Role and Mission
Department of English faculty share a heritage in which language, writing, literature, and the art of teaching are valued as cornerstones of a liberal education. Representing distinct specializations, we form a community of readers and writers who pursue the study of humane letters for both aesthetic and practical reasons. The English Department provides students from across the University with courses that fulfill the General Studies requirements in Written Communication: English 1010 Composing Arguments and English 1020 Research and Scholarly Writing. The department also teaches literature and linguistics courses that meet the General Studies requirement in Arts and Humanities. Thus, in keeping with the liberal arts tradition of general education, the department promotes both the basic intellectual skills of critical reading and writing and the kind of understanding of the human condition that comes from the experience and appreciation of literature.
For students majoring or minoring in English, the program provides a foundation in literature, language, writing, and teaching. Thus students’ command of written language, their ability to analyze concepts, and their broad understanding of human nature and social realities will enable them to be competitive in a variety of fields, including education, business, and civil service or, with appropriate graduate work, in professions such as law and higher education.
English department faculty members develop professionally in a variety of ways appropriate to their disciplines, from maintaining currency in the curricula they teach and the instructional technology they employ to scholarly and creative work leading to various forms of publication and presentation. They serve the University and community by volunteering in schools or other organizations concerned with the written word and by sharing with their fellow citizens the insights of teacher-scholars educated in the tradition of the liberal arts.
The English department offers instruction in literature, writing, language and linguistics, rhetoric and professional writing, and in secondary English education. Courses in each area appeal to students in every school of the University who wish to read and understand representative literatures of the world, to examine the principles underlying how language works, and to cultivate their writing skills.
The department invites students in other disciplines to select English courses to enhance their general education. Students may also choose an English major or minor from areas listed below.
Students who are considering a major or minor in the English Department are expected to consult with faculty for advising. Students in the secondary licensure program should consult with advisors in the appropriate education department as well.
The English major may choose a concentration in one of the following:
- open major (no concentration)
- secondary school teaching, leading to licensure
The English minor may choose a concentration in one of the following:
- rhetoric, composition and professional studies
- language and linguistics
- cinema studies
The Linguistics major is a single track major and does not require a concentration to be declared.
The Linguistics minor may choose a concentration in one of the following:
The English department assesses the major in designated Senior Experience courses. Portfolios of papers assigned through these courses will be read by members of the faculty. Senior Experience courses should not be taken until the student’s final year of study. Because these courses may not be offered every semester, students should discuss scheduling with English department advisors.
To receive credit for any ENG prefix course, the student must receive a grade of “C-“ or better.