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Ramapo College Office of Admissions

McBride House 505 Ramapo Valley Road Mahwah, NJ 07430

p: (201) 684-7300
e: admissions@ramapo.edu
f: (201) 684-7964

About Literature

READ THE WORLD. WRITE YOUR LIFE.

Ramapo’s Literature major, like traditional English programs, focuses on both literature in English and enhancing students’ writing skills. Ramapo’s Literature major goes further than many programs and offers students an opportunity to study literature, in translation, from around the world. Our students truly “read the world.”

Courses in literary studies and creative writing give Ramapo’s literature students the writing skills they need to “write their lives.” Our students become engaged, thoughtful citizens who pursue distinguished careers.

Literature students prepare for all sorts of careers with internships, co-ops, and service learning placements. Our students have gone on to careers in publishing, teaching, writing, and journalism. Other go on to library sciences, law, diplomacy, and public relations. Visit our Alumni Success Stories page and meet some of our graduates.

Ramapo

Classes you can take:

Our courses allow students to read all kinds of literature in all kinds of forms: poetry, fiction, graphic novels, film, drama, and more. Studying literature is a way to study all of life’s experiences, offering the thoughtful student a window into the lives of others. In our creative writing courses, students challenge their imagination and develop the discipline that marks the best writers.

Below are just a few of the many courses we offer:

See Full Program Requirements

The popular press regularly notes that the flexibility of the degree makes Literature Majors eminently hirable. Steve Strauss writes in USA Today, “I love [Literature majors’] ability to write well and think critically” (July 8, 2016). Business Insider routinely runs articles citing the desirability of hiring Literature/English Majors. Their June 2013 profile of Logitch CEO Bracken Darrell (himself a Literature major) suggests, Literature Majors’ “’soft skills’ are greatly needed in today’s technical world.” Mark Cuban echoed these sentiments in the same publication in his Feb. 17, 2017 article “Don’t Go To School For Finance — Liberal Arts Is The Future.”

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) agrees. Among their findings is that Liberal Arts majors “Earn More than Professional Majors at Peak Earnings Ages”:

“At peak earnings ages (56-60 years) workers who majored as undergraduates in the humanities or social sciences earn annually on average about $2000 more than those who majored as undergraduates in professional or pre-professional fields. These data include all college graduates working full-time, including those with only a baccalaureate degree and those with both a baccalaureate and graduate or professional degree.”

Also, Liberal Arts majors face lower unemployment rates:

“The unemployment rate for recent liberal arts graduates is 5.2 percent. The unemployment rate for mature workers with liberal arts degrees (41-50) is 3.5 percent—just .04 percent higher than the rates for those with a professional or preprofessional degree.” (See https://www.aacu.org/press/press-releases/new-report-documents-liberal-arts-disciplines-prepare-graduates-long-term).

Here is one way to think about the message of all of this research: it is easy to imagine a Literature major taking an entry-level position at a brokerage house or bank (this happens frequently). It is much harder to imagine a Finance major walking into a high school English teaching position. While the data is there, this message is difficult to transmit. Below I will make some recommendations on this matter.

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Melissa McGrath '14

History, Literature, Women's and Gender Studies

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Joseph Federico '10

Literature

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Brendan Flanagan '12

International Studies, Liberal Studies, Literature

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Jennifer Trabucco '18

Biochemistry, Literature

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Christen Harm '13

Literature

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Lauren Santaniello '13

Italian Studies, Literature, Secondary Education Program

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Grace Brennan '17

Literature

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Sydney Hopen '16

Literature

Ramapo Success Story

Faculty

Todd Barnes

Literature

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Gretchen Kaser '10

Creative Writing, Literature, Political Science

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Elizabeth Hunt '17

Creative Writing, Literature

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Ashley Beaton '13

Elementary Education, Literature, Psychology

Ramapo Success Story

Alum

Maria Poznahovska '12

Literature

Current Student

Frank Rincon '17

Literature

The Literature major balances survey and seminar, American, British, and world literature while you study genre, period, and theme. Your courses will emphasize the interdisciplinary and multicultural dimensions of literature and life.

Prepare for life with internships, co-ops, and service learning placements at organizations such as John Wiley & Sons, Simon & Schuster, the New York Public Library, the Margaret Sanger Papers Project, the Jane Addams Papers Project, The Feminist Press, Foxbusiness.com, Paterson Public Schools, and Stryker Orthopaedics.

You can choose to expand your career options by minoring or concentrating in Creative Writing. Majoring in Literature is a practical choice that helps you develop the communications skills employers want. At the same time, students enjoy studying their favorite authors and discover new ones.
Fire up your imagination by getting involved with Trillium, the college literary magazine, or joining the Literature Club and the Omega Omega Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (the national English Honor Society).

Our students have had their work published in such publications as Salon, The Guardian, The Hairpin, Truth-Out, Buzzfeed, Esquire, Paste, Hazlett, Bustle, Femsplain, The New Republic, The Toast.

Trillium

Ramapo

Literature Minor

The Literature minor has only one required courses. Student take LITR 203, one 300-level course. The other courses are up to the student. The Literature Minor lets students hone their critical reading and writing skills while exploring literary texts from around the world and across history. Students are required to take 5 courses (20 credits) to complete the minor.


Related Programs

Creative Writing

Bachelor of Arts

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American Studies

Bachelor of Arts

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Writing

Bachelor of Arts

M C

Teacher Education

O