What masters degrees can an English major pursue?

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Often college students who are undecided about what to major in choose English as the catch all degree. While the degree helps students learn the rudiments of good written and verbal communication, often many people with a BA in English wonder what to do after College. The main thing people like to tell them is to "teach," as if teaching is the only course you can pursue after obtaining a degree in English. Actually, an English degree is one of the most versatile degrees and one that can open doors to many Master's degree programs and graduate options. So, if you're asking yourself what masters degrees can an English major pursue, then here are four masters degree options that English majors can consider.


Typically, English majors like to read and write, and there's no better field for doing this than journalism. Journalism offers students the chance to write, research and read daily. A masters degree in Journalism allows English majors to enter a career that is known as being the Nation's watch dog, preserving democracy by what they investigate and choose to write about. Journalism has changed though and as evolved to include things like blogging and social media.

Media Studies

A degree in media studies is another option for English majors seeking a masters degree program. This area of study encompasses several other areas of study under the umbrella of "media studies," and offers holders of the degree many different and varying career options. Whether you want to dabble in PR or work for top advertising and marketing agencies, a masters degree in media studies can open the doors to these highly competitive jobs. Businesses value a potential's candidate's ability to reach and influence their target audience and these are skills that a media studies student are trained to do.


Another field that English major's often fail to consider is law. While a JD isn't a master's degree per se, it is a post secondary degree that does offer large salary potential as well as the ability to help people if used correctly. Many people don't realize how much writing is involved in a law degree. The ability to think logically, research and to write and communicate well are skills that all law students need.

Distance Education

Teaching does have to make it's way into a discussion of what to do with an English major, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the traditional form of teaching. English majors now have a choice of the type of teaching they want to do with their degree. A masters degree in Distance Learning can lead to a lucrative career. With the potential to teach from virtually anywhere and only limited by the course load you can carry at any given time, a distance learning graduate can benefit from pursuing a masters in distance or online education.

English majors have more choices in masters programs than they have in the past and are no longer relegated to a career as an English teacher or professor, although you can still go that route, but with more perks. Read Do Master's Programs Offer Career Placement Services? for more information about focusing your educational path.

Further Reading: 5 Ways to Turn That "English" Degree Into a Real Job