Department of English Language and Literatures


How can one begin to make sense of the world we now live in, with all its challenges and complexities? And what kinds of lifelong skills and tools will help one to thrive best as a thoughtful, engaged, and effective citizen in these times? The English department at Wright State University offers programs which can prepare you for a range of specific career paths, whether you choose law, medicine, business, language arts education, administration, technical and professional writing, creative writing, teaching English as a second language, or a graduate degree in English. But we in the English department also believe that all of our programs will help you to develop a more general skill set, one that will help you to excel in practically every field of life.

First and foremost, all our programs will in their different ways help you to sharpen your analytical skills and aptitudes, making you a more sensitive and effective interpreter and user of the English language while exposing you to a variety of literary, non-literary, and digital texts. Second, they will help you to expand your capacity to digest and process complex bodies of information, as a reader, a listener, and a writer. Third, and perhaps most important, they will help you to refine your capacity for critical thought and reflection, in your personal, your professional, and your civic life. To live as a thoughtful citizen in these current times requires us to confront some extremely challenging questions. Why is it that in this ever more “connected” world of ours people seem to feel lonelier, more isolated, and more suspicious of those unlike themselves? Why is it that in our current way of life, which claims to be founded on the equality of all persons, inequalities between individuals, communities, and nations seem only to be growing? How should we balance our apparent need for perpetual economic growth with our more basic need for a healthy, sustainable, biodiverse planet? We in the English department believe passionately in the mission of English and other humanities fields to nurture critical thinkers, people who do not automatically accept the status quo, people who can reflect thoughtfully and productively on the kinds of human questions which science alone can never solve.

So if you are thinking about Wright State and are curious about English, I invite you to visit us, to sit in on a class, or talk with a faculty advisor so you can learn how an English major will prepare you to contribute to our world. For us, each student counts.

Alpana Sharma
Chair, Department of English Language and Literatures

Degrees and Programs

The English major provides a balanced program of introductory and advanced work in English and American literature, world literature in English, English language and linguistics, and professional and creative writing. A humanistic discipline, English is challenging and enriching in itself, helping you develop skills and methods of thought that employers value. An English major or minor is excellent preparation for students entering professional schools—including medical school!—or planning careers in public, private or non-profit sectors.

All undergraduate English majors begin with a core foundation in literary and language or rhetoric studies, giving solid footing to their chosen concentrations in literature, technical and professional writing, creative writing, TESOL or Language Arts Education. Study Abroad opportunities are available every year.

Three graduate concentrations lead to the Master of Arts in English: Literature, Rhetoric and Writing, and TESOL. Competitive Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Tuition Scholarships are available.

Students in other majors can enhance their Wright State degree and strengthen their marketability with an undergraduate minor or a graduate or undergraduate certificate in literature, creative writing, professional and technical writing, TEFL or TESOL.

Put your English Degree to work

Got a Wright State Math Placement of 5 (ACT Math 27; SAT Math 620)? Increase your earning power with a Dual Degree in Computer Science and English or with one of the Pre-Med Options: literature or professional writing. (Students with MPL of 4 will need one additional Math prerequisite). Or combine your  English major with a minor in Business or Urban Affairs, or a certificate in Non-profit Administration. Wright State offers dozens of other minors and certificates. See your advisor.

Program Contacts

Chair: Alpana Sharma
Director of Writing Programs: Ashley Hall
Director of Graduate Studies: Kelli Zaytoun
ESL Coordinator: Robert E. Rubin


Take the Next Step

Finding the right college means finding the right fit. See all that the College of Liberal Arts has to offer by visiting campus.