English

Programs offered
  • English (major, minor, and concentrations)

As an English major or minor, you will encounter some of life’s fundamental questions about the human condition. You will think about the truth-telling possibilities of story, cultivating an understanding of the word as God’s uniquely human gift.

You will think, read, and write extensively in an English academic program marked by a strong degree of community both inside and outside the classroom. You will read texts including Beowulf, Shakespeare, and traditional great works of the Western canon, as well as emerging voices worldwide.

And because the study of English also rests on the rigorous tools of critical thinking and textual interpretation, you will find an English major or minor is excellent preparation for life beyond the university as well.

Find out more about this program’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

English (BA)

  • A minimum 63–66 credits are required for this major, including 30 upper-division credits.
  • In either the Literature or Creative Writing Concentration, you must complete a shared core of courses that ground your understanding of literary history and the interpretive tools of our discipline.
  • Each concentration has a second core requirement emphasizing craft and methodology.
  • If you choose both the Literature and Creative Writing concentrations, no more than 10 credits outside the 30-credit common core may count toward both concentrations.
  • After you matriculate at SPU, no more than 10 credits earned through another university, domestically or abroad, may be applied to the English major.  Students with extenuating circumstances may petition this restriction.

English minors

  • A minimum 30–33 credits are required for these minors, including 15 upper-division credits.
  • Three minors are available: Creative Writing, Literature, and Professional Writing.
  • Each minor includes Core courses as well as electives.
  • If you are an English major, no more than 10 English credits may be counted toward both the major and the minor.

ENTERING and COMPLETING AN ENGLISH major or minor

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified the English major as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major. To change or add a major or minor, follow these instructions.
  • If you are an SPU student with an SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, follow these instructions to enter a major or minor in this department.
  • Students on academic probation (with an SPU cumulative GPA below 2.0) will not be permitted to enter a new major or minor until they regain good academic standing.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Future teachers

Certification with elementary education endorsement

If you plan to teach in an elementary school and are interested in English or Language Arts, you must major in Integrated Studies with a concentration in Language Arts and complete the Teacher Certification program through the School of Education. The faculty advisor for the Language Arts concentration is Dr. April Middeljans. Alternatively, you may pursue your certification as a post-baccalaureate or graduate student.

    Certification with secondary education endorsement

    If you plan to teach English in a middle or high school, you should major in English and complete the Teacher Certification program through the School of Education. Alternatively, you may pursue your certification as a post-baccalaureate or graduate student.

    Study abroad opportunities

    Scotland and Ireland Seminar

    This SPU Global Seminar, taught by Dr. Chaney, is a biennial study abroad program offering you an opportunity to study literature and culture in Edinburgh and Dublin during the month of September.  

    South Africa Seminar

    This SPU Global Seminar, taught by Dr. Segall, is a biennial study abroad program offering you an opportunity to study literature and culture in South Africa during the month of December.  

    Literature and Creative Writing in Rome

    This biennial summer program, taught by Dr. Maier, offers you the opportunity to study literature and creative writing while staying in the Eternal City of Rome for a month.  

    Spain and Morocco Seminar

    This SPU Global Seminar, taught by Dr. Segall, is a biennial study abroad program offering you an opportunity to study literature and culture during the month of September while making the transnational journey from Granada in Moorish Spain to Fes in Morocco.  

    For details about these and other study abroad opportunities, visit SPU’s Study Abroad pages.

    Students outside sitting on steps

    English and Cultural Studies Department

    Visit the English and Cultural Studies Department to see how a degree from this department can help you achieve your goals and make a difference in the world.

    Time Schedule: English

    Course planning

    Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.

    SPU students on campus

    Lingua

    Lingua is SPU’s student literary magazine. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, you can help design, contribute to, edit, and publish the magazine.

    SPU campus

    Internships at Image

    Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion is an award-winning literary journal with offices at SPU. If you’re an English major, you can apply to intern on its editorial staff.