English Major & Minor | Degree in English | Pepperdine University | Seaver College

English Major and Minor

English majors gather to discuss literature and essays - English Degree

English majors share a passion for the written word as a means for engaging the human experience in all its intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and emotional complexity. Because the English language is recognized globally as an international means of communication, graduates from our English major program go on to pursue graduate study in English as well as careers in a variety of fields including secondary and college teaching, publishing, writing, editing, journalism, law, business, and librarianship.

English Degree

Our small English classes allow students to interact regularly with faculty. Enriched by a constant practice of reading and writing, students shape their major by choosing one of three areas in which to concentrate: literature, writing, or education.

In all concentrations, English majors sharpen their writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills in preparation for their chosen career paths.

  • Literature: Students focus on the development of the American and British literary traditions.
  • Writing: Students focus on rhetoric and the composition process.
  • Education: Students prepare to teach English at the secondary level and receive their certification upon completion of their degree.

English Minors

  • Minor in English Literature: Students who minor in English literature focus on the development of the American and British literary traditions.
  • Minor in Writing: Students who minor in writing demonstrate an expertise in the written word. Our minor prepares students who wish to pursue careers in any professional field such as business, publishing, editing, or library science. It is also ideal for students who wish to attend law school or graduate school in any discipline.

Student Opportunities

Sigma Tau Delta

Pepperdine University shelters the Eta Psi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society. Membership for students and faculty is based on recognition of excellence in scholarship and creativity. The Pepperdine chapter sponsors activities related to the creative interests, scholarly and professional concerns, and service commitments of English majors. Students have the opportunity to submit creative writing and essays to the society's two journals.


Our English majors have a variety of venues for putting their education into practice. Students who distinguish themselves have the opportunity to work in the Writing Center as paid tutors. Payson Library offers internships in research, classroom presentation, and document development. Numerous off-campus internships are available in business, media, non-profit organizations, and publishing companies.

Christianity and Literature, a journal devoted to the scholarly exploration of how literature engages Christian thought, is based in the Humanities and Teacher Education division. Editorial internships in the journal office are available to English majors.

London Summer English Program

During the summer, English majors have the opportunity to take upper division literature courses while studying at Pepperdine's London campus. Visit International Programs for more information.

Available Job Opportunities

Often students who love to write and read great literature ask, "what can I do with an English degree?" The answer is, just about anything. The English major is ideal for those who want to attend law school, love literature and wish to teach it at the high school level, or plan to pursue careers in business, medicine, politics, and government service. See our list of distinguished alumni for examples of possible career paths.

Requirements for Admission to Graduate School

Students who wish to attend graduate school or to pursue post-baccalaureate study, such as a Fulbright, should begin preparing as soon as possible in their academic career. Those wishing to attend graduate school should discuss the application procedure with English department faculty. English majors should have a grade point average of at least 3.3, consider applying to several colleges and universities, and plan to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), both general and subject matter portions, no later than October of the senior year.

Possible Double Majors or Minor Programs of Study

  • English and business
  • English and film studies
  • English and history
  • English and international studies
  • English and philosophy
  • English and political science
  • English and religion

Visiting Writers

Each year our students meet and talk with nationally known writers who offer experience and insight. Visiting writers have included:

  • Maya Angelou
  • Robert Bly
  • Carlos Fuentes
  • Dana Gioia
  • Jorie Graham
  • Donald Hall
  • Kathleen Norris
  • Kay Ryan
  • Luci Shaw
  • W. D. Snodgrass
  • Tobias Wolff

Student Testimonials

Possible Minors

Women's Studies Minor

Female student discusses women's studies concepts.

Our women's studies minor helps students reshape their thinking about culture and societies. We offer feminist perspectives that uncover the dynamics of both the masculine and feminine genders.

Ethnic Studies Minor

Pepperdine student at computer

Our ethnic studies minor focuses on the historical experiences, creative expression, and interactions of the various ethnic, racial, religious, and linguistic groups in the United States and other countries.

African American Studies Minor

David Holmes on MLK Day at Pepperdine

We offer an interdisciplinary African American studies minor that provides students with a critical understanding of the historical, social, and political thoughts and experiences of African Americans.

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