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English Majors

Information for English Majors

Becoming an English major doesn't mean a lifetime of waiting tables or performing other low-wage jobs. While "English" doesn't define an obvious career objective, like psychology, engineering, nursing, or automotive technology, it does open a variety of doors in the obvious career fields--teaching, writing ad copy, editing for publishers. But it also provides the foundation for other high-skilled professions, often serving as the first step to law school, medical school, business degrees, and diverse fields such as architecture, social services, and communications.


How do you ensure that you'll have the skills for successful transfer to a four-year university and a variety of career options?

First, develop those foundational writing skills in English 15, English 20, and/or English 52, depending on the results of your placement test. These courses will prepare you to succeed in English 100, Freshman Writing, the course required for A.A. degrees, most professional certificates, and transfer to a four-year university. Expand upon those writing skills in English102, Writing About Literature. Then sharpen your writing and analysis skills. English 103, Critical /Argumentative Writing, will help you to become an analytical thinker and a persuasive writer. English 101, Critical/Argumentative Writing About Literature, is an alternative that combines the skills of English 102 and 103.

Second, broaden your knowledge. Take literature survey courses to gain a sense of the scope of human thought and artistic expression. Cerritos College's survey courses include:

English 221A and English 221B: Literature in the Bible

English 230A and 230B: American Literature Survey

English 246A and 246B: English Literature Survey

English 248A and 248B: Masterpieces of World Literature

Third, sharpen your creative thinking and writing skills in one of the department's advanced writing courses:

English 240: Creative Writing

English 241: Screenwriting

Fourth, focus your knowledge in 200-level literature courses. While these courses aren't always required for transfer, they meet humanities requirements while they provide essential knowledge and analytical practice that will serve you well at a four-year university and in your career goals. Take as many 200-level electives as possible to diversify your skills:

English 222: Children's Literature

English 223: Chicano/a Literature

English 224: Native American Literature

English 226: African American Literature

English 227: Current Literature

English 228: Shakespeare's Plays

English 232: Readings in Poetry

English 233: Readings in the Novel

English 234: Readings in Short Fiction

English 235: Readings in the Drama

English 236: Studies in Women's Literature

English 245: World Mythology as Literature

As they say in the financial sector, diversify your portfolio--or in this case, your transcripts. The more you know about specific literary genres and the more awareness you have about the issues and experiences of people of a variety of cultural backgrounds, the better your ability to draw on inspiration for your own creative and professional endeavors.


Professional Organizations for English Majors:

Modern Language Association (MLA)

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

American Association of Advertising Agencies

Association for Women in Communications

Public Relations Society of America

American Society of Journalists and Authors

Society for Technical Communication

Society of Professional Journalists

Writers Guild of America, West

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Last Update: 7/15/2019