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Dr. Kathryn Voorhees
Department Chair
Email: voorhees@wju.edu
Phone: 1-304-243-2334


Facts about English


English majors think critically, a skill valued by employers in all fields. You'll be able to analyze materials and situations and then communicate your findings effectively, either verbally or in writing. If you're weighing options, here is what a recent student said about her decision to major in English at Wheeling Jesuit:

"The decision to be an English major at WJU was one of the wisest of my academic career. The English program here gives students many unique opportunities. We have the chance to express ourselves and our opinions (no matter how unorthodox) on a daily basis. We have professors who truly care about our education and our lives. Classes are always entertaining, and the professors make us think about things in ways we may not have thought before. I would recommend the department's programs to any students looking for an opportunity to expand their horizons and learn new ways to think about literature and the world, to communicate in today's society, or to express themselves with greater passion or clarity. While many people may ask, 'What would you do with a BA in English?' the answers are a lot more diverse than one may think at first, especially if the degree is from this program."

Why Choose Wheeling Jesuit University?

Wheeling Jesuit's English program offers you a solid foundation in the study of literature - by genres, period studies, canonical works, and authors. The program is committed to diversity and inclusion and reinforces that commitment by helping you find your place within the larger community by examining global values through literature. You'll have multiple avenues to pursue your own research interests, including a senior thesis capstone project and presentations at Wheeling Jesuit's Undergraduate Research Day and at the annual West Virginia Undergraduate Literature Symposium, where our majors routinely win one or more of the top prizes in this state-wide competition.

Your studies will be interconnected with programs in Communications, Creative Writing, and the Fine Arts (art, music, theater, and film) via overlapping course requirements where you will have opportunities to learn and refine very specific skills, gain practical experience, and enhance your understanding of how your language and critical thinking skills will work in the real world beyond academics. You might also select an internship or capstone experience that relates to your specific career goals.

As an English major or minor, you'll also have the opportunity to be engaged in campus publications (Jewelweed, The Cardinal Connection), Academic Resource Center tutoring, campus theater productions, campus radio/TV, Sigma Tau Delta (the International English Honor Society), and the department's annual trip to the Stratford (Ontario) Shakespeare Festival.

What can you do with a degree in English?

There is no specific "next step" when you have a bachelor's degree in English, which is one of the glories of the program. Your next step genuinely depends on your own career goals. Graduates have gone on to become copy editors, journalists, lawyers, secondary school teachers, script writers, community activists, clergy, theater managers, speech language pathologists, university research librarians, and even college presidents. One graduate even became a circus clown!

Our graduates are also well-prepared for graduate school, often attaining the Ph.D. in Literature. Our graduates attend prestigious universities across the country, such as Carnegie-Mellon, Boston University, Villanova, Georgetown, The Ohio State University, and the UCLA Graduate Film School.

An English degree from Wheeling Jesuit University offers you a challenging, enjoyable university experience as well as a step stone to a fulfilling, exciting future. Come join us!



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