Undergraduate FAQs

With an English degree, you can pursue all manner of careers. Writing careers, such as creating newsletters for organizations, writing grants for nonprofits, and penning political speeches, are one possible career avenue. Technical writing and editing are other successful paths English majors can take.  

Outside of writing and editing, many of our English graduates go on to law school and other professional schools, such as business or medical school. English coursework will help strengthen your critical reasoning and writing skills, preparing you for a wide range of professions. 

With a concentration in Secondary Education, teaching grades 6-12 is the next step for many English undergraduates.  

Which concentration you decide to pursue will likely depend on your academic, professional, and personal interests.  

If you find yourself interested in writing, revising, and workshopping poetry, fiction, screenwriting, drama, creative nonfiction, or all of the above, then a Creative Writing concentration may be right for you! Creative Writing courses are designed to help you produce your own writing.  

The Literature concentration focuses on reading, interpreting, and analyzing literature. If you love to read, then this may be the concentration for you. Literature courses focus on British and American literature, along with post-colonial literature, women’s literature, minority literature, and cultural studies. With a wide range of literary interests, the Literature concentration offers a course for the reader in you.  

Rhetoric, Writing and Culture is focused on language and cultural studies. As a Writing and Culture student, you can study the theory and practice of rhetoric, linguistics, folklore, cultural studies, and more. Texts, both written and oral, come in diverse forms, from the traditional novel to technical documents to newspapers. Writing and Culture allows you to dive deeply into how texts are shaped and how they shape the world.  

The Secondary Education (in English) concentration will prepare you to teach at the secondary level. Courses in this concentration are taught in conjunction with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. This concentration gives you a foundation in literature and language arts along with teacher preparation and credentialing.  

When considering how each concentration can help you professionally, please see the “What can I do with an English major” tab above. Writing careers, professional school (such as law school), nonprofit work, and technical writing all build on the foundational skills found in all four concentrations. A Secondary Education concentration, however, is most oriented towards teaching high school. For more information about teaching English in secondary schools, please visit Geaux Teach! 

When considering how each concentration may shape your academic experience at LSU, it may help to examine coursework across the concentrations. Here is a course catalogue. 

As always, reach out to your advisor with any questions you may have about coursework and professional goals!  

Yes, LSU English majors in the Creative Writing concentration, the Literature concentration, or the Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture concentration can earn a bachelor's degree and a law degree in 6 years rather than taking the traditional route of 7 years by participating in LSU's 3+3 Pre-Law Program.

Yes, you can concentrate in Literature and Writing and Culture, or in Literature and Creative Writing with careful course selection. (See the departmental advisors.) But only one of these can be listed on your transcript. The department, however, can write an official letter indicating that you have completed all requirements for both concentrations.

Yes, with careful planning, you can double major in english and another department or program in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, fulfilling some requirements for both majors with the same courses. It's possible to complete some double majors without taking any extra courses. Majoring in English along with another major in another college is called a "dual degree" and requires an extra 30 hours. See "Earning Two Degrees or One Degree with Two Majors" in the Undergraduate Degree Requirements section of the University Catalog, or ask an advisor.

Students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences have 37 hours of electives. Choosing a minor is a great way to give these hours some shape.

Minors typically require 18 hours (except in the foreign languages). Consult the catalog for requirements in each area. Besides departmental minors, students can minor in interdisciplinary areas such as Women's and Gender Studies, African and African-American Studies, Film and Media Arts, etc.

Students should think about their career plans, and select a minor that would be appropriate. For example, if students intend to go to law school or work for a nonprofit, they could major in English and take a minor in fields such as Political Science, Economics, Business, or Women's and Gender Studies.

2000-level courses - introductions (courses that teach the basic terms and approaches used in a field)

3000-level courses - surveys and/or courses that presume a knowledge of basic terms and approaches (courses that give an overview of a historical period of literature, a genre, or an approach to literary study, and courses that build on the skills acquired in 2000-level courses)

4000-level courses - studies in depth (courses within a designated area, but whose specific focus within that area may vary from semester to semester). Studies in ___ courses at the 4000-level may be repeated once for credit when topics vary. Multiple sections of any Studies in ___ course may be offered in one semester. Short specific titles are listed in the Registration/Schedule of Classes and on students' transcripts. More detailed course descriptions appear in the departmental handout prepared for preregistration. Students cannot take a 4000-level course until they have passed 60 hours.

Yes, you must inform the College of Humanities and Social Sciences counselor of what change you want to make, but you can enroll under one subject designation and change to the second after the fact.

Don't put off completing the foreign language requirements. For modern languages, if you do not place out of any courses, you must take 4 semesters in sequence to complete the requirement. If you don't start early, your graduation date will be delayed. The same problem occurs to a lesser extent with the math and science requirement.

You should register with the Career Services. The Center has an excellent career library, and it offers workshops on resume writing and test-taking, on applying to graduate and professional school, and on preparing for job interviews. Located in the Union. Telephone: 225-578-2161 | Fax: 225-578-3076 |E-mail: career@lsu.edu.

You should select a professor with whom you have taken course work, make an appointment to discuss career planning, and go prepared with examples of your writing and questions to ask.

Faculty want to talk with students!

LSU undergraduates have access to one-on-one writing tutoring sessions through Studio 151 in LSU's national-award-winning Communication Across the Curriculum Program (CXC). Sessions are conducted by peer tutors who are trained to help undergraduates develop their abilities and confidence to communicate effectively through writing.

The Department of English also offers a wide variety of courses every semester that help LSU students improve their writing abilities, including courses in composition, rhetoric, creative writing, and literature. Students enrolled in these courses can take advantage of their instructors' office hours.