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English and Creative Writing

The Study of English

Students are able to study English by majoring in literature, writing, English/secondary education, or writing/secondary education. All four concentrations embrace literary history, interpretation of a worldwide diversity of texts, and individualized mentoring in the craft of writing. The department aims for rigor in our curriculum as we seek to foster in our students a genuine pleasure in the experience of literature, a sustained interest in the creative process, and an appreciation for the multiplicity of verbal art. Faculty teach literary skills and writing skills as one undivided whole, emphasizing analytical, interpretive, creative and expository modes of discourse. Above all, we enable our students to engage texts of all kinds and to write with a strong awareness of intent and audience - to know writing as communication.

Teaching Certification. Students interested in elementary or secondary education as a career must meet certain state-mandated requirements. Additional information is available in the Department of Education section of the catalog and in the English Department Handbook.

Honors. The departmental honors program encourages and recognizes superior academic performance in English. To graduate with departmental honors, English and writing majors:

  • receive an invitation to enter the program in the spring of the junior year,
  • maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in major courses,
  • declare an honors advisor by September 15 of the senior year,
  • develop and submit an honors-quality senior research or creative thesis by April 1 (usually as part of a seminar, research or independent writing course), and
  • present their papers for discussion with the faculty.

Interdisciplinary Options. Students studying abroad or minoring in a foreign language may choose to count a foreign-language literature course toward the major. Recent curriculum changes provide students with numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary courses and study, especially in areas such as Holocaust studies, medieval studies, multi-ethnic American studies, diversity studies and Jewish studies.



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