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Student reading book sitting on lawn on campus.


The skills of the English major have never been more valuable. Now more than ever, employers—and the world at large—need people who have the ability to read both widely and closely, to see many points of view, to make connections, to formulate concise summaries and thoughtful opinions, to write with clarity and style.

Degree Types
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Writing Requirement

Yes, our global economy and the industries that shape it have changed spectacularly over the last couple decades, but even the most advanced technology companies need employees who see the big picture, who can tell the whole story, who understand that there’s nothing more human or more valuable than communicating with clarity and compassion.

What We Do

That’s where you come in. McDaniel’s English majors graduate prepared for success in traditional fields like education, law, and journalism, but also for jobs in new fields like digital marketing and content development. As an English major, you’ll:

  • read a broad variety of literatures in English in their historical, social, cultural, political, economic, and psychological contexts;
  • write within scholarly and creative genres; and
  • analyze and evaluate oral, written, and visual modes of expression through the use of literary and rhetorical theory.

Future Career Paths

A Writing & Publishing degree from McDaniel College prepares students for employment in a variety of fields and provides them the tools to be successful in their jobs. Our graduates have gone on to law school and pursued academic study. They’ve also become:

  • Novelists
  • Journalists
  • Teachers
  • Marketers
  • Scholars and Professors
  • Editors

Distinctive Courses

ENG 2217 - Growing up in America

The journey from childhood to adulthood has always been a prominent theme in American literature. By studying a selection of bildungsroman and memoirs, we will be able to consider the psychological and social formation of these characters in relation to American culture. We will ask such questions as: “Do these works reflect the experience of growing up in America, or create it?” and “How do these works shape us as Americans?” We will also examine how the experience of growing up in America is affected by the race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity of the protagonist—and how these differences alter his or her definition of the American dream.

ENG 2226 - The Graphic Novel

Ever since Art Spiegelman’s Holocaust memoir Maus won the Pultizer Prize, graphic novelists have experimented with the serious storytelling capacity of long-form comics. The results—for power, variety, and sheer fun—represent an important contribution to literature. Autobiographical comics such as Maus, Fun Home, and Perepolis present provocative subject matter including faith, family, and politics.  Many works, fiction or nonfiction, take up stories of sexual identity and teen angst, sometimes in a very explicit fashion. You’ll learn technical approaches for analyzing these texts, paying particular attention to word-image fusion and to the relationship between visual elements and narrative structure. 

ENG 2228 - Scar Tissue

This course explores the intersections of history and literature, focusing on the literary representations of traumatic, repressed, or controversial historical events. The focus of the course is on East-Central European developments of modern history, especially the manifold victimization suffered by ordinary citizens during and in the aftermath of World War II. A brief introduction to the theoretical issues of cultural and literary representations of trauma is followed by detailed discussions of literary works and films dealing with traumatic historical experiences. While most primary texts are selected from East-Central European literature, the secondary literature also provides a more global and general perspective on the role of literature in the representation of history and issues of cultural memory.
Offered at the Budapest campus.

ENG 2260 - Horror Fiction

An investigation of the dark and popular world of horror fiction, with special emphasis on the Gothic tradition within British and American literature since 1764. Students examine and discuss why horror stories fascinate, and how anxieties about sexuality, the unconscious mind, scientific discoveries, social injustice, and other topics are translated into the horror literature we read.

Senior Capstone

English major Thea Robertson talks about her senior capstone — her study on the exclusion of women within all black communities in author Toni Morrison's novels, “Love,” “Jazz,” and “Paradise,” as the culmination of her English training at McDaniel.

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Flex your English major muscles.

Publish your fiction and poetry in the student-run Contrast Literary Magazine, get a job in the Writing Center helping fellow students polish their papers, or write a column for the student-run newspaper, the McDaniel Free Press.

Mary Bendel Simso

English professors’ new book examines early detective fiction

After unraveling the mystery of the void in 19th century detective stories and following a decade-long trail collecting and compiling the forgotten whodunits, professors LeRoy Panek and Mary Bendel-Simso authored a new book exploring early detective fiction. “Essentials Elements of the Detective Story, 1820-1891” examines detective fiction during its formative years, while focusing on such crucial elements of the stories as setting, lawyers and the law, physicians and forensics, women as victims and heroes, crime and criminals, and police and detectives.

English major Jackie White, class of 2019

Meet Our Students Class of 2019: Jackie White Get to Know a Green Terror

English major Jackie White discovered a new passion for Cinema to go with her lifelong love of the English language and literature. TV Production class is her best class ever — she learned how to run almost every position in a television news station as well as teamwork and adaptability.