"Reading furnishes our mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking makes what we read ours."
--John Locke

Courses in English develop students' understanding of important works of American and English literature, give them awareness of -- and appreciation for -- our literary heritage, provide them with a historical perspective from which to evaluate works written in their own time, and deepen their insight into their own experience. Inherent in achieving these aims is the development of students' ability to express their ideas orally and in writing.

Although some study English primarily for personal growth and enrichment, the program is intended to prepare students for graduate work, teaching and the professions, as well as for a variety of occupations. Graduates in English have found careers in personnel work, public relations, business management, journalism, politics, free-lance writing, publishing, and other fields requiring communication skills. Besides an emphasis in literature, the English program also offers an emphasis in creative writing as well as an emphasis in English education.

Students majoring in English will choose an interdisciplinary minor. Students may choose humanistic studies, communication and the arts, human development, democracy and justice studies, or other appropriate programs. Students desiring teacher preparation in English must combine their studies in English with the professional program in education.