Academics

Welcome to English!

Love literature, film, journalism, creative writing?  Come join us!

Do you find yourself imagining your friends as characters in a novel, dissecting the plot line of a film, writing for a newspaper or blog, falling in love with the sound of certain words, or doodling images for a graphic novel?  We do, too!

Welcome to the English Department, where your passionate engagement with ideas, words, texts, and images is encouraged!  We believe that creativity is essential to the human condition, and that we must understand and interpret the imaginative works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, film, drama, graphic literature, and new media writing that our culture creates.

Our English Department is known for its innovative programs, accessible faculty—and fun courses. For example, these students from English 101/200 are getting into the mood of the season by doing a dramatic reading of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories on Halloween day.  Meeting in downtown Boston, they surround the new Poe statue—and a "real" Poe, too!

In our courses, while you have fun engaging with these imaginative works, you learn essential skills of reading, writing, critical thinking, and creative thinking—skills that employers are increasingly finding in short supply.  Now that we live in a digital world, we are all text producers and consumers; the English major teaches you how create and critique those texts.    

Students often ask, "Why major in English?" English is one of the most versatile liberal arts degrees. English enables students to pursue careers in law, publishing, journalism, broadcasting, new media, writing, public relations, education, and many other fields. Career fields change rapidly and the average person changes jobs 10-15 times during his or her career--but, the core skills provided by English are in high demand in all careers:  writing, reading, critical thinking, creativity, and the ability to work with complex ideas.  Employees list these as the top skills they need, no matter what the field.  

With more than 450 students currently pursuing a BA in English, it is among the University’s most popular programs. In addition to an English major and English minor, the department offers undergraduate programs in Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and Irish Studies.

Our graduate programs include a Master of Arts in English, which prepares graduate students planning to continue into a PhD program, deepens the knowledge of high school teachers of English who are adding the MA to their professional credentials, and offers a rigorous graduate program in Literature, Composition, or Creative Writing to working adults.

In addition, we are the only public university in the Boston area to offer a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Our three year MFA program gives emerging poets and fiction writers an opportunity to work with writers of national and international reputation.

Our literature and creative writing faculty are widely published and active in their fields. The English Department exemplifies UMass Boston’s commitment to excellent and innovative teaching, in our commitment to our students and in our experimentation with new courses and teaching methods that enhance student learning. Our students are engaged in career preparation and community projects. Our students have many special opportunities, including prizes and scholarships, that encourage internships, study abroad, teacher licensure, senior honors work, and independent study.   

We are located on the 6th floor of Wheatley Hall. Come up to the English Department to learn more about our programs, meet our faculty, or study in our English Commons.  We're excited to welcome you to our department!