College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Why be an English Major?

Consider these reasons to be an English major at Butler University

  • Faculty. Butler is a teaching institution. Although our professors display diplomas from around the country and regularly publish their scholarly and creative work (just check out our display case), the heart of the English department is its students. Small class size, discussion-based seminars, independent studies, and plenty of office hours attest to the professors' commitment to their students.
  • Visiting Writers Series. Every year the Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series invites twelve nationally recognized authors to speak to the Butler community -- Toni Morrison, David Sedaris, Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Atwood, and Nick Hornby, to name a few. Writer visits include a Q&A session and a public reading, but the best part about having influential authors on campus is that they visit undergraduate classrooms to talk straight with students about the literary world. And it's free.
  • Opportunities for creative writers. The English Department at Butler University is the proud home of Manuscripts, an award winning literary magazine that features poetry, short prose, and photography from our talented majors. Students are also invited to share their work in monthly poetry readings at the on-campus Starbucks and in the annual Creative Writing Contest.
  • Internships. Whether in Indy or D.C. or N.Y.C., employers love our English majors. Armed with acute reasoning skills and brimming with creativity, our students are prepared to succeed in any number of professional fields. Recently, English interns have had great experiences working with companies as varied as National Geographic and the Alaskan Wilderness League.
  • Indianapolis. English majors craving adventure can head to downtown Indy, home to several theatre venues, a major symphony orchestra, and an internationally prominent art museum - not to mention Circle Centre Shopping Mall or Conseco Field House where the Pacers play. In the village of Broad Ripple, located just two miles from Butler, students enjoy everything from coffee shops and vintage clothing stores to the video gaming nexus, Netheads. When you're in the Village, you also might want to stop by Big Hat Books, Indy's only independently owned bookstore, or savor a bite at one of Broad Ripple's ethnic restaurants -- Indian, Thai, Japanese, Belgian, Italian, Mediterranean or Mexican cuisine. On campus, English majors can take advantage of the weekly theatre, dance, and musical productions given by Butler's Jordan College of Fine Arts or buy a discounted student ticket to the latest musical at Clowes Memorial Hall.
  • Courses. Scan the bulletin of English courses and you'll see that we offer both traditional and interdisciplinary approaches to literary studies. Alongside offerings in Shakespeare and Chaucer, you'll find a dynamic fusion of literature and technology in Professor Goldsmith's "Prosthetic Gods: Technology and the Body in Literature and Film." Similarly, Professor Flanzbaum combines psychology, fiction and history in "Literature of Holocaust" while Professor Reeves uses rhetorical analysis to investigate scientific writing. With only thirty-three hours required for a major, English students can also explore other fields through double-majors, minors, or electives.
  • Writing. The ability to write well has become increasingly rare and therefore increasingly valued. Because we teach our students how to write, our graduates advance in any field they choose -- whether it's business, education, or forest preservation. As an English major at Butler, you can expect to write extensively in genres ranging from rhetoric and literary analysis to personal essays, poetry, or prose.
  • Writers' Studio. Located on the third floor of Jordan Hall in the middle of the English Department, this multipurpose room provides a haven for English majors. Home to Butler's Peer Tutoring Program, the Studio's space allows English majors to sink into a squishy sofa and enjoy a strong cup of coffee between classes. English majors also gather here for department pizza parties, Q&A sessions with visiting writers, and informal chats with professors.
  • Unlimited potential. In the twenty-first century an English major has become a valuable asset in any professional environment. Not only do Butler's English majors become writers, editors, publishers, copywriters, teachers, and professors, but they also achieve success in graduate studies, medical or law school, and the corporate world. Visit our alumni page to see what our majors do after graduation.

Read on. Please accept this invitation to explore our website and discover what English at Butler is all about.