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Department of English Language & Literature

Why English?

I get asked quite frequently, "Why major in English?" or "What will you do with that degree?" And my response always is, "What can't I do with this degree?"

Communication—in other words, understanding each other—is key in our society. Despite how crucial it is, finding people who can communicate clearly and effectively has become a rarity. Majoring in English has enabled me to process complex content and explain it in a simplistic way that makes it accessible to a larger audience. Writing well isn't about complexity, it's about clarity.

Majoring in English at Whittier College, I have had so much support in sharpening my craft. The professors are solely dedicated to helping us grow as writers and thinkers, and thus they set aside the time to meet with students and go over whatever we need guidance on.

Each class I've taken—whether it be reading Chaucer, Hemingway, Shakespeare, James Joyce, or even creating a Jane Austen Ball—has enabled me to become someone who can enter into conversation with the world around me, and communicate my views while also understanding and appreciating differing perspectives. This kind of literacy offers a rare and precious skill set that can be used in any career path.

- Priscilla Lam
English major