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English Program Description

Major in English



The English major at Utica College combines a traditional program in British, American, and world literature with linguistics and writing. Together with the core curriculum and a wide variety of electives, the major provides an excellent liberal arts education, preparing students for careers in business, civil service, law, or teaching as well as for graduate study.

Academic Requirements >

Curriculum: English majors at UC undertake a program of study that combines the study of British, American, and world literature with linguistics and writing. Through the study of literature and language, English majors add to their understanding of history, psychology, sociology, art, and political science. Together with the core curriculum and a wide variety of electives, the major provides an excellent liberal arts education, preparing students for diverse careers in fields such as business, civil service, law, or teaching, as well as for graduate study.

Students may complete the undergraduate English major and then receive professional teaching certification through the completion of Utica College's Master of Science in Education degree. Many of Utica College's English majors also complete the minor in education, which certifies them to teach English at the secondary level or become elementary school teachers.

For detailed academic requirements for the English major, click here.


Jason Denman, Ph.D.Dedicated teachers: English majors at Utica College benefit from close interaction with respected and dedicated teachers who provide opportunities not always available in larger departments. The expertise of the faculty in the English Department incorporates all areas of American, British, and western literature as well as linguistics and rhetoric. Faculty members mentor students through independent study projects as well as in more informal settings.

Career Opportunities: Students in UC's English department are able to plan a course of study that will help them develop and advance toward their career goals. Graduates from the past 10 years have found jobs in such diverse fields as technical and scientific editing, publishing, civil service, and law. Many graduates are now teaching at elementary and secondary schools in central New York and throughout the country.


Honors: Outstanding English majors are offered the opportunity to take Major Honors tutorials with individual faculty members. The English department sponsors a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society.

Gary Leising, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of EnglishSpecial Opportunities: Outside the classroom, students combine their practical and creative abilities to produce Ampersand, the college’s literary magazine, an impressive collection of Utica College students' literary and artistic work. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, student editors oversee its production from submission and selection of materials to design and publication.

The Harold Frederic English Society offers students interested in literature, drama, and the arts an opportunity to socialize. They meet writers at the college’s Lunch Hour reading series and may lunch with them. They undertake excursions to area theatrical performances and sites of literary importance. In the past, HFES has traveled to New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., and Toronto.

Study Abroad: Various faculty in the English Department direct the London Learning Experience, a three-week three-credit independent study trip. Students visit important historical and literary sites in London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, and Greenwich, and complete independent study projects for credit. Study-abroad opportunities also are available at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth and through Syracuse University's Division of International Programs Abroad (DIPA).

Faculty accomplishments: The English Department is proud of the publishing record of its faculty members but even prouder of their outstanding teaching. Dr. Frank Bergmann and Dr. John Cormican have won the College's Distinguished Teaching Award.

Recent publications range from Gary Leising's poetry chapbook, Fastened to a Dying Animal, to Dr. Diane Matza's Sephardic American Voices to Professor Lisa Orr’s Transforming American Realism: Working-Class Women Writers of the Twentieth Century. Dr. Frank Bergmann is currently preparing a critical biography of the late Walter Edmonds, author of Drums Along the Mohawk. Other members of the department research such diverse subjects as language variation, autobiography, Elizabethan drama, and late Victorian aestheticism.

Alumni news: Through our alumni newsletter, The Spectator, the department maintains an extensive alumni network composed of secondary and college teachers, and professionals in fields such as journalism, law, and business.

Facilities: One of the department's professors directs the College's Writing Center, which employs Utica College students to assist fellow students with writing problems.

Utica College maintains seven academic computer laboratories on campus. Classes are taught in some of the computer labs; all labs are accessible to any UC student during published hours. The labs are equipped with laser printers, and the computers have word processing, spreadsheet, and database programs.


If you have questions about the English major, email Dr. Jason Denman, Chair of English, at jdenman@utica.edu.