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Academic Programs

Majoring in English

Students majoring in English bring their skills in and passion for writing and interpretation to a wide variety of professional careers – in journalism or the arts, as teachers or professional/technical writers, in marketing or research, or in graduate or professional school (in law, medicine, film/television, and business). See Why English? for updates on some of our graduates. The Career Center can provide majors with additional information regarding careers.

Our majors value the training our courses provide in analytical thinking, rhetoric, and persuasion. They find literature a way to enter empathetically into the lives and experiences of others. Their studies prepare them for social and civil service, sometimes after spending time in such popular forms of community service as the Peace Corps or the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  

Many of our majors see creative writing as 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, cultural studies, 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 two foundation courses (either English 14 or 15, and 16), plus five electives. Of these five electives, four need to be upper division.

Creative Writing

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.