English and Journalism

Big changes are occurring in the field of journalism as we get more and more of our news and information on the internet. One thing is certain: there will continue to be a need for writers to report on news and events.

Many Notre Dame English majors have gone on to careers in journalism. Below we provide some brief trips on preparing for a journalism career and some words from our graduates.

Preparing for a career in journalism

Getting experience now. The Observer and the Scholastic provide hands-on journalistic experience. 

Studying journalism. Notre Dame does not have a journalism department, but it does offer courses on journalism through the Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy.

Internships.  To learn about journalism internship opportunities contact the Career Center or see their Journalism web page.

A few words from our graduates about English and journalism

"My English studies have been invaluable in my work as a journalist. I may not have referenced Beowulf so far, but I draw every day on the abilities, honed in my studies, to think analytically and write with clarity about complex matters. I feel I am in many ways better prepared than journalism graduates to contribute in a meaningful way to the discourse of the region." Karen Langley (Class of 2008),  Concord Monitor

"I really believe the English major helped me be able to tell a great story professionally on deadline, which has allowed me to move up from a small weekly newspaper to one of the biggest papers in the country." Kara Spak (Class of 1996), Chicago Sun-Times

"It's trite to say that my English courses at ND taught me how to think creatively. But it's true. Especially at the 400+level, Notre Dame English courses give students templates for creative thought and expression, then push the students to build their own ideas and ways of communicating them. I cannot tell you the number of times I've applied the things I've learned in my time at ND to my job as an editor and reporter." Matt Barthel (Class of 1989), Barron's Magazine

"English is a much better preparation for journalism than majoring in, say, journalism." Tom Condon (Class of 1968), Hartford Courant

"The best thing my English major did for me was expose me to lots more voices and minds and hearts on the page than I would ever have been exposed to as a journalism major – I was forced to read widely and well – and as a writer, editor, storycatcher, that has been enormously valuable to me." Brian Doyle (Class of 1978), editor, Portland Magazine

"My english degree at ND played a huge role in developing my skills with the written word and learning to develop a critical eye." Janice O'Leary (Class of 1992), editor, Boston Common