Real World Learning

Pitt-Johnstown English Literature 

English Literature

Real World learning at Pitt-Johnstown is a unique blend of academics and experiential learning, leading to rewarding career opportunities.

Our distinctive people, place, and programs create a learning environment that gives students an opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences in and outside the classroom. Real World opportunities, including internships, service-learning, undergraduate research, study abroad, and other creative and professional work experiences, result in exceptional performance. 

The Real World Action Program is a University-wide initiative designed to guide students through a series of programs, activities and experiences that complement their academic studies. 


"I love English majors. I love how smart they are.  I love their intellectual curiosity. And I love their bold choice for a major. Most of all, I love to hire them."

Steve Strauss, USA Today

English Literature Careers

Opportunities On and Beyond Campus

The English literature major at Pitt-Johnstown enjoys the following options:

  • Study a range of genres, works, and authors in English and American literature and culture, from Beowulf to Beloved, from biblical studies to post-structuralist cultural studies, leading to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree
  • Take courses in literary theory and literary criticism, digital humanities, and popular culture in conjunction with the humanities' dual emphasis in traditional scholarship and emerging digital and social media
  • Pursue independent-study and collaborative-research opportunities, and participate in a range of extracurricular cultural and social activities
  • Prepare for graduate study - our graduates have gone on to MA and PhD graduate programs in English Literature at such institutions as New York University, University of California-Irvine, University of North Carolina, and Penn State University, as well as Law programs including the University of Pittsburgh and Villanova University.
  • Undertake successful career paths after graduation, in journalism and feature writing, public relations, web consulting, and education, among others.
  • Complement a major in another field with an Eng Lit minor, an asset for students of all majors, whether pursuing further education or entering the job market. Particularly for majors in Business, Communication, and Creative and Professional Writing. The EngLit program's emphases on critical thinking; clear and precise communication in oral, written, and digital formats; and scholarly research methods and contemporary approaches produce valuable skills for a range of vocational and professional fields.

Student Activities

The English Literature academic curriculum is enhanced by Pitt-Johnstown's wide and diverse range of cultural and extra-curricular opportunities, including film series, professional and local stage productions, and invited readers and speakers, including, most recently, poet Lori Jakiela and writer Gary Lutz.

Sigma Tau Delta
The international English honor society confers distinction upon students of English language and literature. Our chapter, Alpha Pi Omicron, was chartered in 2008. Activities include presentations at national and regional conferences, social events, field trips, and an annual initiation and award ceremony and reception.

Symposium for the Promotion of Academic and Creative Enquiry (SPACE)
Held annually in April, this campus-wide event celebrates student achievement in academic and creative work, offering students an opportunity to present their work to peers and interact with a range of fellow students and faculty of all majors.

Backroads
Pitt-Johnst's student-run literary magazine offers a forum for students to present their creative work in writing, photography, art, and essay writing.

Humanities Writing Awards
Annual awards recognize scholarly and creative writing in the Humanities, with a range of cash prizes and presentation opportunities.