The study of literature is a thought-provoking journey into the intellectual and spiritual world of ideas. Fiction, poetry, drama, and essays from many historical periods and world cultures expose students to the great range and depth of human experience.

Both analytical and creative approaches to writing are offered. Classes are small and discussion-centered. The most important part of our jobs is teaching, and we professors work closely with students. Through a variety of writing assignments, oral presentations, and self- generated class projects, students develop the analytical skill of critical thinking, the ability to make creative connections between ideas, and the expertise of translating these skills into writing.

Training in English is a valuable preparation for many professional areas, such as education, communications, publishing, advertising, business, marketing, computer information services, library sciences, law, and pre-med. The English and Education programs work closely together to train prospective teachers. In short, the English program prepares students for a rapidly changing world where communication skills, combined with knowledge of technology, are in high demand.

Recent graduates have found jobs in teaching, desktop publishing, public relations, technical writing, employee recruitment, or have gone on to graduate school in various areas: English, American studies, Library Sciences, Education Administration, and Business Finance.

Program Requirements

All English Majors (teaching and non-teaching) and Minors: The student working toward a major or minor in English is subject to a reevaluation each year. A grade of C or above is required in all English courses used toward a major or minor in English. A minimum of 15 credit hours in English must be taken at College of Saint Mary for a major or an endorsement in secondary education.

English Major

The English major is divided into two areas of concentration:

  • Writing and Literature: a traditional English major, preparation for graduate or professional school.
  • Education: English Endorsement as preparation for teaching English and Language Arts in middle and secondary schools.

Language Arts Field Endorsement: This is a separate Academic Program, administered by the English and Education Programs.

Degrees and Certificates


ENG 099: Developmental English

English 099 is a basic writing course, designed to introduce students to college writing and prepare them for the similar, but more demanding, writing of English 101, the entry-level writing course. Students who pass the course are able to write a developed, unified, and cohesive expository essay. Placement in this course is determined by ACT scores or placement examination. Developmental courses (numbered below 100), may be taken for college credit, but may not be counted toward the academic hours required for associate or bachelor degree completion.

ENG 100: Introduction to Literature

(Taught as High School Dual Enrollment Course only) This course is an in-depth study of British literature. The course takes a chronological approach, covering the major authors and literary movements from the 17th century through the early Modern Period. The focus is on poetry — imagery, figurative language, tone, sound devices, rhythm, etc.

ENG 101: Composition

Instruction and practice in the fundamentals of effective written composition, critical reading, and writing.

ENG 102: Advanced Composition

Continued instruction and practice in critical reading and writing, and research techniques, including documentation conventions.

ENG 104: Introduction to Poetry

(Taught as High School Dual Enrollment Course only) This course is a study of the universality of a literary theme, including cultural and historical influences on literary themes. Students in this course will achieve greater cultural literacy through a study of works from British, modern, and world literature. This course includes writing and the use of technology for information searches and interactive activities.

ENG 201: World Literature: Studies in the Drama

A study of a selected group of representative plays from the classical to the contemporary from different world cultures, exploring the uniqueness of the characteristics of each. When possible, works discussed will be enhanced by live theater or audiovisual productions. (Also listed as THR 201)

ENG 210: Creative Writing: Literary Non-Fiction I

A beginning class in nonfiction writing, ENG210 addresses essential strategies for writing and evaluating creative nonfiction. Students read, discuss, and analyze contemporary nonfiction and original nonfiction written for the class.

ENG 212: Creative Writing: Fiction I

A beginning class in fiction writing, ENG 212 addresses essential strategies for writing and evaluating fiction. Students read, discuss, and analyze contemporary fiction and original fiction written for the class. The course includes reading in the theory and practice of writing.

ENG 213: The Detective Novel and Society

This course is designed to make students aware of the cultural richness and depth to be found in the detective novel. It will focus on the question of what can be learned about our culture and other cultures from the reading of these novels. The works to be studied and compared deal with broader issues than the traditional "whodunits." Some of those larger considerations are gender issues, historical situations, social commentary, ethnic differences, and religious customs.

ENG 260: Illness and Wellness in Literature

This course is an exploration of the different voices that reveal the ways in which we are bound up in the presence of illness. Through readings in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, students will gain a fuller understanding of the transformative power of literature in telling the stories of health, illness, healing, and loss.

ENG 262: Adolescent & Young Adult Literature

This course includes the study of both traditional and contemporary works written for or about young adults. The works studied will be evaluated for their artistic merit and for their insights into the adolescent stage of human development.

ENG 264: Ecoliterature

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of writing about the natural world via scholarly, fiction, and nonfiction written about environments in the U.S. Students will develop an appreciation for the place of environmental writing in American literature and an understanding of some of the key issues and debates of the discipline. Students will gain the tools necessary to apply an ecocritical understanding to both scholarly, creative, and reflective writing.

ENG 266: Images of Women in Literature

Women have been stereotyped (and have played stereotypes) in life; these traditional images are reflected in literature. The study of these images of women is through writings from various places around the world and from different time periods.

ENG 343: Shakespeare

A study of Shakespeare as a dramatist and poet. A reading of representative plays, including comedy, tragedy, history, and romance. (Also listed as THR 343.)

ENG 345: Victorian Literature

A study of the shorter fiction written by major British authors during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), and of its enduring claims on our attention today.

ENG 362/462: Student Literary Magazine Editing

This course will involve students in the production of an annual issue of the University's new student literary magazine. To this end, they will solicit submissions, establish evaluation criteria, read manuscripts, correspond with authors regarding editing suggestions, and ultimately put together a finished literary journal, which will be professionally printed and distributed in the spring semester. Course may be taken a second time at the 400 level.

ENG 368: Women Writers

A study of traditional and contemporary works written by American women. Emphasizes historical context, women's roles, and challenges facing women both yesterday and today.

ENG 495: Coordinating Seminar

In this seminar, open only to senior English majors, students will complete a number of writing assignments, including book reviews, cover letters, and an extended writing project, either scholarly or creative. In addition, students are required to present their project at either the annual Student Scholar Day or by offering an hour-long teaching demonstration.

ENG 562: Literature for Young Adults

This graduate course includes the study traditional and contemporary works written for or about young adults. The works studied will be evaluated for their artistic merit and for their insights into the adolescent development. Students will design strategies to encourage appreciation of literature and motivation for becoming life-long readers. Topics include the nature of teen-age readers, genres and use of young adult literature in the classroom. Students create an extensive teaching unit using young adult literature. Appropriate use of instructional technology is integrated into instruction and pedagogy.