Have you ever stayed up way past your bedtime because you couldn't put down the latest book you were reading? Do you have journals and notebooks filled with poems or stories or screenplays that you’ve written (and rewritten) through the years? Do you dream about being a writer, a journalist, an English teacher, or anything that lets you share your love of words with the world? If so, let's talk about an English degree as the next step toward your future career.

What will I learn?

Medieval Literature. Writing About the Environment. Irish Modernism. Bible As Literature. These are just a few of the courses we’ve offered recently. As an English major, you'll typically take classes in criticism, theory and different types of fictional and non-fictional texts. You might read Chaucer in one class, write about modern film theory in another, and study African American literature in another, gaining insights from history, law and other fields along the way. Most of all, you’ll learn to produce compelling, persuasive, and sophisticated writing. And if you're interested in professional and technical writing, creative writing or journalism, check out our specific programs and classes in those fields.

What can I do outside of class?

It's a long list, so let's jump right in!

  • Readings and lectures. Meet famous authors, speakers, poets and filmmakers.
  • Student groups and publications. Join the English club and participate in its annual conference. You can also gain publishing and editorial experience by helping to produce a literary magazine.
  • Study abroad: Experience other cultures firsthand by traveling to nearly anywhere in the world, including where Shakespeare lived.
  • Internships: UB students have interned at newspapers, national magazines and nonprofit organizations.
  • Research. From analyzing Whitman’s works to studying Italian horror films, our students have worked on fascinating research projects.
  • Explore Buffalo. Film seminars, poetry slams and other events let you meet readers and writers throughout the region.
Student Clubs
Study Abroad

What can I do with an English degree?

UB English grads have won Pulitzer Prizes, edited "National Geographic," written a "New York Times" bestseller and served as chief speechwriter for the governor of New York State. With an English degree, you can work in many different fields, including:

  • Advertising.
  • Education.
  • Film.
  • Law.
  • Libraries.
  • Magazines.
  • Newspapers.
  • Public relations.
  • Publishing.
  • Radio.
  • Social media.
  • TV.

If you want to be a writer or editor, English is the perfect major for you. But even if you're not sure about your next steps, an English degree will set you apart throughout your career. Why? Because it teaches you how to write persuasively and concisely, how to interpret and present information, and how to think critically about complex problems.

Want to be a teacher?

Be prepared to teach grades 5-12 by getting your bachelor's and master's in just five years through our UB Teach program.

  • Save time and money.
  • No need to apply to graduate school.
  • Be eligible for New York State professional teaching certification.

Visit the department website (at the top of this page) for more details, or see the UB Teach website for a list of all available majors.

Who will I learn from?

Welcome to one of the top-ranked English departments in the U.S., thanks in large part to our exceptional faculty. Their teaching awards through the years would fill the page, so we’ll just name a few, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Meyerson Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award.

When they're not in the classroom, our faculty members are leading the way as researchers and scholars, publishing their work on gender and sexuality studies, African American literature, mythology and countless other topics. English department faculty members have earned awards for their writing, including a "Best of the Best" book award and BBC Radio "Book of the Week," as well as prizes for non-fiction, theater biography, translation and composition theory. And they've been recognized for their scholarship, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim Fellowships and scores of other national and international honors.