College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Why English?


College offers an opportunity for you to explore your interests, to discover where you want to go and what you want to be. Few English majors begin college with sharp focus on a precise career. But they know what they like and they know what they don't like. A good beginning! Developed interests have a way of becoming useful talents.


Do you love words, ideas, people? Are you amazed at the imagination of a Chaucer or a Jane Austen, the excitement of a Shakespeare or a Toni Morrison, the insights of a John Keats or a Sylvia Plath? Do you want to explore the mysteries of the verbal arts? "I've always enjoyed reading," you say. "I like to study literature. I've even thought about writing. But what will I do for a living?"


Well-trained people continue to be hired in all fields. Some English majors pursue graduate studies in literature and language and wish to become teachers, but many others establish successful careers in law, journalism, library science, editing, advertising, public relations and civil service. Business has become a recent favorite. There is not a field in which language skills are not in demand. Employers continue to ask why Jack can't read and Jill can't write, and look for articulate men and women who can analyze situations, express opinions, solve problems.


The English program is designed to acquaint you with many forms of literary expression, to deepen your sensibilities and enrich your life. Clear judgment and concise communication are a goal of every course. You may choose a concentration in literature, writing, or drama. You can become an intern with the media--newspapers, TV, or radio.

In addition to completing the English major, students often pursue a minor––in such fields as Biology, Business, Faith-Justice, Gender Studies, Latin American Studies, and Political Science. Many majors choose to spend a semester studying abroad, and many graduate with General or Departmental Honors.


We offer minors in both English and Journalism. These minors can spark your imagination and hone your communication skills. They add depth and richness to any major. As few as four English courses beyond the two required of all students may complete these minor programs.


The teacher-student relationship is one of the English Department's greatest strengths. Classes are taught by a committed faculty who are enthusiastic about research and publish frequently, but who are particularly devoted to teaching and student development. Small classes, close advising, individualized instruction, and discussion-oriented seminars provide a personal atmosphere for learning. Students are encouraged to consult their advisor and teachers frequently and freely.