Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

English Dept. Tops National Rankings

Georgetown ranked number one out of 65 colleges in USA Today’s list of the best English programs in universities across the nation.

The list, which was generated by college data site College Factual, ranked English major programs according to various criteria, including the salaries earned by graduates in the early and middle stages of their career, the percentage of students with the major at the university across bachelor, masters and doctorate degrees, and a measure of how the major incorporates interdisciplinary studies into its curriculum.

The English program offered by Georgetown was credited with offering a particularly multidisciplinary education that encourages graduates to go into successful, high-paying careers in a variety of fields.

Associate professor of English Nathan Hensley said that the program is successful in providing students with the opportunity to succeed in any profession.

“Increasingly we are seeing that employers from all different disciplines and fields are looking to the liberal arts, and to English in particular, as providing skills that can be transferrable across all different professions,” Hensley said. “What will certainly be needed are people who can approach complex problems creatively and who can write with vividness and clarity and who can think in autonomous and exciting ways.”

Associate professor of English Jennifer Fink agreed that the English program teaches students a series of skills in preparation for a variety of jobs in the future.

“Most of the careers that exist now did not exist when I was in college. The idea that college is going to prepare you for a career is to prepare you for the past; a true education prepares you for an unknown future,” Fink said. “I think English is the best major for this, in that you are gaining rhetorical, critical thinking and writing skills that are applicable to almost any profession. …You are gaining an understanding of history, culture and art — of what it means to be human.”

The ranking also noted the close relationships formed between the students and professors as one of the greatest contributing factors to their later success in respective careers and professions.

Fink noted the multitude of careers her students have pursued after graduating with an English degree from Georgetown.

“An English degree from Georgetown gives you the kind of writing and critical thinking skills at the very highest level that employers today are looking for,” Fink said. “Majors not only pursue a vast array of fields, but they’ve been phenomenally successful in these fields. The major prepares them to be truly great communicators, critical thinkers and innovators.”

Furthermore, the program gives English majors a great deal of flexibility to focus on various different projects.

Kayla Corcoran (COL ’15) said that she is able to pursue many topics she finds interesting as an English major. Her thesis, in particular, mixes elements from multiple subjects, including history, economics and politics.

“The English program at Georgetown lets students run with their ideas. As a student myself, I have been able to pursue many projects, including my thesis, which is interdisciplinary within the English department,” Corcoran said. “I feel very encouraged to push myself and challenge myself, and if there’s something I want to do to enrich my experience, the English department has been very supportive of that.”

In addition, the English program provides students with many opportunities to attend community-building events. Three English majors recently created the English Majors Association and Friends of Majors to form a closer community among students in the program.

Kayla Corcoran (COL ’15), Mary Zost (COL ’15) and Will Fonseca (COL ’16) created the English Majors Association and Friends of Majors group last year.

“It’s a nice place to get to take your interests out of the classroom and connect on a deeper level with people who are just as interested in English. It’s been something that helps bring together a community,” Zost said.

However, students and faculty of the English department recognize the dedication and efforts of the English professors as the main reason behind the ranking.

English Department Chair and associate professor Kathryn Temple noted the effort and talent needed to make the department as successful as it is.

“Our department is excited by this recognition of our commitment to undergraduate study. It truly does take a village,” Temple said. “All of us work hard and work together to be sure our majors and all of our undergraduate students have a great experience.”

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