-writing, research, editing, overseeing social media, conducting interviews and writing for publications, newsletters, brochures and more.
Students have recently held internships at:
Many English majors participate in Periphery, an annual art and literacy journal for Drake students. All students may submit creative works for consideration in the journal, and students can also work as editors in the Periphery staff.
The English Department, along with the Center for Humanities, hosts a series of lectures by noted writers and literacy critics each year. Past speakers have included: Jane Juffer, Tim Bascom, Jen Hirt and Keetje Kuipers.
Additionally, Drake Writers’ Night is a community event that invites Drake students, faculty and staff and local writers to campus to share recent work.
The English major consists of 36 hours of course work: a common core of 24 hours, plus 12 hours of electives. Students may take up to 6 hours of electives in relevant course work outside of English, with adviser approval. A few of the courses offered in the English department include: Adolescent Literature, Writing from The Border Countries, Gender and the Body Politic in Recent Fiction by Women, Literature of War, Recent American Poetry, Introduction to Film Study, and Reading the Popular in Culture.