English Major????

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Discus: College Search and Selection: March 2004 Archive: English Major????
By Mommydog (Mommydog) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 09:42 am: Edit

My son has been accepted to USC, UCLA, UCSD, UCI. Still waiting for Cal (he has no interest) and Pomona. Does anyone know anything about the English departments in these schools? How would I find out the quality of their English departments? Thanks

By Perry (Perry) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 11:00 am: Edit

Try going to your local library or book store and reading some of the college guides. Some of these highlight academic strenghts of schools. Also you may want to search the english department website of each school. Look for: 1) requirements of the major; 2) academic or research opportunities for students; 3) opportunities for internships or study abroad; 4) quality of faculty (check their publications to see if they are actively engaged in research, and where and what they have published; 5)course variety -- do they offer many different and interesting courses or is the selection limited; etc.

You are likely to find less course selection at Pomona than at the larger universities. Still, Pomona may offer the better education due to closer interaction with faculty, smaller class size, and more rigorous standards. At the larger universities, particularly with budget cuts, you may experience many more courses taught by Teaching Assistants (TA's)and less interaction with faculty, who are more research oriented and tend to focus more on the graduate students.

Good luck.

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 01:46 pm: Edit

All of those schools have high-quality English departments, with UCSD probably the weakest.

Berkeley, UCI and UCLA are consistently top-rated for graduate programs in criticism, so if he has academic inclinations one of them might be the way to go. If he simply loves to read and write, maybe the small school experience at Pomona or the creative writing program at USC (some very interesting writers on the faculty there) would be better choices. Excellent options all around though.

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