Through the careful analysis of diverse, multicultural literature and film, Siena English majors develop the skills most-prized by employers: the ability to think critically, to communicate ideas clearly to various readers and audiences, and to engage in dialogue and collaborative problem-solving techniques.

Why study English?

As an English major, you will develop important, lifelong skills that will serve you well in any career—skills including critical thinking, effective communication, and research. You will better understand the human experience through diverse perspectives. You will learn to engage in respectful discussion and debate about historical, social, theoretical, and ethical concerns. In the process, you will sharpen your language and writing skills and expand your imagination and creativity.

English at Siena

Our students choose from a diverse range of courses in literature, film, criticism, writing, and rhetoric, as well as special topics Honors seminars. English majors write for the college newspaper, the yearbook, and Siena’s Pendragon literary magazine. They study abroad, pursue internships at PR and marketing firms, newsrooms, and businesses, and our English Education majors fulfill their student teaching requirements at area schools. Each year, our best majors are inducted into Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society. All our English graduates are versatile, well rounded, and well prepared for civic and intellectual life beyond Siena.

Careers for English majors

Our English majors often go on to careers in education or journalism, but many also pursue successful careers in business, law, medicine, public service, theater, and counseling. Some of our majors pursue graduate programs in English or writing. When you graduate with an English degree, you are prepared for any career that requires strong communication, effective collaboration, critical evaluation, and the ability to write clearly.

Program Highlights:

  • Small class sizes
  • Student-centered approach
  • Combines students’ desire for knowledge and self-understanding
  • Discussion based courses
  • Focus on the development of critical thinking skills
  • Collaborative spirit
  • Fosters connections to a broader, more diverse world

Requirements for the Major (39 credits)

  • ENGL011 - Literary Perspectives 3 credits


  • ENGL090 - Honors-Great Books 3 credits


  • ENGL200 - Survey of English Literature I 3 credits
  • ENGL205 - Survey of English Lit II 3 credits
  • ENGL213 - Survey of American Literature 3 credits

English majors must also complete one course from each of the following areas. Please note that although ENGL 240, 300, 205, 320, 325, 320 and 345 have two attributes, when these are taken they only count in one area.

Period course in British or Irish Literature (LTIB) (3 credits) choose from:

  • ENGL240 - Shakespeare 3 credits
  • ENGL300 - Chaucer 3 credits
  • ENGL305 - Elizabethan Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL310 - English Renaissance Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL315 - Lit of the Enlightenment 3 credits
  • ENGL320 - Romantic Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL325 - Victorian Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL330 - Modern British Writers 3 credits
  • ENGL335 - Irish Literary Revival 3 credits
  • ENGL340 - Contemporary Irish Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL342 - Contemporary British Culture 3 credits
  • ENGL365 - Cold War Literature & Culture 3 credits
  • ENGL368 - Lit of the War in Vietnam 3 credits
  • ENGL370 - African American Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL372 - Native American Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL374 - Asian - American Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL376 - Latinola Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL378 - Contemporary American Lit 3 credits

British or American Literature prior to 1820 (LTBA) course (3 credits) choose from:

  • ENGL240 - Shakespeare 3 credits
  • ENGL300 - Chaucer 3 credits
  • ENGL305 - Elizabethan Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL310 - English Renaissance Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL315 - Lit of the Enlightenment 3 credits
  • ENGL320 - Romantic Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL345 - Early Amer Lit 1500 1820 3 credits

Special Topics (LTTP) course (3 credits) choose from:

  • ENGL210 - Women in Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL215 - Sexuality in Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL220 - Literature and the Environment 3 credits
  • ENGL222 - Reading Film 3 credits
  • ENGL225 - The Comic Spirit in Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL235 - Science Fiction 3 credits
  • ENGL236 - Adolescent Literature 3 credits
  • ENGL285 - Topics in English 3 credits

English Electives (15 credits)

Auxiliary courses (6 credits)

Two semesters in the same foreign language including American Sign Language (6 credits)

Success Stats

  • For the Class of 2013, 91% are employed or in graduate school
  • One in three students study abroad
  • 40% receive a master’s, doctorate or professional degree
  • The freshman retention rate is 92%
  • One in five students participate in an independent study or research project
  • 58% participate in internships

Skills Developed

  • Critical thinking
  • Written and oral communication
  • Collaborative problem-solving
  • Facility for addressing diverse, multicultural, and theoretically complex topics and concerns
  • Capacity for dialogue, peer-to-peer, and small-group engagement
  • Lifelong passion for reading and new learning

Employers of our Graduates

  • Albany Medical Center
  • ESPN Federal Judiciary
  • Fidelity Investments
  • GE
  • InStyle Magazine
  • J. Crew
  • New York City Department of Education
  • Peace Corps
  • Pearson Education
  • PepsiCo
  • The New York Post
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Verizon
  • Univision

Internship Sites

  • Cengage Learning
  • College Fashionista
  • Events With Style
  • Her Campus
  • New York State
  • O Magazine
  • Times Union
  • Troy Business Improvement District
  • Saratoga Living Magazine
  • Siena Sports Communications
  • SUNY Press
  • WAMC
  • WTEN
  • YNN Albany

Job Titles of Recent Graduates

  • Editor
  • Editorial Assistant
  • English Teacher
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Manager of Creative Strategy
  • Marketing Manager
  • Media Relations Coordinator
  • Online Media Planner
  • Performance Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Public Information Specialist
  • Public Relations Associate
  • Technical Editor
  • Television Anchor/Reporter
  • Web Marketing and Social Media Strategist
Program taught in:
  • English

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Sep 2020
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