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  • Bachelor of Arts Major
  • Minor
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

Students are offered the opportunity to specialize in goal-oriented tracks within the major leading to 95% of our graduates entering the workforce or graduate school within a year of graduation.

  • 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 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, the author of recent articles on contemporary novelist David Foster Wallace, and the author of a new book on Shakespeare.
    • The English major is versatile and allows for career flexibility.

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

    • 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)
    • 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 All tracks cultivate the student's ability to write in a variety of genres for different audiences and purposes.

    The Department also offers students a variety of internships, and a 3-3 program in legal studies with Duquesne University, and features student-run publications such as the Totem (an award-winning literary magazine). Whether they seek careers in education, publishing, journalism, media, public relations, government, business, industry or law, Gannon English Majors acquire the scholarly focus, broad preparation and intellectual awareness that form the basis of an intensive liberal arts education. Students in all tracks are required to complete an internship as part of their academic program.

    Minor in English

    A minor in English will consist of 15 hours beyond the first year writing courses, LENG 111 and LENG 112. Student may elect to include a course from the LENG 240/250 series, but 12 credits must be from courses designated ENGL.

    This is a wonderful complement to many majors in both Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and humanities fields. An minor in English provides an opportunity to hone essential academic and professional skills, including critical analysis and writing.

    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

    Students will be prepared to enter into both academic and professional careers. Our graduates are employed by Fortune 500 companies, research institutions, corporations, non-profit organizations.

    Achieving the Bachelor of Arts degree in English provides the foundation for professional careers and preparation for graduate-level study in some of the best institutions in the country.

    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:

    • graduate studies
    • website content writer
    • human resources
    • arts administration
    • radio and television broadcast production
    • grant writing and non-profit
    • marketing and communication
    • journalism
    • teaching English abroad.

    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
    • organizational communication specialist: $58,000
    • social media coordinator: $41,000
    • content developer: $54,000 

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (  

    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    English program offers students a wide range of experiences in the classroom and in the community. Here are some examples of courses that might be taken for a Major or a Minor in English:

    ENGL 210 Creative Writing

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

    ENGL 212 Business and Professional Communications

    A detailed study of the various methods of communication used in the professions, business, and industry, for audiences both within and outside the organization.

    ENGL 356 Writing for Social Change

    Writing for Social Change is a community-based/service-learning, advanced writing course through which students explore and engage in the act of writing for social change/justice. Students will analyze and compose texts, in a variety of genres/modalities, which function rhetorically to advance causes for social change and social justice.

    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.