Lena Dunham and Conan O’Brien were English majors. So too were Hank Paulson, Sally Ride, Rachel Carson, Toni Morrison, Julia Alvarez, Carol Browner, Diane Sawyer, Mitt Romney, James Franco, and Paul Simon. Renowned business and financial editor and columnist at the New York Times, Gretchen Morgenson is a Pulitzer Prize winner—and an English major. Why do economists, physicists, environmentalists, politicians, journalists, comedians, musicians, politicians, Nobel-awarded writers and astronauts major in English? They know that majoring in English opens up paths into many futures. These people and others like them major in English because it trains students to investigate closely and think broadly. It helps you reimagine limits, and envision roads to be taken before they show up on the map. You can major in English so that every moment will be a surprise to yourself and interesting to others, and so that there will be no foregone conclusions in your life.
Word cloud of English faculty areas of interest, 2018