English Major

Popular Electives

  • Advanced Creative Nonfiction
  • The Black British Short Story
  • Black Ecopoetics
  • Elegy and the Environment
  • Introduction to Film Studies
  • Native American Literature
  • The Queer Nineteenth Century
  • Representations of Disability
  • Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare and Kurosawa
  • Travel Writing

Hands-on Experiences

Recent Internships

Alumni Spotlight

Alanna Smith '12

Major: English (Creative Writing)

Minor: Studio Art

Career: Associate Editor at Marvel Comics

“I'm editing Avengers books, which is the coolest job ever. I'm using a lot of skills I learned from The Lamron and in my English and art classes, as well as skills I picked up from all my internships. I get to critique scripts, check art for readability and mistakes, and chat with and manage a bunch of awesome comic creators.”

English Major

Why study English at Geneseo?

Widely honored for its teaching excellence, the English department believes students flourish when given the freedom to pursue their own passions. The English major is short on rigid requirements and long on dynamism and variety. Whatever a student’s interests—from classical authors to contemporary social issues, from crafting poems to developing skills in digital humanities—they’ll find a host of great options.

Students learn critical thinking and how to write clearly and compellingly as well as how to self-diagnose their writing and revise effectively toward specific goals. They are exposed to a wide range of literary production and literary history with special attention to context, genre, interpretation and identity. The major foregrounds social justice and responsible citizenship, with regularly offered classes on race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ authors, disability studies, and global literatures. Creative writing students learn how to write and revise fiction, nonfiction, and poetry manuscripts, and education students get introduced to a broad range of literary traditions, forms, and periods. Finally, because Geneseo is home to the SUNY-wide literary magazine Gandy Dancer, majors in both tracks can take a class that teaches them the basics of literary publishing.


Program Options

Additional Options

Program Highlights

  • Award-winning faculty (SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor)
  • Gandy Dancer, SUNY’s undergraduate literary magazine, edited and produced by Geneseo students
  • Opportunities for community, leadership, and national conference presentations through English honor society Sigma Tau Delta
  • Award-winning English majors (Richard Roark Award—the highest honor given annually a student who combines excellence in academics with a commitment to community service—has gone to an English major seven of the past 11 years)

Example Careers

  • English Educator
  • Government Administrator
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Publisher
  • Screenwriter
  • Technical Writer

Recent Grad Schools

  • Boston College
  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Durham University, England
  • Emory University
  • Harvard University
  • Iowa Writers’ Workshop
  • Rutgers University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • University of St. Andrews, Scotland

Contact Info

Alice Rutkowski, Department Chair
Welles Hall 222A

English Department

English Faculty

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