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Literature

SOME PEOPLE WONDER, “WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A LITERATURE DEGREE?” WE WONDER, “WHAT CAN’T YOU DO?” AT ONU, WE TURN YOUR AFFINITY FOR THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE INTO A FULFILLING CAREER IN A FIELD OF YOUR CHOOSING – WHETHER IT’S WRITING, EDITING, MARKETING, ADVERTISING, LAW, GOVERNMENT, LIBRARY SCIENCE OR BUSINESS.

IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES

Here, you’ll join a close-knit family of literature lovers. From the time you arrive on campus until you graduate, you’ll be guided by the same faculty advisor. You’ll enjoy small class sizes and amazing friendships with your fellow literature majors. Our dedicated professors will get to know you. They will support you in your coursework, creative endeavors, internships, and post-graduate or career preparations. They will become personally invested in your success and will open doors for you. 

As a literature major, you’ll combine liberal arts coursework with real-world learning. You’ll study the masters – such as Chaucer and Shakespeare – and span American, British and world literatures. You’ll gain the textual and cultural literacy, the attention to detail, and the writing ability so sought after by both nonprofit and for–profit employers. You’ll also get the chance to write and edit for University publications such as Polaris, the ONU journal of literature and the arts, and the English department’s online publication.

Our small setting equals big opportunity. From assisting a professor with research to attending a professional conference, from taking a master class with a renowned author to studying abroad or working an internship with a global publishing company, you’ll discover countless opportunities to expand your horizons and build your résumé.

Upon graduation, you’ll have everything you need for success. You’ll be able to think and write critically, and you’ll have unique insights into the human experience. Your knowledge and skills will be in demand wherever your career takes you!

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OPPORTUNITY ABOUNDS

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO

Imagine traveling to Boston, Denver or Chicago – all expenses paid – with your literature professors and fellow students to attend a professional conference. Or spending the summer in Oxford, Cambridge or South Korea studying a different culture. We believe a well-rounded education includes opportunities to travel, experience new places, and stretch your comfort zone. These opportunities are here for you to grab.

CROWNING GLORY

Your senior year, you’ll complete a yearlong capstone project – the crowning glory of your four years at ONU. Projects range from literary analysis and explorations of literary and critical theory to genre studies. You’ll create a draft of your project, submit it to a team of faculty reviewers, and complete revisions based on feedback. In the end, you’ll have a completed work worthy of accolades.

AUTHORS IN THE HOUSE

Each year, we bring nationally and internationally acclaimed writers – like Heather Christle, Matt Hart, Anthony Madrid and Carol Drinkwater – to campus to share their journeys and conduct writing workshops for students. You’ll have the chance to meet these masters of the craft and soak up the knowledge they impart.



Kathleen Saylor

THINK SUCCESS

KATHLEEN SAYLOR BA WITH A MAJOR IN LITERATURE ’10

“I help develop and research databases that shape the way scholars execute research and professors teach in their classrooms. I work on any number of subject areas that interest me, from human rights to women’s history to film scripts. I also get to travel with my work,” she says. “There are so many things you learn from studying literature – more than anyone ever tells you. You learn about history. You learn about yourself and the people around you. You learn critical and comparative analysis. You learn how to conduct research and interpret your findings. And, most importantly, you learn how to communicate all these things to the world. Plus, it’s fun!”

Kathleen Saylor has loved books from a young age. At ONU, she majored in literature and French. She became involved in most of the extracurriculars offered through the English department: Sigma Tau Delta, The Northern Review, the department newsletter, and Shakespeare and the Classroom. While at ONU, she also attended a screenwriting conference in Los Angeles and spent her junior year abroad at the University of Wales, Lampeter. After graduation, she earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Glasgow. She now works as an editor for Alexander Street Press in Washington, D.C., specializing in digital resources for the university library market. 

OUTCOMES AND COURSES

SOLID OUTCOMES

  • Creative Colleges: A Guide for Students, Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers ranks ONU a top 200 program for creative students.
  • Over the past five years, an average of 88 percent of our English majors were employed full-time, and 100 percent of those who applied to graduate school or law school were accepted, within six months of graduation. 
  • Our graduates get accepted into top-notch graduate and law schools like Columbia, Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Ohio State University.

COURSES

You’ll need 120 credit hours to earn a B.A. in literature. Many literature courses are designed by professors with student interests in mind, and literature majors can also take courses in publishing and writing to expand their skills.

Here are some courses you’ll take as a literature major:

  • Small Literature Seminars on varying themes
  • Literature and Medicine
  • Shakespeare Studies
  • British Novel
  • American Multicultural Literature
  • Children’s and Young Adult Literature
  • American Literature
  • World Literature
  • Magazine Publishing
  • Web Publishing

WHERE WILL YOU END UP?

POSSIBLE JOBS

  • Writer 
  • Editor 
  • Copywriter 
  • Reporter 
  • Public relations or marketing professional 
  • English as a second language (ESL) specialist 
  • Lawyer 
  • Government professional 
  • Librarian 
  • Business or nonprofit manager 
  • Creative arts administrator

ALUMNI SUCCESS

Check out where some of our recent literature graduates have ended up: editor at Alexander Street Press in Washington, D.C.; web and social media coordinator for the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts in Columbus; youth services director for the Shelby County Libraries; adult information services librarian at Mentor Public Library in Mentor, Ohio.