The English Department engages its students in the study of literature, language, and cultural texts. Such study provides students with opportunities to develop critical thinking, speaking, and writing skills - skills that are simultaneously creative and systematic, personal and social, important for individual development and necessary in professional life. Course offerings cover great works of the literary canon as well as recently recognized texts by a diverse range of Western and non-Western writers. English faculty examine these texts with students while promoting a heightened appreciation for language, literature, and writing.

With faculty members as expert guides, students will develop thoroughly interdisciplinary methods of close reading, researching, and writing. Majors will be expected to learn how to read purposefully, develop and answer questions about textual meaning, formulate and express — orally and in writing — persuasive interpretations of literary works, and write for a variety of audiences with clarity and insight. Courses will challenge students to apply these English skills to explore ethical, philosophical, and historical questions about ourselves and the world we inhabit. Upon successful completion of English coursework, students will be prepared to communicate thoughtfully and effectively about a range of subjects, to assess the textual strengths and limitations of various media, and to live successful and purposeful lives in the new “knowledge society.”

Students in English can choose between two majors: the Bachelor of Arts in English or the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing. The Bachelor of Arts in English emphasizes the analysis literary and cultural texts in a range of historical and aesthetic contexts. Classroom activities and course projects require students to read texts from a range of perspectives, to deliver persuasive and professional-informed interpretations orally and in writing, and to conduct methodological research using the technological tools of the discipline. Students in the English major may also participate in the Secondary Education Certification Program, which will prepare students for a career in English education.

The Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing includes the study of rhetorical theory (including visual and digital rhetoric), the practicalities of day-to-day workplace writing, and an introduction to some of the software and technologies on which professional writers (and their employers) depend. Students in the Professional Writing major can choose to participate in a creative writing track, which provides them the same theoretical background but which also affords more opportunities to develop imaginative writing skills in workshop settings and to graduate with a robust creative writing portfolio.

Students who successfully complete a degree in English or Professional Writing from King’s College are well-prepared to apply their skills in a variety of industries and fields. Many graduates now practice law or are high school or university educators; some work for advertising firms, newspapers, and publishing companies; some work in federal, state, and local government environments; and others hold positions of responsibility and leadership in business, industry, and the health field. For more information on career opportunities, including internships during undergraduate study, consult the Chairperson.

Except for the Senior Seminar (ENGL 491), Independent Research (ENGL 496) and Teaching Writing: Theory and Practice (ENGL 328), English courses are ordinarily open to all qualified students regardless of their major. Advanced Writing (ENGL 241) is a prerequisite for all advanced writing courses, and the Foundations Seminar (ENGL 200) is required for all majors and should be completed prior to enrolling in advanced literature courses.

Students majoring in English or Professional Writing have considerable flexibility in choosing courses, though selections should be made in consultation with a departmental advisor in the light of the individual student’s interest and career goals. Depending on their interests, time, and career plans, students in these programs can pursue a second major or minor in other fields of study.

Degrees Offered:

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English Literature
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Professional Writing
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English—Secondary Education

Compatible Second Majors and Minors:
Education, human resources management, marketing, accounting, business administration, communications, philosophy, foreign languages, chemistry, history, theology, computer sciences, criminal justice, economics, international business, political science, and theatre.

Special Features

  • Internships in London, Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg
  • Writing Fellows Program
  • Scholarship for Foreign Study
  • Independent Study
  • Visiting Writers Program
  • Publishing Opportunities