Department of English, General Literature and Rhetoric

The Department of English, General Literature and Rhetoric offers students the opportunity to study literature and language in their many manifestations. Although English and American literature and the practice of creative and expository writing are primary, the department conceives of neither literature nor writing in a narrow or parochial way. Literature courses deal broadly with genres and themes from the past and present, and teach students how to read and analyze texts; creative writing courses foster, in qualified students, the development of serious creativity; rhetoric courses deal with both the theory and practice of communication, as well as the history of oral and written argument.

Our program includes distinguished faculty in literary research, critical theory, rhetoric and creative writing.

Our Undergraduate Program is one of the most popular on campus, with concentrations available in global culture, rhetoric and creative writing. Many English majors choose to take courses abroad in our popular London Program. About 20 of our top undergraduates are invited each year to pursue an honors degree.

Our Graduate Programs in English have a distinguished history of more than 40 years. The department offers four graduate degrees:

  • MA in English/American literature
  • MA in English with a creative writing concentration
  • Ph.D. in English with a research dissertation
  • Ph.D. in English with creative dissertation

Our graduates have moved on to join faculties at major American research universities, foreign universities, liberal arts colleges and community colleges. Many of our creative writing graduates have successfully pursued careers as novelists, screenwriters and poets.

Students interested in teaching English may wish to explore our Graduate School of Education's MAT program in English Adolescence Education for grades 7-12.

Last Updated: 7/27/16