The English major is ideal for students with a passion for the written word. English majors graduate with a degree that’s professional, competitive and creative, giving students an extra boost in the job market.
The combination of critical problem solving and soft-touch people skills you gain with an English degree are in high demand by employers who need flexible and creative workers, no matter what the industry. English majors find jobs as writers, editors, managers, arts administrators, web designers, public relations specialists, lawyers, Congressional staffers, teachers, librarians, and heads of non-profit organizations. An English degree and the skills that go with it are ranked near the top for successful entry into graduate programs, law school, medical school, and fine arts programs.
The English major offers various opportunities to gain experience in real-world environments through job shadowing and internships with local companies. English majors have gained hands-on experience at area law firms; local news station KGAN; Iowa’s second largest newspaper, The Cedar Rapids Gazette; Brucemore Historical Site; United Way of East Central Iowa; Alzheimer’s Society of Cedar Rapids; the National Czech and Slovak Museum; the African American Museum of Iowa; and the Academy for Television Arts and Sciences in Hollywood.
English majors also gain real-world experience via service learning. They design and facilitate Book Club discussions with inmates at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Mount Mercy English majors also provide written feedback and mentoring to high school juniors who enter the university’s annual Creative Writing Contest. English majors publish their writing in The Paha Review, Mount Mercy's literary magazine, and the Mount Mercy Times, the university newspaper.
English majors also present their literary criticism, fiction, poetry, and personal essays at the university’s annual Scholarship Festival. As seniors, English majors complete scholarly essays on literary topics of their choices. Topics have ranged from Jane Austen to Spiderman, Shakespeare to Harry Potter. Some English majors also participate in the university's Pathways to Scholarship project, conducting research one-on-one with faculty members. Such research has resulted in conference papers and poetry writing workshops at a nearby correctional facility.
Studying English allows students many opportunities to study abroad and gain a global perspective of literary arts. The English program offers travel courses to England and Ireland. These options allow once-in-lifetime opportunities to walk in the footsteps of authors, to see the world and to experience different cultures. The English degree program easily accommodates semesters abroad. English grads have studied in the Czech Republic, England and Italy.
The English Club provides opportunities for majors and other literature lovers to socialize outside the classroom. Through English Club students develop leadership skills, participate in service activities, help host visiting writers and attend cultural events.