Exploring English

Prospective employers in many fields consistently identify an English major as one of the most beneficial degrees for their new hires to hold. Why? Because English majors read widely, engage multiple perspectives, write and speak well, and think critically and deeply. These attributes prepare them for success in any area of endeavor.

Taylor University’s English program offers a wide range of literature classes, focus on critical interpretation, and emphasis on the written word. Combined with a strong teacher-to-student ratio and commitment to faith integration, the English major prepares students for multiple career tracks. You'll experience beautifully written literature, encouragement to develop your own writing voice and style, and countless opportunities for discussion, collaboration, and learning from each other. All while aided by faculty who care deeply for you as a person, and, most importantly, who will inspire you to deepen your relationship with Christ by actively engaging your faith in your study of literature and writing.

As an English major, you'll choose to concentrate in one of three tracks: Creative Writing, Literature, and English Education. 

Creative Writing Concentration

Taylor’s Creative Writing concentration believes in the value of reading great writing as a stimulus for thought and as models for emulation. Classes teach writing techniques and characteristics specific to genres of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. You'll focus on the practices of generating ideas, workshopping, and revision while being encouraged to explore different voices and styles.

Literature Concentration

Taylor’s Literature concentration allows students to explore literature through a focus on genre with such classes as The Novel and Drama; to concentrate on the impact of history, culture, and worldview upon literature through classes organized by period and tradition, such as Early English, Renaissance, Restoration and Eighteenth Century, Romantic, Victorian and Modern British Literature, American Literature to 1865, from 1865-1945, and from 1945 to the Present; to consider the impact of race and ethnicity in Literature of Diverse Cultures; or to delve deeply into the works of a creative genius by taking Shakespeare. Our Critical Approaches to Literature class, a prerequisite to all our upper division literature classes, assures that majors are given the necessary background to apply and understand many of the most prominent critical positions.

English Education

Taylor’s English education major combines courses from both our creative writing and literature concentrations and augments them with a deep educational foundation that prepares students for teaching at the middle school and high school levels. Education courses provide practical training in educational psychology, classroom management and discipline, and assessment methods for the classroom. Through taking English Methods, majors are offered varied approaches to teaching English and engaging secondary education students in English literature and creative writing. All English Education majors complete a semester of full-time student teaching during their senior year.

Put Words Into Practice: Opportunities for Publishing, Research, and Internships

Taylor’s English program offers distinctive opportunities to apply classroom skills and knowledge to real life endeavors. Students can hone their editorial skills through being on the staff of Parnassus, Taylor’s art and literary journal that has just celebrated its 50th year, by contributing to the production of Relief, the national art and faith journal hosted by Taylor, or by being a staff reporter for Taylor’s weekly student newspaper, The Echo. 

The English department also hosts a biannual undergraduate conference, Making Literature, which gives students the opportunity to present papers for presentation, moderate paper sessions, and participate in the exciting logistics of hosting a national conference. Similarly, majors can participate in the annual C.S. Lewis and Friends Colloquium, or participate in WORDshop!, a Taylor University writing camp for area youth designed and taught by English education majors, which provides those considering teaching an opportunity to learn how to build a writing community and encourage young writers. 

Students can gain internship experience through working with faculty to publish Cheers!, the biannual newsletter of the Flannery O’Connor Society, housed at Taylor, or through specially arranged summer internships with publishing companies or journals. English faculty are especially receptive to working with students in co-producing scholarly work; this has sometimes resulted in published articles and conference presentations for students. Paid job opportunities for majors include being a writing consultant in the Writing Center, a peer-based writing service, or by tutoring for the Academic Enrichment Center.

English Curriculum & Degree Options

Students interested in course descriptions and academic policies can check out our Undergraduate Catalog here.

Foundational Core

The Foundational Core is the key to Taylor’s total education. These classes will give you a big-picture view of how your calling connects with God's purpose for your life, engaging with ideas that will demonstrate how God has given you certain talents and skills to bring healing to the world. Each student who completes the Foundational Core emerges as a well-versed individual, equipped with critical thinking skills, a lifelong love of learning, and an appreciation for God's creation.

View Foundational Core Curriculum.

Group of students standing in street in London

Literary London J-Term Trip

This study tour, offered during January term, allows students to study the works of major British authors and also to visit the homes and locations that inspired their literature. In the past, authors have included Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Samuel Johnson, Shakespeare, and others. Most of the trip is centered in London, with trips to Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Edinburgh, and other locations enriching the experience. 

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