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Professor Libretti engages a class in discussion.
Welcome to Northeastern Illinois University’s English Department. We aren’t just an academic department, we’re a vibrant and supportive culture and community preparing creative problem-solvers to take part in our global society through meaningful work.

Career Opportunities for the English Major

Please forget the stereotype of penniless English majors waiting tables with their useless degrees. We reject it, and so should you—because it is untrue. In English studies we cultivate people with vibrant and creative imaginations, exceptional writing and communication skills, as well as precise and in-depth analytical and critical thinking skills—in short, a skill set that employers in all spheres and industries indicate is sorely lacking in most job-seekers these days.

In addition to sending our students on to top law schools and doctoral programs as well as successful teaching careers, our alumni have excelled in careers in professional writing, social media, marketing, Web-content management, research, consulting, editing, public relations, library science, politics and lobbying, communications, business and more, precisely because we give them valuable skills, such as:

  • The creative imagination and analytical skills to solve problems and invent new possibilities
  • The knowledge and ability to understand, appreciate and relate respectfully to people and works of art from diverse cultures, and to communicate across borders, which sets them apart in our increasingly global society
  • The writing and communication skills to produce and analyze texts in the digital age

"I think what I appreciate most about English majors is that they are taught to think critically, and that is exactly what I want in my business. Busy with a start-up, a new book to finish, speeches, and running my regular business to boot, what I need is to be able to give someone an assignment and have them do it. Period. That is exactly what I get from the English majors. They know how to think, to think for themselves, and how to analyze a problem. Business majors are fine, but they are preoccupied with theory, proving themselves, and doing it "right." But the English majors are used to getting a tough assignment, figuring it out, and getting it done, (usually) on time." —Steve Strauss, best-selling author, USA Today columnist and small business expert on why he hires English majors

What We Offer

Featuring a faculty who are actively engaged in shaping their respective fields through their scholarship and research, Northeastern’s English Department offers cutting-edge curricula across our undergraduate and M.A. programs in literary and cultural studies, rhetoric and composition, and creative writing, preparing our students for rewarding careers and creative, fulfilling professional and personal lives.

The English Department offers a vibrant literary culture anchored by an exciting creative writing curriculum taught by notable American writers.

In addition to housing the First-Year Writing Program, the English Department is also home to two undergraduate majors and two minors:

Two graduate programs that serve as preparation for Ph.D. programs provide professional development and advancement for teachers and prepare people to succeed professionally in both academic and corporate arenas:

Additional Opportunities

To assist you in your academic, professional and personal endeavors, we offer, in addition to a supportive faculty and culture, the following financial assistance and professional preparation and opportunities:

  • Talent scholarships for our undergraduate majors
  • The opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to join an International Honors Society that offers scholarships, opportunities to publish and present research, and other professional opportunities
  • Graduate Assistantships for M.A. students to provide financial support as well as opportunities for professionalization and teaching experience
  • Merit Tuition Awards for M.A. students
  • Research opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate level
  • Professional internships at the undergraduate and graduate level
  • A vibrant and supportive student culture and literary journal
  • An engaged and caring alumni network and overall department culture that will support you while you are here and be a supportive home and resource for you after you graduate
  • An Annual Student Awards Ceremony honoring student work with cash awards
  • Top-notch advising and more …

Contact Us

For more information regarding our programs, please feel free to contact us at (773) 442-5810.

Department of English Office: Lech Walesa Hall, Room 2010 on Northeastern's Main Campus.

Timothy Scherman, acting chair: (773) 442-5817

If you have not been assigned an advisor, please contact Prof. Timothy Scherman for further information.  (

Ryan Poll, M.A. Literature advisor (773) 442-5824

Timothy Barnett, M.A. Rhetoric and Composition advisor (773) 442-5822




Contact Us at the English Department

T (773) 442-5810

Contact Us at the English Department

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