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Detroit Mercy English class

Discover New Worlds:
English Majors Enjoy Many Paths to Success

As a University of Detroit Mercy English major, you will spend your time immersed in great texts and great conversation with passionate faculty and fellow students. Your journey with us will transport you to other worlds and teach you to empathize with diverse perspectives. You will graduate a strong and confident writer, thinker and speaker, ready to continue your journey in graduate or professional school or pursue a career in a broad range of competitive fields.

Detroit Mercy students also have an opportunity to have their creative work published in [sic], the University's student arts journal. The publication features the poetry, fiction, prose, photography and fine art of Detroit Mercy's exceptionally creative student body. The journal is edited and designed by undergraduate students and publishes annually.

Did you know that English majors:

Whether you major or minor in English at Detroit Mercy, you will gain essential skills to thrive in your career and life.

Four Exciting Concentrations

Literature

Discover great literature through conversation and writing. Learn about yourself and the world; develop as a scholar and critic; collaborate with active scholars in the field.

Professional Writing

Discover your professional voice through research, writing for print and digital formats and oral presentations. Collaborate with professionals in your field and build your resume.

Creative Writing

Discover your voice as you work alongside peers and published authors in genres including poetry, fiction and screenwriting. Hone your craft through writing and revision.

Secondary Education

Discover your own passion for teaching as you develop a strong foundation in literature and language. Work with expert teachers as you prepare to educate the next generation of readers and writers

Undergraduate Programs

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    Major - English

    Degree: Bachelor of Arts
    Major: English
    Concentrations:  Literature, Creative Writing, Secondary Education and Professional Writing

    University of Detroit Mercy's Department of English is home to four undergraduate major concentrations--literature, creative writing, professional writing and secondary education--as well as minors in literature and creative writing. Our courses are taught by award-winning faculty members who are active scholars, authors and passionate teachers. Whichever concentration you pursue, you will grow as a writer, reader, thinker and speaker.

    English majors and minors in their final semester will submit a portfolio of their work that demonstrates their academic growth within the English Department. Current students can access portfolio guidelines here and a list of English Department student outcomes here.

    To obtain this undergraduate degree, the student must fulfill the requirements of the University core curriculum, the requirements for the 36-credit-hour program major and have completed a minimum of 126 credit hours.

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    Creative Writing Minor

    Find your voice and develop your craft as a poet, novelist, essayist or screenwriter. The creative writing minor is a minimum 18-credit-hour (six courses) program designed to provide students the tools for a deeper understanding of how to use language and to express the intricacies of the human experience. The creative writing minor gives students the opportunity to undertake creative writing projects—especially the writing of poetry, fiction, screenplays, and non-fiction—which emphasize the process of writing as well as the end product. In their classes, students read and study a variety of key published works, write from prompts and assignments and learn techniques for harnessing their own creative resources. The peer workshop, or group critique of student writing, is the cornerstone of growth as a writer.

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    Literature Minor

    Enhance your writing skills and set yourself apart from the crowd. The literature minor is a minimum 18-credit-hour (six courses) program designed to provide students with a critical understanding of a range of literary periods, genres, authors and literary theory. This minor complements a range of majors and is a good choice for any student who has an interest in reading, writing about and discussing literature. The literature minor is particular valuable for students' professional development because it helps develop critical thinking and writing skills, historical and cultural awareness, and appreciation of the diversity of human experience and written expression over the ages.

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    Careers

    Careers

    An English major/minor prepares you with essential skills for your chosen career path. English does not prepare you for one career; it prepares you for a lifetime of professional development.


    What jobs can you get with an English major/minor?
    The question is, what job can’t you get? Great career options include:

    Broadcasting/Television/Film
    Business
    Communications
    Consulting
    Copywriting
    Creative Writing
    Education/Teaching
    Freelance Writing
    Grant Writing
    Higher Education Administration
    Human Resources
    Journalism
    Law
    Library Science/Information Science
    Magazine Writing
    Marketing/Advertising
    Non-Profit Administration
    Psychology/Therapy
    Public Policy/Government
    Public Relations
    Public Service
    Publishing/Editing
    Research Analysis
    Science Writing
    Scriptwriting
    Social Work
    Speech Writing
    Sports Writing
    Technical Writing
    Website Development

    Find out more about What You Can Do With an English Major and
    visit the Detroit Mercy Career Education Center in person. 


    Career skills an English major/minor fosters:

    Assessing an audience and crafting a message for maximum effect;
    Creating persuasive messages, influencing and persuading;
    Perceiving the world from multiple points of view;
    Reading critically; analyzing texts and information;
    Thinking out of the box;
    Understanding and managing complex information;
    Working independently; working well with others; and
    Writing and speaking with confidence, clarity and sophistication.

    Graduate and professional school

    An undergraduate degree in English is an excellent foundation for a variety of graduate and professional programs. English majors score competitively on the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and GMAT exams. English alumni successfully pursue careers in law, medicine, business, education, and more.


    Why English majors rock their careers!

    Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide a Great Return on Investment,”
    Forbes, Nov. 20, 2014.

    The Best Argument for Studying English? The Employment Numbers,”
    The Atlantic, Jun. 25, 2013.

    That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket,”
    Forbes, Jun. 29, 2015.

    A Top Medical School Revamps Requirements To Lure English Majors,”
    May 27, 2015.

    "A Liberal Arts Degree Can Be More Beneficial than Most People Think,"
    March 28, 2016.

    Logitech CEO: ‘I Love Hiring English Majors,’” Business Insider, Jun. 20, 2013.

    Employers and Public Favor Graduates Who Can Communicate, Survey Finds,”
    The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sep. 18, 2013.

    What Is Knowledge Worth? A Liberal Arts Education Has Enduring Value,”
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 17, 2013.

    A Liberal Arts Foundation for Any Career,”
    New York Times, Mar. 24, 2013.

    Why I Hire English Majors,”
    Huffington Post, Jun. 23, 2013.

    Open Minds, Open Arms, Open Hearts,”
    (by Giulia Pink, University of Detroit Mercy English Alumna), Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, March 2015.

    Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer,”
    Time, June 2013.

    Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires,”
    American Express Forum, July 2013.

    Download this flyer for great tips on professionalizing your English degree.

     

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    What Our Students Are Saying

    Detroit Mercy English courses are taught by award-winning faculty members, who are passionate teachers and active scholars and authors.

    Michael Barry, Ph.D., Department Chair and Professor of English

    What His Students Are Saying:

    • “I LOVE Michael Barry. He made me fall back in love with writing. He was so encouraging and helpful.”
    • “It’s clear that he loves the literature and thinks about it often. He is extremely well read and poses questions that take a while to process, which is infinitely more interesting than a simple question with a simple answer. He makes me want to read everything.”
    • “Dr. Barry is always thinking of new ways to make the material more interesting. For example, he twice prepared dishes that were part of the stories we read in class. I definitely appreciate Dr. Barry’s effort!”


    Claire Crabtree, Ph.D., Professor of English

    What Her Students Are Saying:

    • “Prof. Crabtree is a phenomenal teacher. I greatly enjoyed learning from her, and I would HIGHLY recommend her to friends.”
    • “Prof. Crabtree is wonderfully knowledgeable…capable, approachable, and has a knack for how much space to give in order to best encourage a quality output from the student.”
    • “Prof. Crabtree is a delight. She is wonderfully knowledgeable, yet consistently displays a penchant for learning with her students. She has instructed a few of the classes that I've taken and I've found that I appreciate her more each time.”

    John Freeman, Ph.D., Professor of English

    What His Students Are Saying:

    • “Before taking this class, I was not at all interested in poetry. But Dr. Freeman helps the students understand that a poem is not just a poem. It is another way to communicate an idea or feeling about something going on around you, be it political or a belief. I was inspired after this class to start writing my own poems.”
    • “Dr. Freeman was my favorite professor. He made sure to let everyone participate in conversations. He was very helpful and insightful on many topics…I think I can say for all the students that we learned a lot about diverse topics in this class.”
    • “The class atmosphere was fun and Prof. Freeman always had us laughing. He is truly a great professor, full of energy and compassion for teaching and English literature.”


    Mary-Catherine Harrison, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English

    What Her Students Are Saying:

    • “Professor Harrison is an amazing professor. She is energetic about the material she teaches, challenges her students, and is always available if needed. I would encourage any student to take a course with her.”
    • “Professor Harrison’s contagious energy helps to make studying poetry engaging and informative.”
    • “Not only does Dr. Harrison excite students about learning, but she sets the academic standard in every course she teaches. She utilizes every moment of class time to get as much as possible out of her students, and gives them much more than anyone could imagine a professor could dedicate in return.”


    Amanda Hiber, M.F.A., Senior Lecturer

    What Her Students Are Saying:

    • “I learned so much from Prof. Hiber. I will definitely use all of the writing tools she taught me for the rest of my life.”
    • “I started the class nervous about my writing skills. After the class was over, I felt more confident in my writing. Prof. Hiber had a great balance between leading her students in the right direction and letting us write on our own.”
    • “Prof. Hiber was very helpful and was very easy to meet with outside of class. I’ve never been good at English but she made it easy for me to understand. I learned a great deal from her and am so thankful.”


    Heather Hill-Vasquez, Ph.D., Professor of English

    What  Her Students Are Saying:

    • “I’ve always loved books, but Prof. Hill-Vasquez taught me how to truly respect the corpus and meaning of the works we learned. She opened up the doors of thought and reasoning that has helped me in every class since.”
    • “Dr. Hill-Vásquez taught me, through interactive lectures and productive group work, that no facet of our society should go unexamined. She not only taught about inspirational figures, but was an inspiration to her own students.”
    • “Dr. Hill-Vásquez wants her students to succeed. She makes herself extremely available, working with each student personally and pushing them to produce their best work. She is very kind, tough (in the best way possible), and demands that students challenge their every-day perceptions to seek out the deeper meaning in anything they experience.”


    Joe Paszek, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English

    • “I've had an English class every single year of K-12 schooling, took AP English in 11th and 12th grade and received A's. I learned as much or more in the few hours under Prof. Paszek’s guidance than those many years of schooling. [It’s like] he taught me the secret tricks and ‘what they don't want you to know.’”
    • “Professor Paszek’s course was effective and very beneficial to me. I learned a lot and got another way to analyze my life and the people in it.”
    • “I really enjoyed my instructor Joe Paszek. I feel that I am a better writer, and have developed many writing skills from the course. Joe presented all materials and made it understandable, he also encourages questions. On my papers he let me know my strengths and weaknesses.”


    Nick Rombes, Ph.D., Professor of English

    What His Students Are Saying:

    • “Awesome professor. I felt as though he truly prized what students said which made it easy to participate and present in class.”
    • “I wasn't really interested in the film-making process before I took Prof. Rombes’s class. Now I find myself watching films and pointing out different techniques that I never would have noticed before. “
    • “Prof. Rombes was great and made the class thoroughly interesting. He was extremely educated in the film subject and he was passionate about film. This passion was easily passed on to his students. “


    Rosemary Weatherston, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English

    • “Dr. Weatherson makes sure she is available for her students when they need help and goes out of her way to help them. I've never had a professor that shows such passion for the subject they teach and true concern to see her students succeed.”
    • “Dr. Weatherston’s understanding of the text and interpretation of writing is exceptional. She made it available for us to apply the skills that she holds to our own personal work. I enjoyed this course very much and Dr. Weatherston was more than willing to work with students and help them achieve their greatest potential.”
    • “Hands down, one of the best professors and teachers I have ever have. She is so passionate about literature and fiction. I truly enjoyed having her as a teacher.”
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    [sic]: Detroit Mercy's Student Arts Journal

    [sic]
    Student Arts Journal

    Many of our English majors and minors have their creative work featured in [sic], the University's student arts journal. Established in 1992, [sic] is published annually by the English Department’s Dudley Randall Center for Print Culture. The publication features the poetry, fiction, prose, photography and fine art of Detroit Mercy's exceptionally creative student body. The journal is edited and designed by undergraduate students and publishes annually.

    For more information, contact Rosemary Weatherston, associate professor of English: weatherr@udmercy.edu.

    Click the link to read more about [sic].


English Majors Pursue Rewarding Careers and Lives

Alumni of Detroit Mercy's English Program have gone on to pursue exciting and rewarding careers in law, education, business, marketing, politics and writing.

Read what some of our recent alumni say about what they gained through their Detroit Mercy degree:

Riham Alwan '07, resident physician, Henry Ford Medical Center

My pursuit of a dual major in English and biochemistry engaged both my analytical, regimented self and allowed my mind unlimited creative explorations. I cherish the memories of my undergraduate experience, and I would not be the woman I am today had it not been for Detroit Mercy.

Deonte Osayande '13, poet, adjunct professor, Wayne County Community College

I am grateful that I had professors who invested in me during class hours, during office hours, and even off the clock to help me develop as a writer and as a human being. It turned what I thought I knew about English and Literature all the way around.

Michelle Styczynski '12, research advocate, Consumer Federation of America

I became an English major because I was deeply inspired by the conversations that took place in my English courses; now I receive praise from supervisors who say that my research and writing are thorough, clear, and convincing.

Jasmine Davis '14, second year student, University of Michigan Law School

Having a concentration in literature forced me to become an active reader with a critical eye for detail; I have learned how to approach texts from a critical standpoint and to analyze texts in depth.

Giulia Pink '15, copywriter, Quicken Loans

To incoming freshmen unsure of what to study, I say: Major in Liberal Arts, but only if you are curious and want to discover incredible things about yourself and those around you.

English Minors Expand Their Skills and Their Horizons

A minor in literature or creative writing is the perfect complement to any major at University of Detroit Mercy. Our English minors read and discuss great literary texts and hone their own craft as writers and scholars over the course of six classes (18 credits). Depending on your major, one to four of those classes also earns credit for the Detroit Mercy core curriculum. As our students will tell you, a literature or creative writing minor at Detroit Mercy will enhance your intellectual and professional development and help you grow as a person and student. Read the great things our students say about these minors:

Blake Armstrong, biology major (pre-med), literature minor

Pairing my literature minor with my biology major was the best decision I made at Detroit Mercy and my college experience would have been diminished without it.

Mianna Gonczar, biology major, literature minor

Starting at University of Detroit Mercy as a biology major, I was overwhelmed with the amount of science courses ahead of me. After choosing my literature minor, I have the opportunity to take classes that reflect and build my interests; the courses allow for a creative outlet in an otherwise rigid class-load. The education I've received from my literature minor has allowed me to expand my views on the world, the people around me, and who I am.

Maeve Nichols, 5-year BS/MS information assurance, literature minor

Declaring a minor in literature has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my academic career. As a cybersecurity major, I’m required to take a large amount of technical, computer based courses for my degree. Having a minor in literature has enabled me to diversify my education by taking courses that promote creativity and analytical thinking. Additionally, I have gained invaluable skills in reading, writing, and communication that give me an edge in any career path, including computers.

Rachel Wozniak, criminal justice major, literature minor

The English Department at [Detroit Mercy] has expanded my horizons of reading exponentially. My professors have provided me with the tools, information, and passion that I needed to branch out of my comfort zone. The classes required for my minor have taught me just how important literature is in everyday life, and how much of an impact it has on the world around me. My reading and writing skills have also improved significantly thanks to the careful eye of professors in small classes coaching me every step of the way.  I am forever grateful for the lessons learned while completing my Literature minor at [Detroit Mercy].

Meet Our Faculty

FULL-TIME FACULTY

Michael G. Barry, Ph.D.
Professor of English & Department Chair

Claire M. Crabtree-Sinnett, Ph.D.
Professor of English

John C. Freeman, Ph.D.
Professor of English

Mary-Catherine Harrison, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English and Co-Director of University Honors Program

Amanda Hiber, M.F.A.
Senior Lecturer

Heather L. Hill-Vasquez, Ph.D.
Professor of English

Joe Paszek, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English, Director of the Writing Program and Director of the Writing Center

Nick Rombes, Ph.D.
Professor of English

Sigrid Streit, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English

Rosemary I. Weatherston Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English

ADJUNCT FACULTY

Ann Eskridge
Adjunct Faculty of English

Mary M. McCall, M.A.
Adjunct Faculty of English

Cindy Spires
Adjunct Faculty of English and Writing Center Coordinator

Stuart Tucker, B.A.
Adjunct Faculty of English


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