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Department of English and Rhetoric Majors


BA in English

with a Concentration in Creative Writing
Degree Requirements

The primary purpose of the major in English is to introduce students to their own literary and linguistic heritage and to acquaint them with representative works of major world writers and, in the case of the Creative Writing concentration, to foster students' creative skills to enable them to participate as practitioners in that heritage.

Such an introduction is made possible by offering them a wide range of courses in English and American literature, including survey, genre, and major-figure courses, as well as survey courses in world literature. Courses in creative and expository writing, the history and structure of the language, critical theory, and composition theory help students sharpen their critical awareness, encourage clarity of thought and expression, and stimulate and develop the creative imagination. In short, the degree in English develops critical thinkers and effective communicators, people whose skills are applicable in a wide range of careers.

More specifically, students with the major in English/Creative Writing Concentration are able:

  • To write originally and creatively in at least three genres;
  • To write potentially publishable works in at least one genre;
  • To write critically about literary and non-literary texts in English;
  • To read editorially an aesthetic range literary works by peers;
  • To read critically an aesthetic and historical range of literary texts in English;
  • To articulate effectively their critical observations in writing workshops;
  • To articulate effectively their critical ideas in literature classes;
  • To read proficiently literary texts in at least one language other than English.

For more information, visit the Creative Writing Home Page.

BA in English
with a Concentration in Literature
Degree Requirements

Specifically, students with a major in English/Literature concentration can:

  • Demonstrate knowledge about their own literary tradition;
  • Demonstrate knowledge about the English linguistic tradition;
  • Demonstrate knowledge about representative works by major world writers, particularly but not solely in the Anglo-American tradition;
  • Participate in discourse related to aesthetics, language, and literature;
  • Demonstrate an informed critical awareness;
  • Demonstrate clarity of thought;
  • Express themselves logically, clearly, and correctly in writing and speech;
  • Demonstrate an appreciation for creative imagination.

BA in Rhetoric
Degree Requirements

The major in Rhetoric will provide students with knowledge and practice of oral and written communication skills in order that they may communicate and evaluate communication effectively in the workplace and within society. Students will develop and deliver speeches, analyze arguments from a variety of oral and written sources, develop and employ critical tools, and engage in research and discussions that center upon communication and persuasion as central to business, politics, and culture. The Rhetoric major will offer students a deep understanding of the core of the liberal arts curriculum: the uses of communication.


Graduate Programs
Graduate programs include a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts with concentrations in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.


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