About the Program

The English program prepares students for a versatile professional life and/or graduate school by refining skills in communication, critical thinking, and comprehension and analysis, accomplished through a balance of writing and literature coursework.

Its goals are to:

  • reinforce skills in writing, speaking and critical thinking;
  • enable students to read, understand, analyze and make judgments on works of literature;
  • inculcate a knowledge of the basic concepts of literary study;
  • inculcate knowledge of major literary movements and authors in and out of the traditional canon

Literature is one of the best artifacts of a given culture because it results from the mingling of individual human characteristics with a variety of social, cultural, political, and economic factors. Thus, as an artistic expression of a single author, a text gives insight into not only the individual writer’s mind but also into the world that produced him or her. Therefore, a systematic study of literature provides a gateway to understanding not only ourselves and our world, but also other people and their worlds, both past and present.

A Lees-McRae College graduate with a degree in English not only has prepared himself or herself for lifelong learning and continued enjoyment of literature but is also in a prime position to pursue a variety of careers or graduate programs.
Employers consistently report that they desire students with well-developed communications skills and the ability to tackle new ideas and tasks with a critical eye. Job candidates with an English major can offer these benefits in a variety of fields. English majors work as editors and technical writers or as educators, in human resources, in sales, or in the advertising field, for example. For students not entering the workforce directly out of college, the English major provides good preparation for graduate work. The most obvious option is an MA or Ph.D. program in English or other humanities field, but English majors are particularly successful in law school or medical school.