English

Study the language, stories, and poetry that shapes our lives. Students sharpen their communication skills, and explore literature, critical theory, cultural studies, and creative writing to prepare for careers in a world shaped increasingly by the powers of text, imagination, and tale.

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How We See It

At BVU, we see English as the architecture of our minds. In studying English at BVU, you get to roam with some of the world’s great storytellers and thinkers, and to learn from their writing, about style, intrigue, metaphor, empathy, and human identity.

Our students are trained to read perceptively and write sharply, which are skills employers have, and will always, look for. English also bonds well with other BVU programs such as history, political science, psychology, and digital media. For BVU, it’s more than just grammar.

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Vital Skills

There is no easier way to travel through time and around Earth than by using your imagination—and a good book!—and in English you get to ride shotgun in the minds of the world’s best writers.

Go Further

You’ll learn to think critically about your own culture, about yourself, and about other cultures. You’ll analyze movies and video games. And, you get to blog and work in social media in ways you haven’t before.

Rich Experience

Gather with other passionate readers and writers, listen to acclaimed poets, authors and other speakers, produce a magazine of creative writing and artwork, and celebrate reading and writing.

In Demand

BVU grads are in demand. A survey found that 100 percent of English majors from the Class of 2017 were either employed or enrolled in graduate or professional school within six months of graduation.

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Outside the Classroom

Real-life experiences on campus

The English program sponsors an annual, student-produced literary and fine arts magazine, FACES. Believe it or not, students are in charge of all aspects of the publication! From making editorial selections, copywriting and editing all material, to determining cover design and layout, students are putting their knowledge to the test with FACES. BVU English majors involved in FACES also organize writing sessions and workshops for creative writers on campus.

BVU English majors will also edit Hot Dish Magazine, an online literary journal featuring poetry and fiction by Midwestern writers grades 9-12.

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Sharpen Your Skills

What employers are looking for

You’ll understand how narratives pattern our lives, at the same time that we create our own stories.  Students in English at BVU receive a broad training in diverse American, British, and world literary traditions. They explore critical theory, cultural studies, and creative writing, and participate in academic conferences, internships, and senior capstone projects. And they work alongside award-winning faculty to build problem-solving and critical-thinking skills while preparing for careers in a world shaped more and more by the powers of text, story, and imagination.

Internships

  • The White House
  • Marzulla Law, LLC
  • Spirit Lake Public Library

Careers

  • Cabela’s, Technical writer
  • Iowa High School Athletic Association, Director of Communications
  • Glenwood Community Middle School, Middle School Language Arts teacher

Graduate School

  • University of Iowa
  • Iowa State University
  • Drake University
Major in English (37-43 Credit Hours)
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Minor in English (37-43 Credit Hours)
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Minor in English (18 Credit Hours)
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Major in English with Teaching Licensure 5-12 (43 Credit Hours)
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Minor in English with Teaching Licensure 5-12 (43 Credit Hours)
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Major in English with Teaching Licensure K-8 (27 Credit Hours)
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Faculty

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Dr. Annamaria Formichella Elsden
Professor of English
Meet the Professor
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Dr. Gwen Hart
Assistant Professor of English Composition
Meet the Professor
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Dr. Matthew Packer
Associate Professor of English
Meet the Professor