The English Major encompasses the study of literatures and literary histories, methods of interpretation, creative and analytical writing, and the cultural contexts in which reading and writing take place.
Pursuing this major teaches students to write and speak clearly, to think critically, to research effectively, and to apply knowledge to real-world situations. These skills make English a highly versatile degree, as shown by our alumni – who pursue successful careers in marketing, education, law, medicine, non-governmental organizations, advocacy, speech pathology, editing and publishing, and more.
English majors hone the skills that matter most to employers: critical thinking and clear, effective writing about complex issues. The English Major teaches students to read thoughtfully and perceptively, to listen carefully, to analyze critically, and to express their ideas logically, clearly, and precisely.
Our majors gain knowledge of the chief genres of literature – poetry, drama, fiction, and the essay – and of literary traditions in English. In our classes, we investigate how cultural productions shape and are shaped by historical and political circumstances; and, through writing and discussion, we examine the values which form literary works and the theories which shape our interpretation.
Our field naturally positions us to offer students practice and experience in undergraduate publishing, book arts, editing and publishing, and emergent modes of expression. Because of our smaller size, we are able to work closely with all of our students, tailoring their paths through the major and advising supplemental projects and courses to best prepare them for careers ahead.
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University
Chair, English Department
SJU Quad 355A