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English BA/MA

(HEGIS: 15.01 ENGLISH- GENERAL, CIP: 23.0101 English Language and Literature, General)

Department of English

306 Clemens Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-4610

William Solomon, Professor

Walter Hakala, Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Why study English BA/MA at UB?

In the English department, students — majors and minors, alongside interested students from a range of disciplines — discover the the power and resources of the English language primarily through the study of British, American, and Anglophone literary traditions. Thanks to the range of the department’s course offerings, students often broaden the focus of their studies to include film and video, popular culture, mythology and folklore, as well as foreign-language literatures in English translation. All students are encouraged to become critical readers, learning to employ — both inside and outside the English classroom — the skills of close reading, historical contextualization, and theoretical reflection. As critical writers, in turn, they learn how to formulate compelling questions and to craft original essays that effectively intervene both in academic and cultural conversations. Some students develop as creative writers through workshops that emphasize the writing of poetry, prose fiction, autobiography and plays. Others will take the opportunity to practice the craft of journalism and work on the student newspaper.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge to:

  • Think, read, speak, and above all write critically and creatively
  • Be able to read in detail and in cultural context
  • Understand critical methods and theoretical concepts
  • Gain an understanding of periods and genres
  • Develop ability to articulate an idea lucidly and persuasively in writing
  • Develop skills for doing research and deploying evidence appropriately
  • Appreciate aesthetic experience

The Learning Environment

The central mission of the English department is to offer students a unique learning experience that features small classes, lively discussion with their fellow students, and close working relationships with faculty members. Our curriculum provides opportunities to discover literature and cinema from around the world, to develop as creative writers, and to practice the craft of journalism. In classes of every size (from large lecture courses to seminars, workshops, independent studies, and senior thesis projects), at all levels of instruction, whether in the classroom or remote, our goal is to foster the individual growth of our students as readers and writers through critical thinking, class discussion, exploration and experimentation.

About Our Facilities

The home of English Department is Clemens Hall, where students come to meet with faculty advisors and mentors during office hours. The department holds classes in centrally scheduled spaces throughout the campus, which includes traditional classrooms and lecture halls that are amenable to our program’s teaching goals.

About Our Faculty

The English Department has been consistently ranked in the top thirty English departments in the United States. The faculty consists of nationally and internationally prominent scholars and writers who also take teaching very seriously, including six faculty members who have won the prestigious SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching or have been made Distinguished Teaching Professors. Their interests range from early modern literature to postmodernism and include cultural studies, postcolonialism, psychoanalytic theory, film, gender and sexuality studies, visual studies, poetics, Marxism, documentary, African-American literature, ecocriticism, mythology and much more.

Each semester, the department also offers courses taught by approximately 60 teaching assistants and 20 adjunct instructors.

We welcome students to meet with the director of undergraduate studies (303 Clemens Hall, 716-645-2579) to discuss any aspect of our program (individual courses, major requirements, study abroad, grants, internships, and more).

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the English department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Skills gained in this program include:

  • Writing: Writing creatively, creating persuasive messages, using precise language, assessing an audience, presenting specific viewpoints, writing concisely, drafting documents, and editing.
  • Research: Defining problems, establishing hypotheses, gathering information, using original sources, interpreting data, summarizing and presenting information, and evaluating results.
  • Critical Thinking: Thinking independently, reading critically, understanding components of complex problems, perceiving patterns/structures, comparing/contrasting, synthesizing themes, and summarizing ideas.

Career Choices:

  • Advertising specialist
  • Author
  • Broadcaster
  • Editor/publisher
  • Educator
  • Film/arts critic
  • Freelance writer
  • Grant writer
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Legislative assistant
  • Librarian
  • Market research analyst
  • Paralegal
  • Public relations director
  • Radio production assistance
  • Screenwriter
  • Speech writer
  • Writer's agent

70% of graduates go on to find related employment. 20% go on to graduate school.

Academic Advising

New English majors, whether transfer students or continuing students, are invited to schedule a meeting with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to discuss in more detail both the requirements of the major and their individual course of study.

Students should normally complete or be waived from the university writing skills requirement (ENG 101 & ENG 201 in the old General Education curriculum, ENG 105 & a CL2 course in the new curriculum) before registering for courses numbered 202 and above. However, English majors and minors may also be simultaneously enrolled in the university writing requirement courses when taking their first courses in the department.

Within the parameters of our general course descriptions (e.g. “Studies in the Novel”), instructors choose authors, texts, topics, and approaches that suit their interests and expertise. More information about particular courses can be found in the Whole English Catalog, found in the English Undergraduate Office, 303 Clemens Hall.

Academic Advising Contact Information

To schedule an appointment with the director of undergraduate studies, please call the English Undergraduate office, (716) 645-2579, or visit us in 303 Clemens Hall.

Scholarships and Financial Support

Students in the English department may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of funding sources, including:

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Published: Feb 01, 2023 08:49:58