The English program prepares you 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.

If you are interested in teaching or graduate school in literature, we offer coverage of American, British, and World Literatures, as well as specialty courses in topics like Appalachian literature and women’s literature. Our writing courses prepare you for careers in creative writing, journalism and other 21st century communications professions.


According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 73.4% of employers are looking for evidence of written communication skills on applicants’ resumes and 67% are looking for verbal communications skills.


Kathy Olson specializes in international cooking recipes, having taken several Italian, Spanish, and French cooking classes. She is currently working on a cookbook as well as running half marathons.

Matthew Wimberley is the author of two collections of poetry, "All the Great Territories" (SIU, 2020), and "Daniel Boone's Window" (LSU, 2021). 

What You'll Study

Writing Courses: Creative Writing, Journalism, Advanced Research and Composition, Technical Writing, #Writing: The Art of Narrative in New Media
Literature Courses: Shakespeare, Appalachian Literature, Contemporary World Literature, 20th Century British and American Literature


A literary journal of Lees-McRae College

Volume II: Spring 2020

Beyond the Classroom

Staff writer and photographer, Avery Journal-Times, Newland, North Carolina
Staff writer and photographer, Avery Post, Newland, North Carolina
Intern, Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library System
Intern, Galax Public Library, Galax, Virginia
Administrative Assistant, New Opportunity School for Women, Banner Elk, North Carolina
Assistant Student Director, Burton Center, Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, North Carolina
Intern, The Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, Boone, North Carolina

After Graduation

When you graduate from Lees-McRae with a degree in English, you are ready for lifelong learning and continued enjoyment of literature as well as being in 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 PhD program in English or other humanities field, but English majors are particularly successful in law school or medical school.

Possible career paths for English majors include, but are not limited to, the following: 

Career information is provided through Vault and O'Net. Current Lees-McRae students can see the full results on Vault using their student email and password. 

Alumni Success

Creative Writing Pine Manor College
Education Liberty University, Virginia
Law School University of Tennessee
Library School University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Novelist Boone, North Carolina
Graphic Designer The Erwin Record, Erwin, Tennessee
Assistant Managing Editor Solstice Literary Magazine
Tennis Coach Parkside Tennis Club, Windsor, Ontario
Sales Manager Goodwill Industries, Asheville, North Carolina
Manager Lowe’s Hardware, Hampton, Virginia
Independent Sales Consultant Norwex
Snowboard Instructor Beech Mountain Ski Resort, Beech Mountain, North Carolina

Meet the Faculty

Kathy Olson, MFA 
Instructor of Rhetoric

Matthew Wimberley, MFA
Assistant Professor of English

Ready to take the next step?

We're glad to hear that! Our admissions office is ready to guide you through the process.