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Why study English at APSU?

We have dynamic and accomplished faculty, and English majors at Austin Peay are mentored and taught by professors, most of whom hold a doctorate in their appropriate field.  The fact that we publish a literary journal provides an opportunity for student engagement not only with the study of texts, but also with their publication.  Though many of the English faculty have a considerable publishing record, the focus of our work at Austin Peay is on teaching.  Moreover, we have smaller classes compared to many larger universities, and our seminar-style courses encourage the free exchange of ideas. 


What will I learn?

Our English majors develop a deep engagement with the complexities of language, literary form, and artistic expression.  In addition, they have an interest in and an abiding appreciation for American culture and other cultures, and they also learn how to read critically and thoroughly various types of writing.  Our English majors acquire the ability to write well, whether creatively or analytically, and they have the capacity for creative expression and original insight.  The goal for our English majors is for them to have a better understanding of various sorts of literature, various cultures, various historical periods, and themselves.  In our courses, students often learn how the writings of the past may have helped to form the world in which we live today.  Consequently, a major issue for class discussions is often what each work of literature tells us about the culture that produced it—including its religious beliefs, social values and practices, worldview, or ideology—why that work has endured, and what it has to say to us today.

The Freshmen Seminar degree requirement completed by most students is APSU 1000. The course is delivered in a small-class setting with like-minded students led by a faculty member and a peer leader. The interdisciplinary course is intended to support first-semester students and provide them with a foundation for university success. Emphasis is placed on student engagement, university learning success strategies, support services, library literacy, financial literacy, and academic and career planning. The first class meeting of APSU 1000 during fall semesters is on Freshmen Convocation Day.

The general education core is designed to develop critical competencies in written communication, oral communication, mathematical analysis, and critical thinking skills. Students at APSU select coursework in the general education core in the areas of Communication, Humanities and Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, History, Natural Sciences, and Mathematics. While the general education core requirements for graduation can be met by choosing courses from each of these areas, some programs of study require lower division courses that serve as prerequisites for upper division courses. Students should consult the sample 4-year plans and confer with their academic advisors as they choose their general education core courses.

What engagement opportunities are available to APSU students?

APSU fosters a positive campus environment that encourages active participation in university life. 

APSU students engage in HIP curricular and co-curricular experiences that advance their learning and knowledge. Opportunities include first-year seminar, first-year learning communities, common reading experience 'The Peay Read', undergraduate research, study abroad, service and community-based learning, internships, e-portfolio development, and capstone courses & projects.


What Do English Majors Do After Graduation?

Because our majors have the capacity to think critically and to write logically, the range of possibilities for employment is practically limitless.  Our majors have used their degrees in a wide variety of areas, such as to teach middle-school and high-school English in the United States and abroad; to pursue graduate study in English, law, and journalism; to become technical writers; to work as copyeditors; and to work as web designers. 


  • Technical Writer
  • Communications Specialist 
  • Editor
  • Pursue graduate coursework
Pamela Morrison
Pamela Morrison

"Being an APSU graduate, I love continuing to be a part of the Austin Peay community. I've watched the university grow, and I am proud to teach for an institution that devotes itself to a rewarding, robust, and nurturing environment for students."

Nicholas Lee
Nicholas Lee

“How can I make myself better and what kind of person do I want to be in 10 years? It’s not about what things will I have, but what kind of person do I want to be?”

Jill Franks
Jill Franks

“Austin Peay provides resources for program development and every effort is made to support student success.”