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Choosing English

RRP Poetry Blackboard: "Imagination / Sublime"An English degree prepares students to be careful and passionate readers, critical and creative thinkers, and highly effective researchers and communicators. Students are encouraged to ask their own questions, to become conscious of their own assumptions, and to take responsibility for their acts of interpretation and expression. The degree prepares students to live in a complex world and to become agents of change in their personal, professional and communal lives.

But don’t take our word for it! Major companies and news outlets agree that there are many reasons to choose a major, minor, or advanced degree in English:

Careers and opportunities

What can you do with an English major? The short answer is: anything you want! Explore what you can do and see what other recent graduates have done here!

Explore the many career avenues from our career center here. And read more about some of our English alumni's careers in higher education, editing, finance, law and consumer technology in Alumni Careers and Pathways.

You can also visit the Career Center for a one-on-one chat with an advisor. Or check out Handshake below for current jobs and positions seeking graduates with an English major.

Pre-Med? Consider English! 

Our major features courses where, through what might be described as an immersion experience in literature, you will learn to cultivate your imagination and subsequently use it as a resource to help you understand the plight of the individual you might not otherwise have encountered in life, but who as a physician you are guaranteed to encounter.

Our courses emphasize active engagement with the unfamiliar “other,” as depicted in fiction, film, the digital humanities, the media arts, and in other forms of narrative. New courses include “Literature, Medicine, and Ethics” and “What is Public Health? A Humanities Approach.”

Click Here to Learn More!


The English Department at Stony Brook combines the high academic standards of a major research university with the intimacy of a liberal arts college. In small classes (undergraduate courses average 23-40 students) students have the opportunity to interact closely with faculty who are active scholars and writers.

Students can choose among courses that range from ancient epic to contemporary global literature, and they can explore a wide range of themes, including gender studies; poetry and poetics; post-colonialism and immigration; disability studies; humanities and the environment; affect and memory; the relation of literature and science as well as of literature and art, music, and film.

A degree in English from Stony Brook provides the foundation for success in many fields. Our graduates have pursued careers as lawyers, authors, teachers, doctors, social workers, professors, television writers, computer coders, business CEOs, advertising and public relations executives, publishers, librarians, restaurant owners, and district attorneys.