English Major

Build your skills in critical reading, effective writing, and creative problem solving – preparing you for a variety of career paths

An English major allows students to experience English studies in different areas by choosing courses focusing on writing, linguistics, and literature from a range of eras and genres.

It offers excellent preparation for graduate or professional study in almost any field and for a wide variety of careers, including writing, editing, publishing, post-secondary education and student services, law, library and museum services, and podcasting. English majors’ workplaces can range from non-profit organizations and institutions to video game design companies.

Many English majors also choose to minor in creative writing, film studies or professional writing or to get a certificate in literary publishing.

Click here for more information on English major classes and program requirements.

Students looking at a book.

Get Published

Our students have the chance to publish their work in Inner Weather – UNI’s student-run literary magazine.

Grad School Ready

Our graduates have gone on to succeed in nationally recognized graduate programs.

Making Literary History

Our department is home to the North American Review, which is the oldest literary magazine in the United States.


Learn More about English

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Contact us directly at:

Department of Languages and Literatures
1001 Bartlett Hall
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0506

Phone: 319.273.2821
Fax: 319.273.5807

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Inner Weather

Inner Weather is UNI’s student-run literary magazine highlighting fiction, nonfiction, poetry and artwork. Each year, Inner Weather is created by UNI students who collect, select and compile the artwork, creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry published in the journal, led by an editor, assistant editor, art director and layout artist. Students and faculty are also encouraged to submit their own work!

Students interested in volunteering for Inner Weather are encouraged to contact the editor at inner-weather@uni.edu. Contributors may send submissions via email to inner-weather@uni.edu. Each submission should include the author's name, phone number and email address.

North American Review

Put your mark on the North American Review, the oldest literary magazine in the United States, which is published at UNI and recently celebrated its bicentennial. Students are involved in all aspects of the magazine from reviewing submissions to editing and layout to business operations.

Through the Creative Writing Practicum class, students can assist with the production of the North American Review, undertaking individual supervised reviewing, editing or design assignments outside the classroom environment. This course is worth 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Variable)

2019 UNI Poetry Slams

2019 UNI Poetry Slams
2019 UNI Poetry Slams

cece mitchell

Why study English at UNI?

“The positive relationships and rapport I’ve built with professors here at UNI is something I will never forget about my college experience. Here, I contribute to the discussion in every class and try to avoid missing one not because of an attendance grade, but because my English professors make me actually want to be there.

Something really exciting about my time here is that I landed a position as an on-air host for Iowa Public Radio’s Studio One. I’ve always had a passion for creating and enjoying music, but this was my first experience working at a radio station. I admit that this was an incredible stroke of luck, but that’s where my advice stems from: you can do absolutely anything you want during your collegiate years if you stay motivated through passion, be your own best advocate, and strive to create a vast network of meaningful connections.”

– Cecilia Mitchell 


English provides extensive instruction and practice in capable reading, effective writing, and creative problem solving. It offers excellent preparation for graduate or professional study in almost any field and for a wide spectrum of vocations, including careers in:

  • post-secondary education and student services
  • editing and publishing
  • law library and museum services
  • non-profit organizations and institutions 
  • computer technology and software
  • business
  • financial firms
  • Social media


Craft of Creative Nonfiction
Written exercises in forms, patterns, and techniques in creative nonfiction. Readings in creative nonfiction with particular attention to narrative structures and strategies. 

Elements of Creative Writing
Attention to basic elements in the writing of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, including the imaginative uses of perspective and voice, narration and setting, story and plot, memory and reflection, dialogue and characterization, image and metaphor, and diction and sound. 

The Profession of Editing
Examination of editing strategies and responsibilities in scholarly and professional settings. Emphasis on understanding of editing resources, editor roles in document development, and the politics of grammar and style. 

NAR 50th celebration

Hands-on Learning

Here, your education will be anything but textbook – you’ll learn by doing. Professional writing students work with clients to produce websites and promotional materials. Creative writers publish work that began as class assignments. Students also have the opportunity to attend readings by regional and nationally-known figures and even share their own work at open mics.

Languages and Literatures Features