• GU Possibilities
    • Students can select specific programs in English appropriate to their professional goals.
    • Outstanding and motivated students can earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English in only five years.
    • Students have the opportunity to contribute to Gannon-produced publications, like the Totem our literary magazine, that have achieved national recognition.
    • Graduates go on to exciting and successful careers ranging from education and the law to business, journalism and environmental activism.
    • Faculty include Erie County’s first Poet Laureate, the editor of the Merton Seasonal and authors of textbooks, scholarly articles and creative work.
    • An English major is perfect for students looking to make themselves marketable in tough economic times.

    You Will Learn

    The English major prepares students to write, study literature and analyze language while providing a path to use these skills in the working world. The program offers four advising tracks for students with different professional interests: secondary education, law, professional writing and literature. An accelerated program allows outstanding students to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English in only five years. Students work as writers and editors for award-winning publications: Totem, Gannon’s literary magazine, and The Gannon Knight, the campus newspaper. In classes, students write for the GreenEriePA website or other venues that provide real-world applications in a variety of media. Creative writers have the opportunity to meet and attend workshops with nationally recognized poets. The English honors society, Sigma Tau Delta, offers community and the opportunity to sponsor poetry readings, service activities and other events relevant to the field of English.

    The English department offers four curricular tracks to help students tailor the major to fit their interests and professional goals.

    Professional Writing Track: For students aspiring to writing careers of various types (e.g., corporate communications, marketing or public relations, magazine or news writing)

    Literary Studies Track: For students preparing for graduate school in English literature or a related discipline or seeking careers demanding strong liberal arts preparation

    Secondary Education in English Track: For students interested in teaching English at the high school level

    Legal Career Track: For students preparing to attend law school or wanting to pursue another law-related career (e.g., paralegal)

    You Will Experience

    All English majors participate in an internship experience to prepare them for the working world. English majors have broad opportunities for internships within walking distance or a short drive of Gannon’s campus. Internship options include:

    • Fortune 500 companies: Erie Insurance, GE Transportation  
    • local broadcast affiliates of national networks: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, and NPR  
    • local radio stations, with formats including: country, contemporary hits, mainstream rock and top 40  
    • health care: Erie VA Medical Center, UPMC Hamot, Saint Vincent Hospital  
    • nonprofit organizations  
    • local news publications  

    You Will Achieve

    When prospective employers are asked about which skills are critical to the success of their workforce, they most often cite communication skills, writing ability and the capacity to form, interpret and share complex ideas. English graduates excel in these areas and they use these skills in a variety of occupations in the public and private sectors. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • arts administration  
    • broadcast production  
    • development and philanthropy  
    • marketing  
    • media  
    • teaching English abroad  

    You will Study

    English majors acquire the scholarly focus, broad preparation and intellectual awareness that form the basis of an intensive liberal arts education. Students in this major study English, American and world literature, and write in multiple genres for different audiences. English majors take various core and elective courses including:

    ENGL 210: Creative Writing

    This course provides an introduction to writing both fiction and poetry.

    ENGL 371: Mass Media and Popular Culture

    This course covers the history, organization and management of mass media. It also covers the concepts and theories of popular culture and mass media, including advertising and public relations, as well as news organizations. It examines critical approaches to newspapers, magazines and broadcast and online media as sources of information and entertainment. Among its focuses are the ethical and legal issues faced by news organizations.

    ENGL 389: Methods of Teaching English

    This course is specific to the English education major and includes methods of teaching literature, writing, critical reading and grammar in the classroom.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization. English majors work in a variety of jobs and industries.  

    • high school teachers: $55,100
    • journalists: $38,100
    • technical writer: $57,900

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) and/or PayScale (payscale.com).