Department Mission

The department seeks to provide for the diverse needs of its students by offering them the opportunity to read widely, to understand and enjoy what they read, and to express themselves both orally and in writing with ease, force and clarity. Through the practice of writing and the study of language, literature and film, the department strives to stimulate humanistic learning and the capacity to respond rationally and imaginatively to literature and the life it reflects.


The major serves as a pre-professional program for students interested in teaching at the secondary and college level, and for students interested in careers in law, medicine, and business. Students with special interests in creative writing, ethnic studies, film studies, Great Plains studies, linguistics, and women's studies have found the English major a base for beginning study of these areas. The English major is also a classical liberal education major if you do not have specific career plans but are interested in developing the analytic and communication abilities that underlie many professions in American society. The Film Studies major is designed for students who wish to ultimately work in academic film studies, and also for those students who wish to understand film better as an art form, as popular culture, and as a major medium of communication.


In addition to regular courses, you may wish to participate in a variety of internships or write a supervised Honors Thesis in your senior year. You may wish to join the Literary League which presents programs and participates in the activities of the department. Creative writers can help to edit or contribute writing to the undergraduate literary magazine, Laurus, and are eligible for a number of prizes in our annual writing contests.