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Mission Statement


Students and faculty in the English Department study traditional British and American literatures as well as the great variety of literatures from around the globe.  Writing is integral to every course in the English major, and students engage in critical and creative writing projects of varying lengths.  While developing skills in careful reading and research, many students take poetry or fiction workshops and courses in argumentation, screenwriting, or business writing.  English major alumni consistently report that their skills in writing and analysis are the most valuable assets they bring from Santa Clara to the world after college.  Many courses use new media and film, and focus on visual rhetoric and cultural studies.  In theoretical courses students explore perspectives ranging from critical race theory, to feminist criticism, postcolonialism, cultural studies, and queer theory.

The English major is designed to prepare students for careers and graduate study in fields as diverse as the arts, business, law, teaching, diplomacy, and healthcare. The emphasis is on interpretation, empathy, and self-expression. Through their rigorous and creative work, our faculty and students are what they desire to become: informed and engaged citizens, who integrate different forms of knowledge and apply what they have learned to research, writing, and community-based learning.

Goals and Objectives


Analyze literature and writing with a sophisticated awareness of various cultural perspectives (e.g., race, ethnicity, nation, class,gender, sexual identity).


Analyze and interpret a variety of texts with a sophisticated awareness of the history of literature and literary conventions and genres.


Create texts in a variety of forms and genres.


Identify, understand, and apply various theoretical perspectives in their creation of new analytical and creative texts.


Complete an investigative research project which requires the selection, evaluation, analysis, and integration of secondary sources in an ethical and effective manner.