Purpose & Focus
The Department of English offers courses of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and the Ph.D. Our undergraduate program offers a first-rate education at once focused and flexible, intellectually stimulating and practically valuable. Through required courses in the literature of the English-speaking world, in English language and linguistics, and in literary theory, our majors acquire a unique appreciation of the roles language and literature play in shaping the world and its diverse cultures. In relatively small classes devoted to reading, discussing, and writing about literary texts and the fundamental questions they raise, our graduates hone those skills in interpretation, argumentation, and oral and written communication most essential to success in every professional or academic pursuit. They also develop the curiosity and creativity, compassion and commitment, and cultural and historical perspective essential to an engaged and engaging life.
To help majors and non-majors alike define and meet their own personal and professional goals, the department also proudly offers a rich array of elective courses in literature in translation; in creative, business, and technical writing; in professional communication, composition, and editing; and in folklore, as well as numerous classes cross-listed with the Afro-American, Classical, Cultural, Ethnic, Film, and Women’s Studies programs.
Finally, the English Department invites students into an intellectual and artistic community that extends well beyond the classroom through our sponsorship of numerous public lectures and literary readings, our production of four journals devoted to literary criticism and creative writing, and our close relationship with Black Mountain Institute and a range of other literary and cultural organizations.
Degree Objectives and Learning Outcomes
Graduates in English will acquire and demonstrate:
- a familiarity with both British and American literary traditions, including major authors, works, genres, and movements;
- a knowledge of the diversity of American literature;
- a knowledge of a range of theoretical and critical approaches to literature.;
- an understanding of English language and linguistics; and
- the ability to read closely, to think critically, and to communicate effectively and argue persuasively, especially in writing.
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Academic Certificate of Professional Writing
For general academic advising, students should contact the College of Liberal Arts Wilson Advising Center. Students with questions and concerns about the department’s undergraduate course offerings, programs, and requirements or about post-graduation options and careers should contact the Assistant Chair of the English Department, who can also approve exceptions and substitutions when warranted. Failure to seek academic advising may result in delays of anticipated date of graduation.