Prospective Students

Why Study English?

The English Department has a diverse student body with a broad and interdisciplinary set of interests. Undergraduate majors choose either our Literature Track or our Communication and Technology Track. We also offer an MA and accelerated BA/MA Program in Texts, Technologies and Literature (TTL). Some students come to the department for a writing minor, which can feature literature, creative writing, journalism, or professional writing. Others take individual classes that complement a variety of disciplines and programs. English courses help students develop critical thinking, analytical ability, close reading, and effective communication.

English students may join our active and flourishing Honors program. We also encourage them to engage in research and to submit their work to conferences and journals. Many have served as editors of the UMBC Review or have had articles published there. They also publish their creative work in UMBC's creative arts journal, Bartleby. English majors are well prepared to compete for graduate school admission, major fellowships, and top jobs.

What can I do with my English degree?


For English major advising, see Ms. Patricia Bach in the main English office to be assigned an advisor. Students should contact their assigned advisor for registration clearance and ongoing support. Students with exceptional concerns may also contact the departmental advising coordinator: Mike Fallon, ( Students who need advice regarding the writing minors, may contact their advisor or Sally Shivnan (, Director, Writing and Rhetoric Division.

For other queries, contact the English Department front office: (410) 455-2384.

Undergraduate Research

Many students in the English Department engage in research – from English 100 students working in the UMBC archives to seniors exploring the intersection of literature and colonization or the political implications of computer-industry communications. Several English majors have won Undergraduate Research Awards to support travel to archives or conferences in support of their research and many present their work at the annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day. Students who participate in the English Department Honors Program complete a substantive capstone research or creative writing project, working one-on-one with a faculty advisor.

In addition to the Department's own program, UMBC offers many opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved in active research projects. Visit The Office of Undergraduate Education to learn more about the Undergraduate Research Awards Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement day.


Internships are a bridge between university coursework and the outside world. By registering for ENGL 398 and 495, students may earn one to eight credits while gaining practical experience in communication, writing, journalism and research. Students may work six to eight hours per week for a newspaper, television or radio station, government agency or business, under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Getting Involved

English Council of Majors and Minors

The English Council of and Minors is open to all English majors and minors and meets regularly to plan activities for students of English and to discuss any concerns about the English Department and the English major program.

The English Council of Majors and Minors has a Facebook page.


A group of students from English and other departments annually publish Bartleby, UMBC's creative arts journal which includes fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and art. All students beyond 30 credits are eligible to receive academic credit for their work on Bartleby, in the form of the Engl 495 internship.

The staff meets approximately six times per semester, with the work of reading submissions done online at staff members' convenience. In addition to producing the journal, the staff also sponsors a student/faculty reading and release celebration each spring, and does publicity and occasional fund-raising activities such as book/ bake sales and Scrabble tournaments.

For information go to the Bartleby website or email

The Retriever Weekly

The Retriever Weekly is the award-winning student-run weekly newspaper at UMBC, and has been active on campus for more than 40 years. For opportunities with the Retriever, contact the staff.

Sigma Tau Delta

English majors with an outstanding record of academic achievement are invited to join the UMBC chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honors Society. Our chapter, the Alpha Delta Psi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, was founded in May 1995. Members of Sigma Tau Delta are eligible for national scholarships, writing awards, and publishing internships; our local UMBC chapter works closely with the English Council of Majors and Minors in organizing activities.

Membership applications for Sigma Tau Delta are due on March 1 and October 15 of each year.

Membership requirements include at least three semesters' enrollment at UMBC and completion of two 300- or 400-level English courses. Please contact Sally Shivnan for further information on membership in Sigma Tau Delta.

Download an application form