English Language and Literature Program Description

The English language and literature program allows students considerable flexibility in planning their course work and pursuing their career goals. The program possesses four sequences of courses: career development, literature, creative writing, and professional writing.

Career Development: The four courses in the career development sequence are required of all English language and literature majors. These classes gradually develop the knowledge and skills essential to integrating academic experience with career preparation. Students learn how to become self-improving and self-assessing learners capable of creating career goals and making informed academic and career choices based upon those goals.

Literature: The seven courses required in the literature sequence offer far more choice. To learn the critical thinking skills associated with the study and creation of literature, all students must take two specific courses: Critical Approaches to Literature I and Critical Approaches to Literature II. The refinement of these skills takes place in the five literature electives that each major chooses based upon his or her career goals and personal preferences.

Creative Writing: Participation in the creative writing sequence is purely voluntary. The eight courses in the sequence offer students the opportunity to develop the critical and creative skills essential to writing poetry, fiction, and/or nonfiction. The sequence begins with an introductory course that exposes students to all three forms. Then, students choose how, or if, they will progress through the study of writing in these three forms. Some may stop after the introductory course, others may focus on a specific form such as poetry, and others may study more than one form.

Professional Writing: Participation in the professional writing sequence is also voluntary. The seven courses in this sequence offer students the opportunity to develop the critical and creative skills essential to journalism and/or public relations writing. This sequence begins with an introductory course in journalism. Students then choose how, or if, they will progress through the study of feature writing, magazine writing, and/or public relations writing.

The English language and literature program includes four English electives that majors may use to maximize their ability to achieve their career goals. Each student must decide whether the electives will be used for more literature courses, for creative writing courses, for professional writing courses, or for a combination of any of these types of courses.