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Dr. Dillon meeting with other English faculty

English Major and Minor

The English major at Pepperdine University, with its focus on writing and rhetoric, literary study and criticism, and digital humanities, provides students with facility in the spoken and written word, a keen understanding of the power of language, and a more finely attuned moral and global awareness. Students who major in English possess the creativity and critical thinking skills sought by firms in media, technology, and business.

English Major


Emphasis in Education
(37 Units + Five General Education Courses)

The education emphasis is designed for students who wish to teach English in middle school or high school. In this integrated program, students work on their BA in English Education and their single subject teaching credential in English simultaneously. Since this is a subject matter-approved program, students do not need to take the CSET.

Emphasis in Literature
(39-42 Units)

The literature emphasis in the English major includes courses in British, American, and globally diverse literature; critical theory; and digital humanities. It is designed for students who wish to teach English at the college or secondary level or to pursue careers that demand excellent skills in research, analysis, and writing. Students who complete a degree in English Literature are prepared to enter graduate programs in English or professional programs, including law and library science.

Emphasis in Writing and Rhetoric
(46-49 Units)

The writing and rhetoric emphasis in the English major prepares students for careers in publishing or other writing-intensive fields and for admission to graduate programs in English Writing and Rhetoric or professional schools like law.



Minor in English and Writing

English Minor (17 Units)

The English minor is designed for students to gain skills in reading, writing, and research that will prepare them for careers in a variety of fields.

Writing Minor (19 - 22 Units)

The writing minor is designed for students who wish to pursue careers in any professional field such as business, publishing, editing, or library science.

What English Grads Are Doing

Data collected from the 2022 class within six months of graduation.



Employed Full-Time or Part-Time


Admitted to Graduate School


Total Settled Graduates

Why Pepperdine

Pepperdine Seaver College is consistently recognized among the top-ranked universities in California and the United States. We are a Christian university where students grow in knowledge and character. As a liberal arts institution, we focus on providing rich opportunities for intellectual and spiritual exploration for students within a diverse community.



Located in Malibu, CA


14:1 Student-to-Faculty Ratio


80% of Students Participate in an International Program


1 Semester Internship

Student Opportunities


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. English Education majors pursuing their single subject teaching credential in English gain practical experience by completing about 750 clinical hours in classrooms over their four years at Seaver.

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.

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

Sigma Tau Delta

Pepperdine University hosts the Eta Psi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society. Membership for students and faculty recognizes scholarly excellence and creativity. Pepperdine's chapter sponsors activities that explore its members’ scholarly and creative interests, advance their career goals, and provide service opportunities for English majors. Student members are invited to submit creative writing and essays to the society's two journals.


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Contact Us

Humanities & Teacher Education Division
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
Office: CAC 300


Stella Erbes
Divisional Dean & Professor of Education

Genny Moore
Office Manager

Lee Jackson
Administrative Assistant