Department of English

Dear Parents

Dear Parents,

I am very proud of recent accomplishments in the Auburn Department of English, and I want to reach out on behalf of our undergraduate programs to encourage your family to consider seriously the opportunities we offer.

Our alumni repeatedly demonstrate the value of an English Studies degree. We do more than prepare students for a first job; we prepare them for life. Recent news prompts us to celebrate our students’ bright economic futures—even in tech sectors—because employers value the “soft skills” we teach: insightful reading, effective writing, the ability to find and synthesize information, problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership. A recent study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities shows that during career-peak earning times liberal arts majors earn about 3% more than graduates in vocational fields such as nursing and accounting. Graduates who go on to professional fields earn even more, and a degree in English Studies is particularly desirable for a number of fields. Our majors have successfully built futures as museum curators, advertising writers and executives, higher education administrators, television and radio broadcasters, screenwriters and directors,  authors, librarians, missionaries, journalists, legal professionals, politicians, science and technical writers, web designers, and business executives.

In addition to a strong record of employment at graduation, our students excel academically, thanks to our world-class faculty, our small, engaged classes, and the support of a major research university. (Auburn was recently ranked 6th in the nation for student engagement by the Wall Street Journal.) Our English majors have earned places in Harvard Law School, distinguished graduate programs, and no less than six Fulbright Scholarships in the last few years, while this year one of our English minors was a finalist for the distinguished Rhodes Scholarship.

Our majors concentrate in literature, creative writing, or public and professional writing, and our minors in all these areas (and others) are able to reinforce their work in other fields with a strong credential that demonstrates their communication and leadership skills.  We have a well-established Study Abroad program with Regent’s University in London, an active undergraduate English Club (with their own Facebook group and Twitter feed), and continue to develop new internship and service-learning opportunities for our students. Exceptional entering students are encouraged to apply for our endowed awards: The William Robert Killingsworth, Sr. and Frances Smith Killingsworth Endowed Scholarship, and The Reginald D. and Laurie H. Gilbert Endowed Scholarship.

If you have questions, please contact our departmental advisor, Mr. Ross Blair (, Dr. Craig Bertolet, Director of Undergraduate Studies (, or me.




Jeremy M. Downes

Professor & Chair

Department of English


Last Updated: May 28, 2019