Hone your writing skills while deepening your appreciation of literature. Through discussion and close personal attention, you’ll develop analytical, critical reasoning, and communication skills highly sought after by employers in many fields. These skills will also provide you with an excellent foundation for graduate study.
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Arts
Available on the Augusta and Bangor campuses
UMA’s Bachelor of Arts in English is a liberal arts program designed to deepen your understanding and appreciation of literature.
In small classes, you will enjoy vibrant discussion, personal attention, and close working relationships with the English faculty, a community of scholars and writers dedicated to teaching. Special areas of study include British and American literature and culture, women’s studies, postcolonial and francophone studies, and creative and technical writing.
In the process of reading, writing about, and discussing great works, you will develop the skills of analysis, collaboration, critical reasoning, and written and oral communication. These are skills many employers now prefer to specific career preparation, especially with the growing global market and the rise of the internet. Moreover, these tools prepare you to be a conversant citizen of the world, and a connoisseur of literature.
The skills you will gain provide an outstanding foundation for graduate study or professional careers in teaching, journalism, publishing, and professional writing, as well as administration, business, government, and social services.
Why study literature and writing at UMA?
Learning to read and write critically is excellent training for learning to read and write anything critically. This includes newspapers and periodicals, web sites, political speeches, advertisements, corporate and business publications, and so on. In addition, the skills that you develop working with the written word transfer to non-textual works as well. If you can analyze a play or create a poem, for example, you can analyze or create a film, a television show, a music video, a concert or theater performance, a work of art, a graphic novel, an interactive web site. Learning to read and write in these very broad senses are basic life skills, applicable to virtually any college discipline or career.
Beyond that, literature (both reading it and creating it) pays great rewards in its own right. Careful, diligent, and committed students of literature live their lives broadly. Your education will provide multiple perspectives by placing you outside your own realm of experience. This is precisely what imaginative literature does. In walking in somebody else’s shoes for the duration of a poem, story, or play you will return to your own life with a larger experience of the world.
Our English majors have opportunities to present original scholarly work at our Annual Undergraduate English Conference each spring, as well as share creative work at our Plunkett Festival.
Careers You Can Seek
Our B.A. degree in English can serve as a foundation for many diverse career paths. The selected list below offers a few options that may be available to you.
Market research analysis
Special events marketer
Human resources manager
Web content developer/writer
Literacy volunteer coordinator
Adult Education Director*
* Graduate-level study is generally required for these occupations.
Skills You’ll Acquire
English majors develop a wide variety of skills that are applicable to literally any field of study or career path, and many employers seek English majors for this very reason. In particular, English majors also excel at understanding, evaluating, and synthesizing various points of view, a must in a global, multicultural world.
Persuading and arguing
Giving directions and explaining processes
Analyzing and evaluating
Developing a sense of appropriate purpose, voice, and audience
Proofreading for clarity and consistency
Using grammar with proficiency
Defining a problem, issue, or topic
Finding and using resources
Synthesizing information from various sources
Evaluating and incorporating the work of others
Synthesizing sources into a coherent whole
Developing and testing hypotheses
Analyzing different points of view
Relating to people from different backgrounds and cultures
Immersing oneself in different and various time periods
Interpreting and evaluating the beliefs of others
Understanding audiences and anticipating their expectations
Developing a sense of authorial voice and purpose
Reading and reviewing each others’ work
Discussing various points of view and interpretation
Defending one’s own position
The English faculty delivering the Bachelor of Arts in English degree at the University of Maine at Augusta is committed to the development and enhancement of our students’ skills, abilities, and competencies and anticipates the following outcomes:
- think critically about oral, written, and visual texts
- write well developed expository, persuasive, and critical essays
- design documents to meet the needs of readers
- edit documents effectively
- understand and evaluate the rhetorical strategies writers use to achieve their purposes
- understand the components of poetry, fictions, and drama
- have knowledge of works from different periods and genres within the evolving canon of English language texts, including but not limited to texts of women, ethnic and racial minorities, Anglophone authors, and lesbian and gay authors
- understand the historical contexts of literature
- read, discuss, analyze and write about Shakespeare competently
- students understand various critical and theoretical approaches to texts
- able to synthesize knowledge and practice through performances, presentations, projects, essays and research papers
- able to locate, evaluate and properly cite primary source material, literary criticism, theory, and other scholarly texts