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Professional English

Professional English

Shape your Literature and Cultural Skills with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional English Degree

Do you want to be cultural submersed in a curriculum that can lead to an extensive and versatile career path?

Getting a bachelor’s degree in Professional English from South Carolina State University can do just that. Professional English majors strengthen their critical reading, writing, and analytical skills through a curriculum that focuses on Intersectional Studies, a framework that explores how aspects of individual identity (which can include but are not limited to race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, and religion) intersect.

English majors have the opportunity to study a variety of literatures from different eras and cultures, sharpen their writing skills in advanced writing courses created for21st-century contexts, and explore intersectionality in courses in other disciplines across campus. The flexibility of the curriculum empowers students to develop a program of courses that suits their needs and interests.

Our department does its best to accommodate our students and provides the English Department Book Scholarship, which equals to $500 per student per year.

The English Program's focus on analytical skills, global awareness, and interaction allows students to sharpen their problem-solving, information processing, and teamwork abilities, which are also on the list of desirable skills for employment.

Why You Should Major in Professional English at South Carolina State University?

The English faculty at SC State is a diverse faculty with specialties in gender theory; race and ethnicity; ancient, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary literature and culture; film studies; comparative literature; rhetoric; composition; creative writing and pedagogy. Scholars, as well as faculty, have a steady history of publications in their fields and within intersectional studies.

The English Program is the home of the Intersectional Studies Conference (ISC) and the Intersectional Studies (IS) Journal at SC State. The ISC is an international online conference that draws scholars from around the globe. The IS Journal is a recent open-access peer-reviewed scholarly journal that invites scholarship based on previous ISC themes and other research on intersectionality. The ISC and IS provide forums that are open to undergraduate research.

The English Program also partners with the Department of Social Sciences and the I. P. Stanback Museum for the "Words Across the Water" speaker series, an event funded by a grant from SC Humanities that occurs throughout the school year and that brings together poets and writers from across the Anglophone African Diaspora in order to explore intersections of metaphor, style, and themes.

English majors are encouraged to participate in this event that allows them to interact with writers from around the Atlantic and have opportunities to help behind the scenes. The small faculty-to-student ratio in the Professional English program allows for more personalized mentoring of each major in the classroom and outside of the classroom.

What Will You Study as a Professional English Major?

Some popular courses from the Professional English Program include:

  • Popular Culture
  • Women's Writing
  • Myth and Folklore

In all three courses, students engage in advanced analysis and research, which they share with their peers and faculty in an oral presentation. In advanced writings courses such as Public Writing for the Digital Age, students incorporate oral and visual communication tools into written communication aimed at an online audience.

In the Senior Capstone course, students work all semester on a research project of their choice that engages with intersectionality and pulls from various disciplines such as literature, cultural studies, social science, art, linguistics, and pedagogy. At the end of the semester, graduating seniors give an oral conference presentation to an audience of their peers and the English faculty. Many students have presented this research at outside conferences. The opportunities for research, scholarly presentations, and networking provide students with experience and background for success in graduate studies and in careers. 

n the Senior Internship course, students are paired with a faculty member with whom they work with to choose an internship. After working with their internship instructor to prepare for the internship, students continue to meet with their instructor on a regular basis throughout the internship semester. The English program provides opportunities on campus and in Orangeburg for an internship. Students are also welcome to find an outside internship, while working closely with the English program and their internship instructor.

Student Life Organizations Connected with the Program

The Eta Xi Chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society provides English majors, English Education majors, and English minors with a B or higher average in their English courses. There is also an opportunity to network with other English students in the region via the Sigma Tau Delta Conference.

The SC State chapter organizes and hosts the annual Poetry Extravaganza at SC State, where the new poet laureate of SC State is picked and where student poets across campus share their work. All English majors are also encouraged to participate in the annual Intersectional Studies Conference, whether as presenters on a student panel or behind-the-scenes. Through close mentoring by faculty, English majors have attended and presented at national and regional conference, such as the Sigma Tau Delta Conference, the SC State Intersectional Studies Conference, and the annual Marco Institute Undergraduate Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference.

What can you do with an English degree?

The English major is one of the most flexible degrees in academia. Students who graduate with a degree in English go on to careers where the skills they develop are keys for success. Graduates leave with strong oral and written communication skills and the skill to compose and/or edit written documents, skills that are consistently among the top ten skills desired by employers.

In addition to the teaching profession, English majors obtain careers in journalism, editing, publishing, technical writing, research, public relations, law, web content development, grant writing, library science, archives, special events coordination, human services, and many other fields. You’ll be qualified for positions such as:

  • Publisher
  • Copywriter
  • Content Manager
  • Editor
  • Paralegal
  • Communications Specialist
  • Research Analyst

What if I Want to Teach?

Bachelor's Degree in English Education

Maybe you want to study English for teaching because becoming an educator is a dream you’ve long had. Or maybe you want to undertake the teaching of English in another setting. South Carolina State University’s Bachelor of Science in English Education can get you there. Learn more

Additional Information & Links

This is the link to the Intersectional Studies Conference Page (an annual conference):
This is a link to a previous article about the "Words Across the Water" series, which is an annual series:,metaphor%2C%20style%2C%20and%20themes.
Dr. Yvonne Sims was recently highlighted in a University Relations in relation to her on African American women and commented in that article on the death of Nichelle Nichols.