Why A Literature Major?

Pitt-Greensburg student holding book

Defining your path to success

You might major in English Literature for a number of reasons. You love to read, or you want to work in editing or publishing, or to teach English. You might seek employment in libraries or research archives. There are many new online research databases of literary, historical, and cultural materials. But there are many other practical benefits of English Literature coursework! The major is known for its adaptability to a wide range of careers. This is because Literature majors develop distinctive and highly valued skills. English Literature majors often succeed in fields such as:

  • law
  • medicine
  • public relations
  • business management
  • government

Pitt-Greensburg's Literature majors have an unusual advantage. They develop digital skills, applying them to leading-edge research in Digital Humanities. In our Digital Humanities courses, students learn methods in digital textual scholarship. Our students help to make rare or difficult-to-access texts available for study. Our faculty share their research and project design in regular Literature course offerings, too. For example, in the History of the English Language course, students apply "data-mining" methods to Pitt's Digital Library databases. This allows students to track histories of word usage over centuries. The computer becomes our research instrument. Our students learn to use computers to read, graph, and chart new patterns in literary texts.

Waterman Ink Ad, circa 1910, reading "For School Life or LIfe's School"Our major combines well with many different fields of study. For example, Literature majors might look for opportunities to combine humanities and natural sciences courses. To build on our strengths in Digital Humanities, some Literature majors might pursue a minor in Computer Science. Such combinations can lead to distinctive employment or graduate training opportunities in:

  • • museums and libraries
  • • legal or corporate archives
  • • science writing
  • • consumer advocacy
  • • environmental law

In recent years, our students have coordinated the Literature major with a wide range of disciplines such as:

among others.

Students aiming to teach high school English pursue a combined Literature and Education major. Or they might pursue the English Literature major with an Education minor. For more information, please see the Education program page.