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San Diego State University
Department of English and Comparative Literature

Why Major in English?

Being an English major teaches you to think critically, to read analytically, and to express yourself persuasively in writing and speech—skills essential to a number of careers. All employers look for the ability to think critically and communicate effectively.

English majors go on to work in law, publishing, digital technologies and commerce, screenwriting, business, education, politics, arts, and medicine.  

87% of SDSU English majors say that they have learned to read more perceptively and think more sharply, skills that apply to decision making and problem solving in the real world.

Read more about why you should major in English here:

CNN says English prepares you for a business career better than a business degree.

Business Insider presents “16 Wildly Successful People” with English degrees, from Steven Spielberg to Mitt Romney.

35 careers your English major prepares you to pursue—including jobs in digital content development and commerce.

Need more career ideas?  Check out 10 careers English majors can take on after graduation.

Fame! Fortune! Meet English majors who have gone on to big things, read 5 Surprising Celebrities with English Degrees and Famous English Majors.

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Why get a MA degree in English?



Learn more about our graduate program



News and Success

  • Exciting new course for Fall 2014! Dr. Jessica Pressman will be offering a brand-new course in Critical Digital Literacy this fall (ENGL 563, sec. 3). The class pursues digital literacy as a concept and a practice, a topic and a skill-set, and it is designed to foster critical thinking about 21st-century digital culture and its place in media history. This is a fantastic opportunity to work in digital culture and content with one of the leading-edge scholars in the discipline.

  • Hal Jaffe's Induced Coma has just been published by Anti-Oedipus Press. As noted in the publisher's description, this book "once again features Harold Jaffe writing to the Nth power, taking as his subject no less than the benighted globe... Induced Coma is a singular tour de force composed by one of the most innovative writers of our generation."

  • Alida Allison has been named this year's recipient of the Faculty and Staff Excellence Award from the President's Leadership Fund. In recognition of her stellar contributions to SDSU, she will receive an award of $5,000. Tremendous congratulations to Alida!

  • Bill Nericcio has been selected as the recipient of the 2013-2014 Teaching Excellence Award for Tenured Faculty in the College of Arts and Letters. Congratulations, Bill, on this well-deserved honor!

View all of the faculty and student achievements»