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Bachelor Degrees T - Z

English Degree Facts

english degree
May 25th, 2014

More people study English Language and Literature than any other language in the world today. This is understandable, since English is perhaps the world’s most popular language of all. While there are more people who regard the Chinese language as their first language, overall more people can read and understand English than any other language. Most websites and books are in English. And all over the world, countries are pushing their students to learn English as a second language.
An English degree is not about teaching how to speak and understand English for beginners. It is intended for those who are already reasonably proficient in the language. But an English Literature and Language program can dramatically boost that proficiency. The program requires you to read important books and then you are taught to critique them and to analyze theories about them. You will also learn how to relate the text to the contexts (political, historical, cultural, etc.) which led to their creation.
You will then gain a better understanding and appreciation of the works of Shakespeare, Joyce, Conrad, and Chaucer, and you will also understand why their works are considered great.
As an English major, you can specialize in any of the following fields of study:

  • Creative Writing. With the English masters to guide you, you can write in English more meaningfully.
  • Linguistics. This is a scientific study that deals with rules, foundations and structures of the language.
  • Specific eras, locations, types, authors, theories and subject matter. English literature is so broad that it can be narrowed to specific niches. You can study medieval or 20th century English Lit, English Lit from India or Jamaica, poetry or novels, Shakespeare or Virginia Woolf, feminist or postcolonial literature, or supernatural English Lit.

What Can You Do with an English Degree?
While for the most part an English Degree can help you write and understand reports much better in any kind of field, usually there are two basic ways to use an English Degree:

  1. Write. Most English majors probably dreamed of writing a novel. But you can also write stories, advertising copy, online articles or articles for print publications, or reviews about other works. You can work as a reporter, or you can write scripts for TV shows and movies.
  2. Teach. Those who can’t or won’t write usually teach. You can be a teacher in a high school, although some colleges may hire you as well. You can also work as a private tutor.

What are the Best Schools to Get an English Degree?
While Oxford and Cambridge are the top two universities in the world for the study of English Literature and Language, the following American universities are ranked immediately after them:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Yale University
  3. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  4. University of Chicago
  5. Stanford University
  6. Columbia University
  7. Princeton University
  8. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. Cornell University

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