Department Chairperson: Jennifer Smith
Learning to read closely and write well are shared goals among students and faculty in the English Department. English majors are encouraged to develop their potential as creators and critics, practicing and refining a range of writing, reading, editing and presentation skills. Students explore the varied and always-changing worlds of fiction, essays, poetry, drama, rhetoric and argument, film and language itself.
Students majoring in English Literature, Writing or English Education take courses designed to foster analytic thinking informed by a variety of critical methods. Students interpret complex texts and pursue interesting research, often in collaboration with others. Our majors acquire the judgment needed to evaluate language and seek meaning from a range of genres and sources, whether written, spoken, visual or in multimodal, digital forms. This repertoire of skills serves majors beyond a given class, transferring to new and always-changing contexts, sustaining them throughout their lives. Students in English can gain a strong background in literature, creative writing, the study of language and linguistics, rhetoric and composition, film and professional or technical writing. Majors are encouraged to cross borders of geography, history and genre through the study of traditional as well as contemporary texts and films. Students also reflect on national and global issues, examining diverse identities and cultures to broaden their perspectives on self and others.
English majors conduct independent research and present at local and national conferences, while many join the international English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, which provides service and scholarship opportunities. From a shared Gateway course to a Senior Capstone Seminar, English majors experience a vibrant, resourceful and close community of life-long learners.
Valuable applied knowledge prepares English majors for professional lives following graduation. Our students tutor in The Writing Center, are writers or editors for the award-winning newspaper The Chronicle, the humor magazine The Kindling, and the national undergraduate literary magazine 30 N. Students pursue internships in a variety of workplaces that need effective writers locally, across the U.S., and abroad.
English majors are well prepared for meaningful careers in law, publishing, teaching and allied professions, public relations, in corporate or non-profit settings, as grant writers and writers in emerging multi-media environments—in any profession that values resourceful thinkers, effective communicators and ethical, involved citizens.
CoursesEnglishFilm and Screen Studies