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  • Come Alive with Words!

  • Come Alive with Words!

  • Come Alive with Words!

English Department

Prepare for a rewarding career by studying how language and literatures, old and new, shape and are shaped by cultures.

Welcome to the English Department at SUNY Plattsburgh

Our stellar English Department faculty are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. Get to know us.

With four different majors, the department offers versatile and powerful training for a broad range of satisfying careers. Our students demonstrate that versatility: some train their inner writer, others prepare to become teachers, still others study literature and find that their power to read complex texts with insight opens up careers in editing, publishing, public relations, marketing, law, and a broad range of careers in business and non-profits. 

Studies show that an English major is practical precisely because it trains you to use language powerfully and effectively. By studying and creating complex texts, you will acquire the analytical skills necessary to understand and respond to the swirl of ideas, perspectives, and data undergirding any problem. 

Turn your Passion for Literature & Writing into a Career

Most English majors love reading and writing, and that passion is the first step toward developing a successful career. Talk with your instructors and advisor about the many career options available and how best to pursue them. Be intentional about developing the skills required by the marketplace, remembering that writing skills are the most marketable skills available. Consider our Professional Writing Certificate Program, and add competencies throughout your undergraduate career by taking a variety of courses.

Jobs and Positions Currently Held by SUNY Plattsburgh English Majors:

  • Motion picture and literary assistant
  • Freelance writer, editor, and contact manager
  • High school English teacher
  • High school reading teacher
  • Middle school English teacher
  • Concordia University Ph.D. candidate
  • Pace University law student
  • Immigration services officer
  • Office manager and creative professional
  • Marketing content writer
  • School-based mental counselor
  • Administrative assistant
  • Co-manager of Price Chopper
  • Beauty editor, InStyle
  • Digital creator
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Assistant director of marketing, SUNY Plattsburgh
  • International affairs coordinator at Temple University
  • Social worker
  • Mental health clinician
  • Best Buy manager
  • Communications professional
  • Graphic designer
  • Director of digital communications and marketing
  • Healthcare access associate
  • Librarian
  • School psychologist
  • Technical editor
  • Lab and classroom technician
  • Computer systems and desktop support services
  • Web strategist, SUNY Plattsburgh


Questions? We are here to help. Please contact our instructors or department chair, Elaine Ostry: [email protected]. We are stronger together.

Faculty News

Our faculty are accomplished authors, poets and researchers. Here’s a sampling of recent faculty accomplishments. We invite you to send us an email or stop by during office hours. Visit our faculty directory to learn more about our work and research.

Anna Battigelli’s edition of essays Literature and the Arts: Interdisciplinary Essays in Memory of James Anderson Winn is now available from the University of Delaware Press.

Scott Reznick was recently interviewed by North Country Public Radio about how literature addresses political division. Listen here.

Jose Torres has won the inaugural Tomás Rivera Book Prize which celebrates Chicanx/Latinx writing in the United States. The prize is sponsored by the Los Angeles Review of Books and the University of California Riverside. Read the full press release.

Paul Johnston’s podcast “Fireside Poems” launched on August 5, 2020. New podcasts are available on Wednesdays at www.firesidepoems.com.

Sara Schaff has published The Invention of Love (Split Lip Press), a collection of stories heralded as both “unflinching” and also as “transmuting darkness into something like love, or love itself.”

Michael Devine’sWarhol’s Mother’s Pantry: Repetition, Redemption and the Mom in Pop won Ohio State University’s Gournay Prize in 2019.

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