At Stony Brook, the English Department offers students training in the foundational skills of reading, analysis, writing, public speaking and research. Our faculty members are award-winning teachers and scholars who offer an array of exciting courses in topics such as World Literature, Global Film Traditions, Migrant America, and The Problem of Evil, just to name a few. Students learn to read texts closely, to write focused and convincing essays, to locate, evaluate, and synthesize information, and to communicate complex information clearly. At the undergraduate level, we offer a minor, major, combined BA/MA, and teacher certification program. Advanced students can pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, M.A. or uniquely flexible and interdisciplinary Ph.D.
Students who have received their B.A. from the English department at Stony Brook have gone on to pursue careers in business, law, journalism, education, medicine, and academic and governmental administration, among other fields. We encourage our undergraduate students to pursue internships (for credit) in order to gain practical experience while exploring the wide range of careers in which they may wish to apply their skills after graduation. Many of our students, including those who participate in the English Honors Program, work closely with faculty mentors to pursue independent research projects, which have led to student publications and conference presentations.
The outstanding English Teacher Education Program attracts some of the strongest of our majors. Our teacher certification candidates perform particularly well on the edTPA, the assessment for New York State teacher certification, with all students earning scores well above the national mean and most earning "mastery" level. They experience a wide range of diverse field experiences because of the proximity of our program to NYC schools as well as through relationships built with local school districts.
In addition to obtaining substantial non-economic benefits, graduates with an M.A. in English earn more money per year and over a lifetime than do those with bachelor's degrees alone. Masters students develop clear writing, high-level reading skills, and imaginative thinking—transferable skills sought by employers in a range of fields. Many of our M.A. students who want to pursue a career in academia go on to distinguished doctoral programs. And at Stony Brook, the doctoral program offers students not only deep training in literary and cultural studies but the option to pursue additional certificates in the Teaching of Writing, Women’s and Gender Studies, or Cultural Studies, among others. We are proud to say that our doctoral students hold tenure-track and tenured positions from New York to Idaho to Pennsylvania to South Carolina.