English

Scope and Objectives

The Department of English is dedicated to the study of the literatures and cultures of those parts of the world in which English is a primary language. Although committed to no single method or approach, the department requires a knowledge of British, American, and Anglophone literary history and an engagement with a range of methodological approaches that foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking and encourage its students to be not only expert readers and writers but engaged and ethical citizens.

An understanding and appreciation of literature can furnish lifelong rewards. In addition to offering students such personal benefits, the department seeks to foster critical analysis and lucid writing and to teach them to think about how language and representation function in the world. Such skills are essential to success in a variety of professions for which the major in English can provide excellent preparation, including law, administration, business, teaching, media, and entertainment.

Within the BA degree in English, qualified students may elect a concentration in creative writing. The department also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Literature and Culture.

When selecting courses to fulfill requirements for the majors, students are expected to choose those that best reflect their own interests and simultaneously contribute toward a coherent program in literary studies.

A graduate program leading to the Master of Arts degree is available for students who wish to continue the study of literature at an advanced level. A parallel program continues to the PhD degree. Because the PhD program may require five years or more, it is intended only for qualified students who are seriously committed to advanced literary scholarship and, in some cases, to a career in college or university teaching.

English composition information and courses appear in the Writing Programs section.