Welcome to Santa Clara University's English Department
We offer courses in literature, rhetoric, composition, creative writing, theory, new media and film.
- All undergraduates take several courses in English
- Many students take poetry or fiction workshops
- Some students minor or specialize in creative writing
- Students develop advanced skills in close analysis and research
- Students majoring in many other fields often take such courses as argumentation, screenwriting, or business writing
Santa Clara alumni consistently report that writing and analysis are among the most valuable assets they bring from the campus to the world after college.
Majoring in English
Those selecting English as a major often intend to work professionally in journalism or the arts, to become teachers or professional/technical writers, or study further in graduate or professional school (in law, medicine, film/television, and business). The Career Center can provide majors with additional information regarding careers.
Many appreciate the training in analytical thinking, rhetoric, and persuasion, while others find literature a way to enter empathetically into the lives of others, and see their studies as a wonderful preparation for social and civil service, sometimes after spending time in such popular forms of community service as the Peace Corps or Teach for America.
And still others see in creative writing an opportunity for self-exploration and vibrant expression, leading to careers in the media arts, education and public relations. Many of our graduates go on to seek an M.A., M.F.A., or Ph.D.
English majors take courses in writing, literature, and critical theory. They explore a broad range of approaches to literature, culture, new media and film, including feminist criticism, critical race theory, postcolonialism, semiotics, and queer theory.
Students have the opportunity to study traditional British and American texts as well as contemporary media and multicultural literatures from around the world.
Minoring in English
The English minor requires the two foundation courses (English 20 and 21), plus five electives. Of these five electives, four need to be upper division.
The Creative Writing Program offers students a coherent course of study in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The creative writing minor is firmly grounded within the liberal arts tradition, integrating courses in poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and creative nonfiction writing within their broader literary and cultural context.
Introductory courses familiarize students with the practice and theory of creative writing. Advanced courses offer a workshop setting in which students write and critique one another’s work. Electives focus on particular genres of creative writing, such as Lifewriting, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Screenwriting. All creative writing courses incorporate some study of literature as well as close attention to students’ own creative writing.