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About our Department

The major in English develops the student’s sensitivity to language and literature and enriches knowledge of the artistic imagination. It exposes students to a broad range of literary works in their historical context and helps them develop skills in speaking, writing, and critical thinking. Every English major, whether emphasizing creative writing or literature, should have:

  • a knowledge of literary history—its construction, traditions, periods, schools, styles, and genres;
  • some investigation of the creative process;
  • an acquaintance with various ways of reading and understanding texts; and
  • experience with both analytical and creative writing.

The English major offers excellent preparation for advanced work in graduate or professional school and for a wide array of options in business and industry. Students considering graduate school in English should confer with their advisor to be sure they have planned an appropriate curriculum. Since most graduate schools require at least one modern language and some require a classical language as well, the student should be proficient in at least one foreign language at the time of graduation.

There is only one major in the Department: the English major. Students may choose to emphasize either creative writing or literature, but the Department is firmly committed to the mutual support and dependence of the two emphases, both of which engage the student in reading, writing, and critical and creative thinking. Every effort is made to insure that students who elect the one emphasis will both contribute to and learn from those who elect the other.