Department of English

Welcome to the English Department

Majoring in English can help you enjoy a lifetime of reading pleasure and creative fulfillment, and develop the kind of analytical ways of seeing the world that can make you a better citizen.  It can also help prepare you for a successful career. With its emphasis on close reading and writing skills and its training in critical thinking—skills that are crucial in today’s high-tech global economy—the English major helps you acquire the tools that will allow you to flourish in a wide variety of career paths in the private and public sectors, and will give you career flexibility in a constantly changing world.  In a 2014 study, 93% of employers said that “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems” was more important in a job candidate than any specific major, and it is precisely these high-demand skills that the English program helps you develop. 

We offer both undergraduate and graduate programs.  As an undergraduate major, you will take 36 credits in English, selecting a concentration in either literature or writing.  You may choose among courses in British, American, European, and world literature, including minority and Non-Western literatures; critical and creative writing; linguistics; and courses focusing on special themes or genres, including drama and film.  Students in other majors have the opportunity to minor in English or take English courses to meet Writing Intensive requirements or as free electives.

If you wish to pursue a teaching career, a double major in English and Education will allow you to do so.  (Our English major is a New Jersey State-recognized route for those pursuing teaching certification.)  Other possible career paths include law, publishing, creative writing, public relations, non-profit organizations, or any of the extensive array of fields in which the ability to read well, think critically, and communicate clearly is essential to moving ahead.

For information on William Paterson University’s admissions, application, and transfer procedures, click here.

Read the English Department's current newsletter

Contact Us

Atrium 242, 300 Pompton Road Wayne, NJ 07470

tel. (973) 720-2254 fax (973) 720-2189

Chair: Ian Marshall

Assistant Chair: Phoebe Jackson

Secretary: Kim Heisler