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English Department
First Floor, Wendell Phillips Center
Amy Smith
Department Chair
College of the Pacific

Career Paths

works of Edgar Allen Poe, Ibsen, Longfellow, and Hugo

A major in English provides you with both the analytical and the communications skills you need to excel in virtually any profession. English majors learn:

  • Creative problem solving
  • Facility with the careful use of language, including close reading of complex material and the artful crafting of rhetoric
  • The ability to handle complex and subtle rhetorical situations in a number of employment contexts

These skills are increasingly in demand for most professions in the global business environment of the 21st century, yet they are often neglected in a strictly training-based professional education.

Upon graduation, English majors succeed in satisfying careers in business, research organizations, educational settings, publishing companies, financial institutions, and in the cultural, entertainment, communications and health care industries. What can you do with a major in English? Anything you want! (Source)


Really! A sample of our records of over 600 University of the Pacific alumni who have graduated with a major in English over the past 30 years show they have held or now hold the following jobs:

  • Architect
  • Attorney
  • Bank Officer
  • Business Executive
  • Business Owner
  • College Professor
  • Copy Writer
  • Editor
  • Filmmaker
  • Financial Analyst
  • Free-lance Writer
  • High School Teacher
  • Journalist
  • Novelist
  • Photographer
  • Physician
  • Psychologist
  • Screen Writer
  • Software Designer
  • Songwriter
  • Theater Director

What if I want to go to law school?

The study of writing and literature gives students excellent training in the thinking processes used by lawyers and paralegals: critical thinking, logical reasoning and effective writing, according to The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools.

Study of literature as an undergraduate is particularly helpful for law-school prospectives, since literary critics "read" literary texts in the same way that lawyers "read" legal texts.

This is what makes the English major such a common and successful path into law school. (Source)