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April is National Poetry Month. Learn about our Department of English and Creative Writing program below.

The Penn State College of the Liberal Arts seeks to offer students a transformative educational experience that combines core liberal arts values—communication, analytic thinking, ethical decision-making, and appreciation for other cultures and other times—with internships, research opportunities, and global experiences that allow students to apply their skills in real-world contexts and grow personally and professionally. That educational experience also includes providing students opportunities to learn from, and work with, the leading liberal arts scholars within their respective disciplines; and connecting students with the vast network of college and University alumni who can serve as mentors and otherwise assist students as they begin building their professional networks.

Get Started

We are offering on-campus visits on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Please note, these visits do not include a campus tour. For those who are not able to visit Penn State University Park in person, please register for a virtual meeting, which will be offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Our on-campus and virtual appointments give students and families a better understanding of our programs and the resources and opportunities available to Liberal Arts students. Use the buttons below to schedule an appointment.

If you have any questions, please contact Recruitment Manager Chantel Harley at 814-865-7141 or .

Schedule an On-Campus Meeting

Schedule a Virtual One-on-One Meeting

Attend a Virtual Alumni Panel

Attend an On-Campus Accepted Student Program

Attend a Virtual Accepted Student Program

Apply Now

National Poetry Month

Department of English

Department of English

Program Spotlight

English majors can focus their coursework through one of four concentrations: literary and cultural studies, creative writing, professional and media writing, and rhetoric and writing. The introductory and advanced courses in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as playwriting and TV script writing, are some of the most sought-after offerings in the Department of English.

Creative Writing Program

Creative Writing Program

Program Spotlight

English majors can pursue a concentration in Creative Writing, and non-English majors can pursue a minor in Creative Writing. Students can also pursue the Creative Writing integrated undergraduate-graduate program (IUG), which allows students to earn their bachelor's degree and master's degree in Creative Writing in five years.

Adventure Literature Courses

Adventure Literature Courses

Program Spotlight

For 20 years, Adventure Literature courses have combined the study of literature with outdoor adventures. Adventure Literature students not only read Thoreau, but like him they travel to the mountains, the river, or the seashore; they climb, hike, and kayak; and they write about their experiences.

Renata Carlos Daou

Renata Carlos Daou

Undergraduate Student Spotlight

Penn State's Creative Writing program was one of the main reasons Renata Carlos Daou chose to leave her home country of Brazil to go to college in the United States. "The creative writing classes I've taken at Penn State have definitely helped me improve my writing a lot," Renata said. "It's made me want to write another book!"

Jillian Cantor

Jillian Cantor

Alumni Spotlight

Novelist Jillian Cantor, whose eleven books have been lauded for their inventive narratives and reviewed in Oprah, Time, and People magazines, received her undergraduate degree in English from Penn State in 2000. In 2018, she gave a public reading as part of the Mary E. Rolling Reading Series, a program within Penn State's Creative Writing program.

Verna Kale

Verna Kale

Faculty Spotlight

Verna Kale is an assistant research professor of English and the associate editor of The Hemingway Letters Project. Located at Penn State and published by Cambridge University Press, The Hemingway Letters Project is producing a comprehensive, fully annotated documentary edition of nearly 6,000 surviving letters written by Hemingway (1899-1961).

Internships

Internships

Program Spotlight

Few experiences can be as valuable in helping you think about possible career paths or securing your first job as completing an internship. English majors have had internships in a variety of areas, including editing, publishing, public relations, journalism, social media, nonprofits, community engagement, and more. Read our student stories to learn more.

Liberal Arts by the numbers
  • Number 5 in Developmental Psychology
  • Number 5 in Criminology
  • Number 11 in International Economics
  • Number 17 in Sociology
  • Number 18 nationally among "Top Public Schools" by U.S. News
  • 5 out of 5 stars for overall campus climate in the 2019 Campus Pride LGBTQ-Friendly Campus Climate Index

 

Majors and Minors

Full List of Majors and Minors

Social Sciences

The social sciences examine the relationships between individuals and societies, as well as the development and operation of societies. The critical thinking, research, and analytical skills gained in a social science major help prepare graduates for diverse job titles, including economist, psychologist, political scientist, and historian, postsecondary teachers, museum curators, and social workers.

Languages

Intercultural communication, critical thinking and reasoning, cultural adaptability, information and trend analysis, and the other skills that drive the global economy, are in high demand today. Language graduates find jobs in tourism, international development, marketing, policy making, journalism, government, and more.

Humanities

Students in the humanities study how people process and document the human experience. Most majors in the humanities build widely transferable skills that employers appreciate and go on to be writers, counselors, event organizers, social media managers, fundraisers, travel bloggers, and more.

Interested in business?

Consider Communication Arts and Sciences, Economics, Global and International Studies, International Politics, Political Science, Psychology (Business Option), or any of the languages above.

Interested in computers or cyber security?

Consider Social Data Analytics.

Interested in health and medicine?

Consider Anthropological Sciences (Biological Anthropology Option), Communication Arts and Sciences, Psychology (Life Sciences Option or Neuroscience Option), Women's Studies, or even English! Being a liberal arts major helped recent graduate John Miller develop a greater worldly perspective, improve his communication skills, and see how people experience life in different ways—traits that have benefitted the Paterno Fellow on his unique path to medical school. Read his story.

Admissions Requirements

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Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies

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