English programs

Our department's mission is to cultivate educated citizens who

  • READ WIDELY, delighting in texts that challenge them
  • REASON CAREFULLY, sensitive to textual nuance and cultural contexts
  • THINK CREATIVELY, aspiring to broaden their minds and express their souls
  • WRITE BOLDLY, attentive to the needs of diverse audiences
  • SERVE FAITHFULLY, rooted in the God-given power of language to inspire, inform, persuade and heal

English teaching

Share your passion for story with readers and writers in grades 5–12. In addition to your English classes, you’ll take courses in an education department that is one of only 4 in Iowa to be NCATE accredited.


Our “loose canon” approach means you’ll read widely. Along with courses covering Chaucer and Twain, you can also take classes like Literature of the Developing World and Native American Literature.

Writing and rhetoric

Our interdisciplinary writing major requires you to add a second major or minor. Students have paired it with business, history, political science, public relations and religion. Creative writers can choose from courses in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting and screenwriting.

Literature Minor

Choose one course: 4
ENG 225 - Literature of the Developing World
ENG 238 - Literature and Film
ENG 280 - Shakespeare
Choose one course: 2-4
ENG 290WI - The Art of the Essay
ENG 292 - Introduction to Narrative and Verse
Choose one course: 4
ENG 346 - American Literature I
ENG 347 - American Literature II
Choose one course: 4
ENG 376 - Medieval Literature
ENG 377 - English Renaissance Literature
Choose one course: 4
ENG 378 - English Nineteenth-Century Literature
ENG 379 - English Twentieth-Century Literature
Choose one course: 4
ENG 385 - Literature of Place
ENG 386 - The Other America
Total credits required: 22-24