The Northwest Difference
English majors tend to be readers or writers. Many are both. Through coursework in literature, writing, linguistics and the history of the English language, students explore a diverse range of texts with the goal of becoming thoughtful and knowledgeable readers, writers, thinkers, communicators and artists.
In addition to reading and writing, students are introduced to the principles of linguistics, writing pedagogy, community literacies, publishing, workplace writing and creative writing. They read and engage in discussions about literary works, participate in literary criticism, write in a variety of analytical argumentative and creative genres, and are challenged to view language through artistic, social and scientific lenses.
Minor in English
A minor in English teaches students the foundations of American and English literature. Additionally, students will learn skills about creative writing, writing for professionals and playwriting. After taking the required courses, students can customize their minor from a list of approved electives. For a list of required courses, visit the academic catalog. This minor requires the completion of 24 credit hours.
91% of students who graduate with an English degree obtain employment or continue their education within six months after graduation. Job titles related to this major include:
- Copy writer
- Technical writer
- Speech writer
Profession-Based Learning Experiences
GreenTower Press is a small press supported by the department, and managed by two faculty members. GreenTower Press publishes a highly lauded literary magazine, The Laurel Review. Each term, student interns gain professional publishing experience with GreenTower Press and The Laurel Review. Students work as editors-in-training at The Laurel Review, where they read, judge and edit manuscripts for publication.
Medium Weight Forks is an arts and literary magazine published by students in the Publications Skills course every spring term.
The Writing Center provides tutoring and other services to all Northwest students, and many students from the department gain valuable experience as writing tutors and as student managers. Students also have the opportunity to work as writing fellows with faculty in classrooms.
Students in professional writing complete practicum-based exercises in genres of the workplace, including occasional real-world projects for regional businesses and organizations.
Students travel with faculty to conferences such as the Annual Conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the Comparative Drama Conference, and the Conference on College Composition and Communication.
Sigma Tau Delta, an English honorary society, annually sends students to a national conference to present critical and creative work. Sigma Tau Delta was established at Northwest in 1931.
Scribblers, Northwest’s creative writing club, meets weekly to share creative work and write together.
Although internships are not required with the English major, they are highly encouraged. Interns have worked with the following organizations:
- GreenTower Press (Northwest campus)
- KZLX radio station (Northwest campus)
- Grant coordinator (Northwest campus)
- Northwest Missourian (student newspaper)
- Tower yearbook
- Better Homes and Gardens
- Nodaway County Historical Society
- A to Z Communications
I'm so happy I followed my passion and chose to major in English at Northwest. I love this University, and I especially love our English department. The students and faculty are absolutely wonderful, and I feel lucky to have met such great people. All the teachers I have had do everything they can to help me be successful, in the classroom and beyond. I've also really enjoyed my involvement with Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society. My experience with the English department at Northwest has changed my life, and I'm so glad I found my place here.
Being an English major at Northwest has helped me achieve a profound level of self-knowledge and a better understanding of the world in which I live. I have connected with authors on the pages of their books, despite their distance from me in time, and I now better understand the human condition. Writing, too, has given me the opportunity to share my deepest thoughts on life, emotion and society with others, establishing that same connection with those who choose to read my work.
Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their own academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available, Faculty-led and traditional study abroad.
The traditional program can be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.