English - BA

In the St. Kate's English major, the student's voice matters. Together, in our programs, students and faculty explore diverse aesthetic, linguistic and cultural traditions in global contexts of social justice. We find joy in the play of differences in languages and literatures.

The curriculum offers range and flexibility, with intensive advising that helps each student claim her own focus based on her interests and aims. Our faculty is committed to to meeting the various needs of all of our students, inviting them to think critically, write well, judge carefully, read wholeheartedly, and act with integrity. Visit the English Department's website for more information, opportunities and events.

English students benefit from a rich learning experience. They develop and share their thoughts in discussion-based seminar classes; they meet distinguished visiting authors such as novelist Marilynne Robinson, poets Rita Dove and Wang Ping, memoirists Kao Kalia Yang and Kathleen Norris, and Nobel Prize-winners J. M. Coetzee and Toni Morrison; they develop their own voices and professional skills in small, workshop-based writing classes; and they build a strong portfolio for job and graduate school applications. Most English students also pursue advanced study in another language, and many study abroad, to deepen their overall language skills and cultural competency. 

St. Kate's English majors make notable contributions campus-wide, to the English Club, to campus news in The Wheel, to Ariston, the annual literary and visual arts magazine, and to the Antonian Scholars Program. Juniors and seniors often become research or teaching assistant in the English Department's TA program, through the university's Assistantship Mentor Program, or by way of Summer Scholars Collaborative Research. Students may also earn Honors in English during their final year.

Because we are an urban campus, students also enjoy performances at local theaters, visit art museums and exhibitions, attend author readings and book launches, and complete internships at local publishing houses or business and non-profit institutions. St. Kate's English majors have interned at KTCA-TV, the Minnesota Zoo, Coffee House Press, Greywolf Press, the Guthrie Theater, MPR, and 3M.

Our English alumnae have careers in education, writing, publishing, advertising, management, public relations, medicine and law. Some have started their own businesses. Some became college professors. Others author books, edit anthologies, or write for magazines, newspapers and trade publications. Distinguished graduates include Kelly Barnhill ('96), whose novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon won the Newbery Medal in 2017, and Anne McKeig ('89), the first American Indian justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The English major is offered in the College for Women only


ENGL 2202Literary Theory and Practice4
ENGL 2302WWriting for Writers4
ENGL 2402Language in Society4
Three advanced courses:12
One Literature at the 3200 level or above
One Writing at the 3300 level or above
One Language Studies at the 3400 level or above
Three electives 112
ENGL 4860WSenior Seminar4
Total Credits40

Internship Requirement

An internship is required as the eleventh course for the English major, and this requirement can be met in a variety of ways: with ENGL 4686: Internship: Writing in the Workplace; or accomplished independently for a variety of credit hours or as a non-credit option, all administered through the Career Development Office (and/or via our existing independent internship option, ENGL 4600, ENGL 4602 or 4604). Approved internship experiences may also include the following:  A T.A. position in the English department, an O'Neill Center tutor position, a Summer Scholars’ research experience, an AMP TA position, or a related job that provides the development of skills and experiences our graduates can take into the work world.  Students are encouraged to take on more than one internship if possible for the major.

Portfolio Requirement

All English majors must compile a final English portfolio.

Students begin to develop their portfolio as soon as they declare their intent to major. The portfolio includes the following:

  • one writing sample from each of the following courses:
    • ENGL 2202 Literary Theory and Practice
    • a 3200-level literature course
    • ENGL 2302W Writing for Writers
    • a 3300-level writing course
    • ENGL 2402 Language in Society
    • a 3400-level language studies course
    • ENGL 4860W Senior Seminar
  • a summary reflective essay 
  • a resume or CV (prepared with the assistance of the Career Development Office)
  • a list of courses completed in the major
  • a portfolio checklist  

Students are responsible for developing the portfolio with the guidance of their advisor and for submitting it to the department chair at least two weeks before they graduate. 

English majors satisfy the Writing Requirement for Majors and the fourth writing requirement by completing ENGL 2302W Writing for Writers and ENGL 4860W Senior Seminar . They complete the Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Writing Requirement with two other writing-intensive courses (CORE 1000W The Reflective Woman and CORE 3990W Global Search for Justice ).

Liberal Arts Requirements

NOTE: Writing courses do not fulfill the liberal arts and sciences core literature requirement.  Courses that meet the core literature requirement are identified in the course description.