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The English Minor

Why choose a minor at all?

Although it is not a requirement for graduation, a minor gives you a way to pursue your interests in a field other than your major. In addition, a minor gives you a way to show future employers or graduate school admissions committees the diversity of your interests and skills; therefore, you might want to think about your future goals when choosing a minor. For example, if you are headed towards business and technology, you might want to minor in Computer Science or Economics. If you are headed toward graduate study and have a specific interest in gender issues, you might choose to minor in Gender Studies. If you are interested in law school or public service, consider minoring in Philosophy, Political Science, or Urban Studies. Your advisor can help you think about other possibilities, such as Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Psychology, Social Work, or Journalism. For an interesting perspective on the topic of choosing a minor, you may be interested in the following New York Times article: "What’s Your Minor?" by Michelle Slatalla (April 20, 2008).

A minor consists of twelve credits at or above the 100-level in one department (fifteen credits in some departments). Some departments may not allow minors, so you should check before you make your decision. It is also possible to develop an interdisciplinary minor with the approval of the respective department chairs and deans. In order to have your minor listed on your transcript, obtain a "Request for Minor" form, available in the Registrar's Office. Fill out this form, listing the courses you have completed in your minor subject. Meet with the minor Department Chair and have him/her sign the form, certifying that you have completed the requirements for a Minor in that subject. Then submit the form to the Registrar.

Why minor in English?

You enjoy reading, analyzing, and writing about literature, and no matter what you do after graduation, you already know that literature will be a part of your life. To prepare for that lifetime of reading, take some extra literature courses!

You like to think and write creatively, and you want to be a poet, fiction writer, or playwright—on top of whatever it is you end up doing for a living. Get started now with some creative-writing courses!

You want a career in law, public relations, education, politics, advertising, journalism, web marketing, or publishing—or something else. Whatever your profession, you know it will require you to think critically and write persuasively. Get that skill set ready by taking some advanced courses in writing and rhetoric!

You want to make a difference in your community and persuade others to help. You're going to need to develop your expertise in argumentative writing. Better head for the English Department!

One final possibility: You want to pass on your love for English by teaching young people to be careful readers and good writers. If this is your goal, you're going to need more than a minor. Double-major in education and English and get certified to teach in the public schools. Click here for information about how to become a middle school or high school English teacher.

Check out our Tumblr for more ideas for "what to do with an english major or minor." (And don't miss our other social-media channels!)

How to minor in English

The English minor consists of four English courses numbered above 100. According to the LIU Brooklyn Undergraduate Bulletin, "Any minor satisfies the distribution requirement." That means no what your major is, you can earn a minor in English, and it will also satisfy your distribution requirement!

For more information about the English minor (or the English-major program), contact Wayne Berninger, the English Department's Undergraduate Advisor. To make your own appointment, use the app at wayneberninger.setster.com. Here is a short video showing how to use the app.