Old Main
College of Arts & Sciences

English

Why pursue a degree in English at North Central College?

The English Department cultivates a culture and practice of intentional writing and inclusive reading. We offer three majors: English Education; English, Literature; and English, Writing. Students also often seek one of our five minors: literature, writing, professional & technical writing, language arts & linguistics, and film & screen studies. We also offer an M.A. in professional and creative writing. Students in our programs gain expertise in the role language plays in creating and defining meaning from one’s life and world. Through close faculty mentorship, students will develop skills in creative writing and rhetoric, hone their ability to read broadly and closely, gain methods to enter the classroom, and/or pursue undergraduate research.

The study of writing and literature develops students' academic, professional, and creative skills. Our graduates find success in law, creative writing, education, business, medicine, corporate communications, grant writing, arts administration, and publishing. In all of these fields, the ability to communicate effectively, problem solve, and work in a team mean English majors advance faster and earn more. Think about it: in a culture beset by distraction, the ability to read—and write—literature makes one extraordinary.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN

  • The role of language and storytelling in reflecting the human experience and encouraging new thought
  • The artistic, historical and cultural contexts of literature
  • The development of craft and writerly practice for creative, academic, and professional settings

then a degree in ENGLISH might be for you.

Why study English at North Central College?

In the Classroom

Coursework topics:

  • Advanced Fiction
  • Black Narrative
  • Creative Writing for Self-Discovery
  • Foundations of Language Study
  • Gender and Literary Feminisms
  • Global Shakespeare
  • Graphic Narratives
  • Introduction to Film & Screen Studies
  • Latina/o/x Literature
  • The Novel Across Time
  • Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies

Beyond the Classroom

As an English major, you can:

  • Apply for internships and jobs through robust faculty and alumni networks or the Center for Career and Professional Development.
  • Join Sigma Tau Delta, a national English honor society.
  • Join the staff of The Kindling and 30 N to learn about publishing, marketing and editing.
  • Meet and learn from established writers through the Visiting Writers Series.
  • Visit or join the staff of the Writing Center.

Visit the English Department on social media on Instagram and Facebook.

More Department information

English, Writing, B.A.

The English Writing Major is a comprehensive plan of study offering a diverse range of courses. Students may seek proficiencies across five distinct genres: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting or rhetoric. By carefully calibrating coursework from 100-levels through a senior capstone writing project, students will be well-prepared for a variety of professional opportunities. Writing majors participate in either the College literary magazine, 30 North, the humor magazine, The Kindling or the College newspaper, The Chronicle, gaining leadership as editors and practical new media skills. Internships are encouraged for real-world experience.

Writing majors find work in publishing, the law, corporate and non-profit settings, teaching, the arts and many other fields that seek persons trained to ask powerful questions, research and organize complex information, and synthesize that information with careful attention to detail. A B.A. in English-Writing fosters a citizen-critic concerned for what is ethical, inclusive and humane in public and private spheres.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see English.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

Thematic Courses

One course from each of the following designations:

Literature Across Time

World Literatures

Identity and Culture

Professional and Public Writing Courses

One of the following:

Genre Electives

Eight credits from the following:

Advanced Electives at the 300-level

Three of the following:

Advanced Electives at the 400-level

One of the following:

Practica Experience

Two credits from the following:

Special Topics

One of the following:

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

English, Writing Minor

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours in English, including:

  • ENGL 200 - Gateway: Introduction to English
  • Eight credit hours of English Writing at the 200-level
  • Four credit hours of English Writing at the 300-level
  • One additional course in English Writing or Literature at the 300-level or above

English, Literature, B.A.

Major Requirements

A minimum of 42 credit hours to include:

Core Courses

Thematic Courses

One course from each of the following designations:

Literature Across Time

World Literatures

Writing and Rhetoric

Identity and Culture

Time Period and Nationality

One course from each of the following designations:

Pre-1800 Literature

19th Century Literature

20th-21st Century Literature

American Literature (200-level or above)

British Literature (200-level or above)

Theory

Consult with the English Department for an approved list of Theory courses

Note:

*A course may count for more than one designation

Upper Level Electives

  • 8 additional credit hours of elective Literature courses (300-level or above)
  • 8 additional credit hours of elective Literature courses (400-level or above)

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

English, Literature Minor

The Literature minor provides practice and support for students' reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Study Young Adult Fiction, Black Narrative, Detective Fiction or have another go at Shakespeare. This flexible 20 credit hour minor supplements any major with valued and sought-after skills across a range of professions.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see English.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours in Literature, including:

English, Language Arts and Linguistics Minor

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours, including:

Electives

A minimum of six credit hours from the following:

English, Professional and Technical Writing Minor

The Professional and Technical Writing minor provide students from any major at the College with the multimodal writing and design skills needed to succeed as a writer, communications manager, or STEM and business professional, whatever the workplace.

Drawing on professional and technical writing theories and their practical applications, students learn to create, revise and deliver effective documents and presentations across a range of genres in the sciences, applied health or business environments. Focused on writing persuasively with the needs of real stakeholders in mind, the study of Professional and Technical Writing gives students practice and support in the composing process and in document design, audience/ reader analysis, as well as strategies for collaborative writing, editing and revising and multimodal presentations. Students learn to identify grant funding and develop persuasive funding proposals. Not least, they examine case studies of "wicked problems" in workplaces to identify and solve real-world issues that can be better understood through excellent writer/designer communication.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see English.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours, including:

Elective

Two credit hours of English elective in Professional Writing (ENGL 212 - Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies: Text/Technologies is recommended).

English Studies Internships and Jobs

A North Central education integrates career preparation with rich academic study. Our faculty encourages you to refine and apply your knowledge in an interconnected world. Here you'll learn to think independently and work globally to solve problems and lead.

Internships

Current students and recent graduates in English have secured internships in:

  • Journalism
  • Technology
  • Podcasting
  • Social Media
  • Non-profits
  • Literary magazines
  • Digital Media
  • Television Production
  • Media Relations
  • Marketing
  • Grant Writing


Graduate Schools

Recent graduates in English have been accepted at:

  • Northwestern University
  • McGill University
  • Loyola University
  • University of Texas
  • University of Minnesota
  • Northern Michigan University
  • Creighton University
  • Butler University
  • University of Montana
  • University of South Dakota
  • West Virginia University

Careers

Recent graduates in English include:

  • Director of marketing and communications, American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, Chicago
  • Art gallery owner, Arnould Gallery, Marblehead, MA
  • Assistant professor of English with an emphasis on digital literacy, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • High school teacher at East Aurora High School
  • Administrator for The Center for Cultural Exchange
  • Lawyer at Raymond G. Wigell, Ltd.
  • Senior Associate Defense Attorney
  • Director of Development, TriCity Family Services
  • Associate Director of Writing Center and Lecturer, University of Kansas
  • Advocacy Assistant, Prairie State Legal Services
  • Principal, Brand Partner at Intention
  • Global Manager, Content and Marketing Campaigns, Videojet
  • Managing editor for John Wiley and Sons Publishers
  • Youth Librarian, Glen Ellyn Public Library
  • Associate Editor, Neighborhoods.com
  • Senior Entertainment Relations Officer, Oxfam America
  • International Services Coordinator, UIC

Invest in your future

Choosing the right college is a big decision. Don’t make it alone. North Central’s admission and financial aid team is here to help you design a financial aid solution that works best for you and your family.

Merit scholarships, grants, loans, campus employment - these are just some of the resources available to you. Over 95 percent of students and 100 percent of all eligible students receive aid. Let our team partner with you in finding the best value for your education.

Learn more about financial aid and costs for North Central College

Apply to North Central College

The first step to becoming a North Central student is reading the application instructions specific to you. Find out everything you need to know about applying by selecting the group you belong to below.