The study of English attends to literary works of the imagination — poems, plays, novels, short stories, and non-fiction — and to the use of language as a means of communication. Through a wide exposure to a range of texts, students are challenged to explore the meaning of literature in a variety of contexts, and by that exploration, develop a deeper understanding of today’s world.
The English department offers students the opportunity to develop an appreciation of literature, literary techniques and language, and a command of written expression. Courses in the department help students to become better readers, writers, and speakers, preparing them for professional fields that value effective communication, as well as for graduate study in English, rhetoric, law, medicine, business, and education. Faculty include active scholars in a wide range of literary and rhetorical fields, as well as creative writers working in all major genres, supporting the breadth and depth of the major. Learning inside the classroom, and the vibrant daily life of the department outside the classroom, are defined by close relationships between faculty and students.
Each semester the department offers approximately 25 upper-division courses for majors, as well as numerous offerings for non-majors at the introductory and intermediate levels. These include:
- Courses organized by literary theme, genre, author, and historical period
- Courses in poetics, literary theory, and critical theory
- Creative writing courses
- Academic and digital writing courses
- Interdisciplinary courses cross-listed with Africana Studies; Catholic Studies; Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies; and Peace and Conflict Studies
High achieving students can join honors societies and work with professors on scholarly and creative projects.