Why English?

What is the study of English and why should I study it?

Daryl Farmer teaches a class
Study English because you are eager to enrich your life by learning to see the world in new ways and help others to do so, too. No matter the class, you will be challenged as an English major to articulate your point of view. Who you are will be valued. Our classes are student-centered and most are discussion-based. You will work with faculty who are committed to nurturing your literary and critical ambitions and peers who are expressive, curious, playful, dynamic, kind, and smart.




We have something for every interest, including:



Creative Writing






Literary Theory


You can build a career studying English, but you can also build connections that will deepen your experience at UAF, making yourself into an engaged, empathetic, and insightful literary citizen.




What can you do with an English degree?

English is a degree that builds your critical thinking by exposing you to multiple perspectives and teaching you research skills that professional degrees such as law and non-profit organizations in particular find valuable. 13.5% of 性十八.cc鈥檚 employment comes from non-profit work, and in the U.S. the non-profit sector has grown steadily since 2000

Marking up papers

A degree in English can lead to a wide range of careers across various sectors. Here are some career options that can result from a background in English:


You can be anything, because that鈥檚 what studying English does. It prepares you to problem solve in a diverse, dynamic world that needs people like you who are willing to read, contemplate, and create.


"Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true." - Ruth Bader Ginsburg



  Universal Skills

The study of English shapes a number of sought-after skills that translate to any career path, including empathy, self awareness and communication.



English at the University of 性十八.cc Fairbanks



Shed antlers near Denali
At a recent poetry reading professor emeritus John Morgan was asked about his early days in Fairbanks. "Like a lot of people here," he said, "I came for one year and never left." Fairbanks has a way of doing that鈥攚elcoming people, endearing them to university and community, then encouraging them to leave their mark just as the region leaves its mark on them. At the University of 性十八.cc Fairbanks, you'll find space to explore new ideas and support for all your literary pursuits.



  Online Courses
Students have the option of taking a few English courses online towards their degree.

You can take courses like Environmental Imagination, The Horror Film, Multiethnic American Literature: Hauntings, and Write Your Own Novel. You will find opportunities for mentorship and professional development outside the classroom as well. You can become an editor or publish your creative work in Ice Box or Permafrost. Volunteer in the Inside Out StoryLab, organize community writing events, attend visiting writer craft talks, and apply for monetary awards through our annual student writing contests.You can build a career studying English, and you can also build deep experiences and connections that last throughout life.


How can I get involved?

Because the English community at UAF is vibrant and diverse, you鈥檒l find opportunities for mentorship and professional development outside the classroom as well. 


Student Organizations

Brandi Jo Nyberg flicks water from a plastic cup onto the audience during a reading at the 2018 Dead Writers event hosted by the UAF English Department at the Blue Loon. The event features university students, professors and community members performing, in costume, as their favorite deceased writer. | UAF photo by Sarah Manriquez

Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series

The Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series is an annual program that hosts local and nationally renowned writers for craft lectures and public readings. The first events were held in the early 1970s, and over the years, many of the most prestigious names in literature鈥擱obert Pinsky, Lucille Clifton, Scott Russell Sanders, Mark Doty, Camille Dungy, and Terry Tempest Williams, to name a few鈥攈ave made appearances in Fairbanks. All events are free and open to the public!




Get your work out there.


AWP Intro Journals Awards

We nominate student work every year for the AWP Intro Journals Project Awards; since 2019, our MFA students have been honored with two honorable mentions and two category winners.



Internships & Opportunities


UAF English has students actively involved with internships with the following organizations: 



All graduate applicants are considered for teaching assistantships, which provide opportunities for classroom leadership and Writing Center tutoring.

Please submit the to declare whether you would like to be considered for an assistantship. We do not require a specialized statement or teaching philosophy鈥攋ust this short form. 

You can find more information here.

Chris Coffman teaching a class

You鈥檒l work with faculty who publish current research and creative work, who serve the university in a variety of leadership roles, and, most importantly, who are committed to nurturing our students鈥 literary and critical ambitions. 

We boast a small faculty-to-student ratio, meaning students receive a great deal of individual attention. Thanks to UAF's small class sizes and active literary community, English master鈥檚 students can work closely with extensively published and experienced faculty members.



Our department is unique for its sense of community. It takes a hardy soul to commit to life so far north, land of both the midnight sun and the northern lights. We are an independent people, resilient and optimistic. We value introspection and intentional living. And given our climate and geography, we foster helpfulness and cooperation. By choosing English studies at UAF, you begin a journey of sharpening your literary talents and expanding your view of natural world. You might even find that a move to Fairbanks can launch you into your life's work.