The English 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 English 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.
Through our emphasis in Digital Humanities (the intersection of new technologies and the traditional disciplines of the humanities), students in the English department have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects in partnership with the library and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, and other departments and programs.
We offer a variety of courses in writing non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. Further, our creative writing program includes Laurus, a well-respected undergraduate literary magazine, and one of the major literary magazines in the country, Prairie Schooner. Undergraduates have the opportunity to write for Laurus and have internships with the magazine.
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 Undergraduate English Organization (UEO) which presents programs and participates in the activities of the department. You may be invited to join Theta Omega, the local chapter of the national English honorary society, Sigma Tau Delta. Students can also participate in UCARE, the undergraduate research program which links undergraduates with faculty members.
Ted Kooser, an internationally-known poet and writer has served as the Poet Laureate of the United States and is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.
The Bailey Library is a large room on the second floor of Andrews that students and faculty members use for meetings, lectures, and informal gatherings of many kinds.
Faculty in the English Department are involved in the Walt Whitman Archive and the Willa Cather Archive, digital projects jointly sponsored with the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.