English: Major & Minor


English majors seek to master the essential skills of close reading, thorough analysis, insightful interpretation, and clear verbal and written expression of thought.

The English major enables one to see things in a broader context, to make informed opinions and judgments between seemingly disparate ideas, rather than merely learning to defer to outside authority.

Because of the small class sizes that allow and promote vigorous discussion and exchange of ideas, the diligent Southern Virginia English major becomes thoroughly prepared for graduate school and for careers requiring careful reading, orderly and clear thinking, and persuasive, clear, and refined oral and written communication.

The English major offers a tremendous level of career freedom and choice. Careers such as law, medicine, teaching, business and entrepreneurship, organizational management, writing, public service, public relations, human resources, sales, publishing, and editing rely heavily on skills developed in the English major, although an English graduate is prepared to do just about anything.

For example, one Southern Virginia graduate is a real estate appraiser, another is a quality control analyst for an aeronautical engineering firm.

As added benefits, English study vicariously teaches us through literature about life. It enhances our personal refinement and enjoyment of life, and furthers lifelong personal enrichment, moral citizenship and family life.

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Faculty Contacts:

  • Jeff Benedict, J.D.
  • Orson Scott Card, M.A.
  • C. Randall Cluff, Ph.D.
  • Scott Dransfield, Ph.D.
  • Karen Hufford, M.F.A., M.A.
  • Dallin Lewis, Ph.D. – Program Coordinator
  • James Lambert, Ph.D.
  • Sarah Maitland, Ph.D.



Hyrum Olson ’13
“As I look back, Southern Virginia was a perfect fit… I learned to think critically, write persuasively and communicate effectively.”
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