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Back Program Website | Info Sheet
The study of English literature and language, as well as film and other media, is fundamental to any education. Not only does it provide familiarity with the literary works and media that shape cultural heritage, but it also develops the abilities to think analytically, to speak and write effectively, and to consider various points of view when dealing with people and ideas.

The Department of English prides itself on the diversity of its course offerings and on its small lecture and discussion classes. The BA, MA, MFA and PhD degrees are awarded through the department and a full range of courses are offered in seven areas: literature, creative writing, screen studies, linguistics, teaching English as a second language, rhetoric, and professional writing. The number of students in any English class rarely exceeds 30; and in a writing class, including freshman-level classes, the enrollment limits range from 18 to 19. The maximum number of students in a graduate-level class is 10.

An undergraduate English major has five options: a traditional English major, secondary education teaching certification, creative writing, screen studies, or professional writing, each of which emphasizes literature and writing in varying proportions. English majors may choose from courses in all historical periods of literature written in English from early to contemporary, and in all genres—novel, film, short story, poetry, and drama. Every literature course emphasizes literary appreciation and analysis and allows ample opportunity for discussion and writing. The student in the traditional major may also study fiction writing and poetry writing, and creative non-fiction writing with published writers. Also available are courses in linguistics, which is the study of language, and professional writing, which is writing for organizations. Screen studies courses emphasize criticism, history, and theory of film, television, and new media.

Many English majors pursue careers directly related to their major, such as those in professional writing or in teaching. An English major with a professional writing option would be well prepared to pursue a career as a writer, editor, publications manager, or information developer. Students who want to teach may earn secondary teaching certification in English through either the Department of English or the College of Education, or they may decide to go to graduate school in order to teach in a college or university. A great many English majors have found the teaching profession a rewarding and challenging one. Other students find that an English major is excellent preparation for law school because it develops the analytical and language skills attorneys use. But one need not have definite career goals to major in English. English majors regularly pursue careers not only in education, professional writing and law, but also in medicine, the ministry, publishing, government, and business. Professional schools and businesses value English majors both for their communication skills and for their ability to think critically.

The Department of English serves students other than those majoring in English. It offers a variety of writing courses to fulfill the University's composition requirements; and English courses in literature, professional writing, creative writing, and screen studies are very popular electives for students in all majors. Many students choose to complement their first major with a second major or minor in English.

The Department of English actively participates in the University Honors Program. Students who qualify for Honors are eligible to enroll in restricted courses and to write a Senior Honors Thesis. The department offers Honors courses at all levels, including an Honors seminar on a different topic each year.

A Bachelor of Arts in English requires 42 hours of lower- and upper-division English courses. An English minor requires 18 hours of English, at least nine of which must be upper-division. (These hours do not include Freshman Composition.)

Available Options
, B.A.
- Creative Writing, B.A.
- Pre-Law, B.A.
- Professional Writing, B.A.
- Screen Studies, B.A.

Poets, Lyricists, and Creative Writers
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