The English Department encourages the study of the historical and cultural contexts of literature and language, the aesthetic pleasures and values of texts and writing, and the variety of voices and experiences represented in the global literary tradition. The department also believes that acquiring superior reading, writing, and research skills is essential to a liberal arts education.
Within the department, students may pursue special interests in literature, creative writing, and journalism. The Literature in English major offers study in the areas of American, British, and world literature. The Creative Writing major features course work in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and journalism. It is designed for any students with a serious interest in writing, including those who wish to enter a Master of Fine Arts program. Because of the overlap in required courses for the Literature in English and Creative Writing majors, students cannot double major in these areas. Students may, however, major in either Literature in English or Creative Writing while taking a minor in Interactive Journalism.
In addition to the regular curriculum, the department allows students to hone and extend their rhetorical, analytical, and research skills through a variety of topic-based courses and independent studies. In addition, through internships with local businesses and agencies, through work on the student-run college newspaper and literary magazine, or through departmental research and employment opportunities, students can apply their skills (and develop new ones) in practical settings. Interdisciplinary courses, off-campus programs, and work with professional writers enrich the curriculum.