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.

English Teaching Major

Students majoring in English education must also complete the requirements of the secondary education program (see the education department listing). These requirements include a cumulative GPA of 2.50 and a 2.50 in the major.

English electives 4
ENG 221 - Responding to Writing
ENG 277 - Teaching Literature to Adolescents
ENG 280 - Shakespeare
ENG 283 - Grammar in the Classroom
ENG 290 - The Art of the Essay
ENG 292 - Introduction to Narrative and Verse
ENG 345 - Linguistic Perspectives on English
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
ENG 378 - English Nineteenth-Century Literature
ENG 379 - English Twentieth-Century Literature
Choose one course: 4
ENG 410 - Seminar in Interpretation
ENG 480 - Special Topics in Literature and Culture
Cognate requirements:
THE 360 - Film Aesthetics and Criticism
Total credits required: 40