Why English?

The English Department fosters students’ abilities to think critically, to read analytically, and to communicate effectively in oral and written form. Our degree helps students develop an “advanced literacy” that enables them to excel in analytical argumentation, problem-solving, and understanding a range of cultural perspectives.

Specifically, English classes teach students to engage critically with various kinds of “texts”: from daily language use to technical manuals, from Shakespearean drama to film, from lyric poetry to children’s literature. As a result, English majors learn:

  • How to work critically and creatively with complex ideas and texts
  • How to construct effective written texts of various kinds
  • How to think flexibly about the world we occupy and to adapt written and oral communication accordingly
  • How to move easily and confidently between the realms of written, spoken, and electronic communication
  • How to operate and communicate effectively across disciplines in the humanities and sciences
  • How to understand the complex interactions between written texts and social worlds (real and virtual).
  • How to locate, critically analyze, and make use of research materials
  • How to engage with a variety of writing and digital technologies.

Because advanced literacy skills are in high demand, our former students have found careers in fields such as teaching, technical/professional writing, editing, publishing, advertising, public relations, and nonprofits, as well as in business, financial services, and banking. Others have pursued advanced degrees in literature, law, medicine, teaching, and business administration.

Our graduate students often go on to pursue similar careers, but their advanced degrees give them additional opportunities for professional achievement. Our Master’s students have been successful in their pursuit of Ph.D. degrees, as well as positions in professional writing, teaching, and administration.

You might want to explore the Dear English Major website to learn about many possible careers for English Majors.

Dr. Mark West discusses the value of the humanities and the importance of stories for how we live our lives.

Watch these videos to learn what twelve former UNC Charlotte English Majors have to say about how an English degree helped them find jobs and build their careers.

Dmitri Tereshenko, BA (2021), Private Linguistics Consultant (Tech, Education, and Healthcare Market Research)

Amy Crew, BA (2020), High School English Teacher

Molly Unrath, BA (2021), Search Engine Optimization Analyst, Bankrate

Elaine C. Hill, MA (2011), English Language Specialist, Poet, Speaker, Coach

Charlie Bedell, MA (2018), Content Market Specialist at Illumio, a cybersecurity company:

Antwan Alexander, BA (2014), Los Angeles-based actor, poet, fitness consultant and motivational speaker with a law degree from UNC Chapel Hill.

Ryan Pitkin, BA (2012), Founder of Nerve Media Productions LLC and Editor-in-Chief of Queen City Nerve, a Charlotte-based alternative newspaper:

Anna Grace Thrailkill, BA (2021), Newsletter Producer at Our State magazine, which showcases travel destinations and the history, culture, and cuisine of North Carolina.

Brittany Stone, BA (2009), MA (2012), Lead Product Strategist for Skookum, Owner of Brainchild, a consulting company:

Daniel Martin, BA (2013), Associate Attorney at Fishwick & Associates:

Nadia Clifton, BA (2015), MA (2017), Special Collections Engagement Librarian, UNC Chapel Hill:

Rachel Sheering, BA (2008), Keynote Speaker and Virtual Emcee: