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.

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.

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.

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)

  • ENGL 220 Introduction to Literature
  • ENGL 250 American Literature
  • ENGL 260 British Literature
  • ENGL 276 World Literature
  • ENGL 300 Advanced Composition
  • ENGL 320 Creative Writing
  • ENGL 331 Introduction to Linguistics
  • ENGL 340 Introduction to Literary Theory
  • ENGL 490 Major Portfolio
  • ENGL 491 Senior Seminar
  • 9 credit hours of English electives numbered above 300; at least two of the courses should be at the 400 level; one course must be in American literature; one course must be in World literature
  • 2 semesters of same foreign language at the college level, or a passing MLA or CLEP score

Minor in English (18 credit hours)

  • ENGL 220 Introduction to Literature
  • ENGL 250 American Literature
  • ENGL 260 British Literature
  • ENGL 331 Introduction to Linguistics
  • ENGL 300 Advanced Composition or ENGL 320 Creative Writing
  • One English elective 340 or above

Major in English with Teaching Licensure (5-12) (43 credit hours)

  • ENGL 220 Introduction to Literature
  • ENGL 250 American Literature
  • ENGL 260 British Literature
  • ENGL 300 Advanced Composition
  • ENGL 331 Introduction to Linguistics
  • ENGL 332 Modern English Grammar
  • ENGL 340 Introduction to Literary Theory
  • ENGL 350 Shakespeare
  • ENGL 490 Major Portfolio
  • ENGL 491 Senior Seminar
  • One English elective 400 or above

Support work

  • SEDU 333 Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction
  • SEDU 454 Reading Strategies and Instructional Methods
  • Plus requirements for secondary education and education core

A foreign language is not required for major in English with teaching licensure.

Minor in English with Teaching Licensure (5-12) (30 credit hours)

  • ENGL 220 Introduction to Literature
  • ENGL 250 American Literature
  • ENGL 260 British Literature
  • ENGL 300 Advanced Composition
  • ENGL 331 Introduction to Linguistics
  • ENGL 332 Modern English Grammar
  • ENGL 340 Introduction to Literary Theory
  • ENGL 350 Shakespeare

Support work

  • SEDU 333 Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction
  • SEDU 454 Reading Strategies and Instructional Methods
  • Plus requirements for secondary education and education core

Major in English with Teaching Licensure (K-8) (27 credit hours)

  • Major in Elementary Education
  • ENGL 250 American Literature
  • ENGL 260 British Literature
  • ENGL 300 Advanced Composition
  • ENGL 331 Introduction to Linguistics
  • ENGL 332 Modern English Grammar
  • ENGL 350 Shakespeare
  • THME 200 Fundamentals of Acting or THME 310 Oral Interpretation of Literature
  • Two courses numbered ENGL 370 or above

Faculty

Dr.   Matthew  Packer

Matthew Packer

Assistant Professor of English

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Dr.   Gwen  Hart

Gwen Hart

Assistant Professor of English Composition

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Dr.   Annamaria  Formichella Elsden

Annamaria Formichella Elsden

Professor of English

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Dr.   James  McFadden

James McFadden

Associate Professor of English Composition

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Dr.   Francesca  Gentile

Francesca Gentile

Assistant Professor of English

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