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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2021-2022

English

College of Humanities and Sciences

 
Program description

The Department of English teaches students to see their worlds with clarity and respond to them with sensitivity, through reading, writing, and critical thinking. Students gain the knowledge and skills to participate actively and conscientiously in the twenty-first-century global culture and the professional workplace. The Department fosters the deep reading of the traditional Anglophone canon as well as the literatures of diverse cultures and under-represented voices, it cultivates an appreciation of their aesthetic features and social functions, and it studies the crafts of creative and professional writing. By engaging in multiple media, learning a wide variety of rhetorical practices, and writing and editing academic and creative texts, students gain skills in critical and creative thinking increasingly recognized as essential by employers. Students are prepared to participate in their historical and cultural moment, to speak with authority about the literatures of the past and present, and to produce substantial creative and professional communication of their own.


Students have the option to pursue minors in creative writing or professional writing and editing. Students also have the opportunity for meaningful experiential learning, whether through internships, independent studies, or pursuit of the department’s Distinguished Majors program.

Career opportunities

A recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers lists written communication skills as the single most desirable attribute any employer seeks. Similarly, Google’s Project Oxygen revealed the seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills cultivated by humanities degrees including communicating and listening well, possessing insights into others, particularly those with different values and points of view, and being able to make connections across complex ideas. An undergraduate degree in English provides exactly those skills.


Additionally, a degree in English is good preparation for graduate study in English, as well as other areas such as, law, education, public administration, or business. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are imperative for most careers related to non-profits, education, law and business. Gain experience in fundraising and grant writing techniques. Nonprofit and educational organizations are often funded in this manner. Part-time and summer jobs, internships, and volunteer positions are critical to gaining the experience and skills that employers seek.

Change of major requirements
Continuing students should submit a change of major form to declare the English major. The English advisor will send a follow-up invitation to attend an information session to discuss degree requirements prior to change of major approval.

Bachelor-level job titles
  • Editor
  • Fundraiser  
  • High School Teacher
  • Human Resource Specialist
  • Library Technician
  • Proof Readers and Copy Markers
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Reporters and Correspondents
  • Research Assistant
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Staff and Legislative Assistant
  • Technical Writer
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Advertising Executive
  • Attorney
  • College Professor or Administrator
  • Copywriter
  • Director of Communications
  • Public Policy Specialist
Highest level of math required
  • Quantitative Foundations requirement only
Science required
  • Natural Sciences requirement only
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • To declare: none To graduate: 2.0+ cumulative GPA, 2.0+ major GPA
Department name:
Department of English
Building/room location:
900 Park Avenue, Hibbs Hall #306, Richmond, VA 23284
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1331
Email:
english@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Complete a 202-level foreign language or pursue two additional English courses at the 200-level.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Choose to take one of the English department’s literature of diversity courses.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Continue to attend departmental events on internships and careers for English majors.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Continue to be aware of the ENGL area requirement each semester.
  • Attend Course Fair and see your English advisor at least once each semester.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Choose upper-division classes to develop a deeper knowledge of global regions.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Pursue an internship with Blackbird, the English department's online literary journal.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Identify at least three career options within your field of interest that you may want to pursue. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Continue to attend departmental events on internships and careers for English majors.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Combine everything you've learned in your major by taking your senior seminar, ENGL 499. 
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Build intercultural competence by engaging with international students on campus.
  • Attend Cultural Graduation Ceremony.  
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Continue to attend departmental events on internships and careers for English majors.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

English

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Complete a 202-level foreign language or pursue two additional English courses at the 200-level.
  • Choose to take one of the English department’s literature of diversity courses.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Continue to attend departmental events on internships and careers for English majors.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Continue to be aware of the ENGL area requirement each semester.
  • Attend Course Fair and see your English advisor at least once each semester.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Choose upper-division classes to develop a deeper knowledge of global regions.
  • Pursue an internship with Blackbird, the English department's online literary journal.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Identify at least three career options within your field of interest that you may want to pursue. 
  • Continue to attend departmental events on internships and careers for English majors.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Combine everything you've learned in your major by taking your senior seminar, ENGL 499. 
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Build intercultural competence by engaging with international students on campus.
  • Attend Cultural Graduation Ceremony.  
  • Continue to attend departmental events on internships and careers for English majors.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
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