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B.A. English

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Fast Facts: English Major and Minor

  • English courses encourage students to develop strong critical thinking and communication skills.
  • Students have significant flexibility and choice in course selection when designing their program of study.
  • English majors can earn a traditional B.A. or a B.A. with teaching licensure.
  • Majors and minors discuss and write about a wide selection of the great works of literature.
  • Students benefit from close contact with faculty who have expertise in areas such as Medieval literature and culture, writing, women's literature and Irish literature.
  • Classes are taught by well-respected and professionally involved faculty.
  • English majors can easily pursue a double major, and often pair study of writing and literature with a degree in communication, biology, management or other disciplines.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate in the London Theatre and Literature study abroad program.

Program requirements

Major: 40 credits
Minor: 20 credits


While internships are not required for the English major, a number of students have completed internships at local publications such as New Moon Magazine, The Senior Reporter, Woman Today and the English Department’s own Freshwater Review.

The Freshwater Review is The College of St. Scholastica’s student-run annual journal of literature and art. The Freshwater Review boasts one of the nation’s only fee-free literary contests (The Rose Warner Prizes) and an acceptance rate of less than 3%.


Employers place considerable value on the ability to communicate effectively and to solve problems. Perhaps the most valuable benefit from a degree in English is the versatility it provides for future career paths. Graduates can find employment in such exciting career fields as business, law, public relations, advertising, journalism, education, writing and publishing. Graduates of our program have developed rewarding careers in business, education, law, public relations, advertising, journalism, library-information services, government service, writing and publishing, philanthropy, and even medicine and medical research. CSS English majors have also gone on to pursue graduate study in a variety of disciplines at distinguished institutions across the country and in the United Kingdom.

Become an English teacher by pairing this program with the middle/secondary education major. Go to the B.A./B.S. Middle/Secondary Education page

Sample curriculum

Here are some classes you could take as part of this major or minor. Please note that you would not necessarily need all of these courses to fulfill a major or minor. This list doesn't include general education courses. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse ENG 2000 - Introduction to English Studies

This seminar offers prospective or recently declared English majors and minors a singular opportunity for discussion with like-minded students. In this required, foundational course, you will be introduced to the skills that characterize literary studies: rigorous close reading of texts in different genres, a critical vocabulary for further work in the field, and familiarity with the major theoretical approaches to literature (New Historicist, feminist, and deconstructivist, for example) as well as the development of their practical applications. You will also learn and employ basic literary research tools. The English Department recommends that you enroll in this required gateway course as a freshman or sophomore. (Please note that this course does not fulfill any of the General Education Pathways.)

Expand and Collapse ENG 3300 - Creative Writ: Fict & Nonfict

Explores the reading of appropriate fiction and writing of short weekly pieces and a final short story. The class includes presentations on technique. Students need not be English majors. Work from this class is often published in the St. Scholastica literary journal, Out of Words.

Expand and Collapse ENG 3301 - Creative Writing: Poetry

Explores the reading and discussion of poetry to learn technique from published poets. A final portfolio of poetry required which will include students' choice of their best work. Students need not be English majors. Work from class is often published in the St. Scholastica literary journal, Out of Words.

Expand and Collapse ENG 3310 - American Literature I:Beg-1900

Surveys American literature (poetry, essays, short stories and novels) beginning with Anne Bradstreet in the 17th century and including such authors as Irving, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, Twain, et al. The course focuses on writers' responses to the political, social and literary concerns of the period, as well as to more general human concerns. Some attention to issues of form.

Expand and Collapse ENG 3311 - American Literature II: 1900 -

Survey of works by American poets and prose writers from the late 1800s through the 1990s. Poets include Dickinson, Frost, Williams, Stevens, Eliot, H.D., Marianne Moore, Plath, Wilbur and Rich. Novelists include Cather, Faulkner, Hemingway, Malamud, Walker, Morrison, Updike, Nabakov, O'Brien and Erdrich; American dramatists include Miller, O'Neill, Shepard, Albee and Williams. Short story writers include Anderson, Chopin, Cheever, O'Connor, Mason, Beattie and Oates.

Expand and Collapse ENG 3320 - British Literature I

Survey of English literature from the beginning until the late 18th century, including important and representative texts from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the neo classic era. The course offers a view of literature within its historical and cultural context.

Expand and Collapse ENG 3321 - British Literature II

Survey of British literature from the end of the 18th century to the present day, including poetry, drama and prose from the Romantic period, the Victorian period and Modernist canon. The course offers a historical context so that students may understand the writers in relation to one another and to the world they inhabited.

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  • The English department at CSS is better than any other program I have looked at in the area. The professors are so passionate. Their classes are fun, welcoming and have improved my writing and reading comprehension. I will never forget my time here."

    – Andrew Schreyer, ‘14