English, B.A.

Writing is central to all aspects of Saint Louis University's program in English. In all English courses, students hone their ability to write and to reflect upon what they read. 

Along with courses in literature in which critical and analytical writing plays a principal role, students majoring in English at SLU may take courses in various genres of creative writing or business and professional writing. These courses enhance both personal creativity and professional competence. SLU's English alumni consistently cite this departmental emphasis on analytical thinking and effective writing skills as a major asset in preparing them for a variety of academic and nonacademic postgraduate pursuits.

Additional highlights of SLU's B.A. in English include:

  • SLU's Department of English sponsors a student-edited online literary magazine, the Kiln Project, which publishes creative work by students, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art.
  • The English department also provides the opportunity for students to publish their original, critical research projects during their undergraduate career through VIA, an online journal of student scholarly research.
  • The English Club, run by undergraduate students, actively seeks inventive ways to strengthen the community of Saint Louis University students who love literature and writing.

Curriculum Overview

Saint Louis University's English major is student-centered, with small classes that emphasize discussion and independent thinking. Coursework within the major balances tradition and innovation in all areas of literary and rhetorical studies, including:

  • British and American literatures
  • Postcolonial and world literatures
  • African American and Native American literatures
  • Literary theory
  • Film studies
  • Gender studies
  • History of the English language
  • Rhetoric and composition
  • Creative writing
  • New media writing
  • Business and professional writing

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

The benefits of SLU's English program also include several internship and career opportunities. The English department's internship program supports upper-level English majors who wish to supplement their academic course of study with an educational work experience. SLU's English department seeks to place its students in internship environments where interns go beyond performing clerical work and can make meaningful connections between their course of study and the practical, social and intellectual demands of a workplace.

Careers

Students who study English at SLU receive a solid foundation for any profession that requires excellent analytical and communication skills. Graduates have enrolled in doctoral programs to continue their English studies. Others find employment in arts, education, business, government and nonprofit agencies. Some graduates enroll in master's or doctoral programs to pursue service upon graduation through organizations such as Teach for America, the Americorps, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps or the Peace Corps. Many students attend law school, medical school or MBA programs. Others pursue careers in the media or publishing.

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to produce close readings of literary texts and other media that demonstrate an ability to analyze elements such as syntax, word choice, tone, tropes and imagery.
  2. Graduates will be able to analyze the ways in which works of literature reflect and shape their historical and cultural contexts. 
  3. Graduates will be able to analyze the ways in which medium, form or genre create and shape meaning in a variety of works.
  4. Graduates will be able to produce written and oral arguments about literary works and other media that demonstrate facility with appropriate research methods, clear organization and awareness of audience.
  5. Graduates will be able to analyze the ways in which literary works represent the intersections of factors such as race, gender, class, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, environment and belief.
  6. Graduates will be able to interpret and evaluate texts and other media through a variety of theoretical and critical lenses (e.g. formalist, Marxist, psychoanalytic, feminist, postcolonial, poststructuralist, etc.).
  7. Rhetoric, Writing, and Technology Track: Graduates with a concentration in rhetoric, writing and technology will analyze the rhetorical functions and features of a variety of texts and media.
  8. Rhetoric, Writing, and Technology Track: Graduate with a concentration in rhetoric, writing and technology will produce rhetorically sophisticated texts or media for a range of contexts.
  9. Creative Writing Major and Minor: Graduates with a concentration in creative writing will use appropriate craft techniques to develop multiple dimensions of textual complexity in creative compositions.
  10. Research Intensive English (Honors): Graduates with a concentration in research intensive English will pursue original research questions that demonstrate advanced awareness of theoretical, historical and interpretive contexts in sustained discipline appropriate written arguments.

The English major consists of 12 courses (36 minimum credits), made up of one course at the 2000-level, five courses in 3000-level area requirements, five electives at the 4000-level and one senior seminar.

The overall requirements are as follows:

  • Three credits at the 2000-level;
  • Fifteen credits at the 3000-level including at least three credits from each area;
  • Fifteen credits at the 4000-level;
  • Three credit senior inquiry requirement, fulfilled by satisfactorily completing ENGL 4960 Senior Inquiry Seminar (3 cr).
Core Requirement
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
2000-level Course
May serve for both CAS Core Requirements and Major Requirements.
Select one of the following:3
Conflict, Social Justice and Literature
Faith, Doubt and Literature
Nature, Ecology & Literature
Gender, Identity & Literature
Technology, Media & Literature
Film, Culture and Literature
Nation, Identity and Literature
3000-level Courses
3 credits may serve for both CAS Core Requirements and Major Requirements.
Select one course with each of the following attributes:15
Additional course taken from any of the above areas.
4000-level Courses
Select five courses. Any English course offered at the 4000-level may count, such as:15
Professional Writing
New Media Writing
Queer Cinema: History, Aesthetics and Activism
Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
Topics in Medieval Literature
Age of Elizabeth
Early Shakespeare
Topics in Shakespeare
17th Century Literature
Milton
The Age of Romanticism
Medicine, Mind, and Victorian Fiction
Major Victorian Authors and Movements
Topics in 19th Century Literature
Major Modernist Writers and Movements
Irish Modernism
Contemporary Postcolonial Literature and Culture
Major Post-Colonial Writers
Topics in 20th/21st Century British, Irish, & Postcolonial Literature & Culture
Contemporary American Literature
20th Century American Literature
Major American Authors
Post-1900 African American Literature
Representations of Native Americans in Text & Film
Special Topics: American Literature & Culture
Internship
Senior Seminar
Senior Inquiry Seminar
General Electives21-30
Total Credits120

Creative Writing Concentration

General Requirements

The requirements for the English major with a Creative Writing concentration are the same as those for the English major: students must take a 2000-level literature course, fulfill fifteen credits of 3000-level area requirements, and complete fifteen credits of 4000-level English seminars as well as ENGL 4960: Senior Inquiry Seminar. This concentration requires twelve credits of coursework in creative writing. 3000-level creative writing courses fulfill the Form and Genre area requirement and may also fulfill 3000-level elective credit; 4000-level creative writing courses count as 4000-level English seminars.

Non-Course Requirements

Students majoring in English with a Creative Writing concentration are required to submit a portfolio of representative work for assessment prior to graduation.

Elective Courses

Select four creative writing courses.  Any course with the "English Creative Writing" attribute may count, such as:

Writing Literacy Narratives
Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Drama
Creative Writing: Non-Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry and Translation
Topics in Creative Writing
The Craft of Poetry
The Craft of Fiction
The Craft of Creative Writing
Writing with Style

Research Intensive English Concentration

English majors with sophomore status or above may apply for the selective Research Intensive English (RIE) concentration. This concentration within the English major, which admits a maximum cohort of 12 students per academic year, offers opportunities for pursuing literary and rhetorical studies in smaller, more rigorous settings. All Research Intensive English students must take at least two Research Intensive English seminars (while maintaining a 3.50 or higher GPA in English). To complete the RIE concentration successfully, students must complete either ENGL 4990 Senior Honors Project (3 cr) or an additional Research Intensive English seminar after achieving senior status. Students who complete these requirements will graduate with the Research Intensive English designation, and will leave the program well prepared for advanced study in English.

General Requirements

The concentration requires that all Research Intensive English students complete at least two Research Intensive English seminars (ENGL 4XXX). Research Intensive English seminars will be 4000-level English courses designated with a Research Intensive English attribute. The final requirement of the RIE concentration must be fulfilled with one of the following options:

  1. Completion of ENGL 4990 Senior Honors Project (3 cr) after achieving senior status. ENGL 4990 Senior Honors Project (3 cr) is a research and writing requirement that students enter into individually, guided by a faculty mentor. The student must submit a formal project proposal with faculty mentor approval to the Director of the Research Intensive English concentration the semester before enrolling in ENGL 4990 Senior Honors Project (3 cr).
  2. Completion of an additional 4000-level Research Intensive English seminar after achieving senior status.

Rhetoric, Writing and Technology Concentration

Students interested in the study of rhetoric and digital writing are invited to pursue the department’s concentration in Rhetoric, Writing and Technology (RWT). In this concentration, students study both the history of rhetorical expression and the present possibilities of digital expression. Coursework in Rhetoric, Writing and Technology dovetails with a variety of majors, minors and courses of study across the university: communication, health management, entrepreneurship, business, marketing, pre-law, and environmental studies. RWT’s focus on the public writing and rhetoric likewise fits with Saint Louis University’s Jesuit mission of service to humanity.

General Requirements

Students completing the English major with a concentration in Rhetoric, Writing and Technology (RWT) follow the English major curriculum. The difference is that students prioritize RWT courses when completing area requirements at the 3000-level and advanced seminars at the 4000-level. Twelve credits of RWT coursework are required to complete the concentration.

Required Course

All students who major in English with a concentration in RWT should take at least four courses from the following:

Persuasive Writing
ENGL 3875
Conflict Writing
Living Writing
Writing Consulting Practicum
Public Writing
Professional Writing
New Media Writing
Writing with Style
ENGL 4025
Technical Writing
ENGL 4035
Histories of Persuasion
Writing with Style

Form and Genre

Writing Literacy Narratives
Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Non-Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry and Translation
Topics in Creative Writing
American Short Story
Poetry
European Drama
Film
Literature of Ridicule and Satire
Fantasy and Literature
Film and Literature
Reading the Female Bildungsroman
Young Adult Literature
The Classics and Literature

History and Context

British Literary Traditions to 1800
British Literary Traditions after 1800
American Literary Traditions to 1865
American Literatures after 1865
World Literary Traditions I
World Literary Traditions III
Introduction to Shakespeare
19th Century British Literature

Culture and Critique

Literature of the Postcolonial World
African American Literary Traditions II: After 1900
Topics in African American Literary Traditions
Literature of the African Diaspora
Native American Literature
Ethnic American Literature
Writing Sex in the Middle Ages
Literature of the Natural World
Nature and Literature
Monsters of Europe: Nature and Monstrosity in European Literature
Women in Literature
The City and Literature
Topics in Spirituality and Literature
Disaster Narratives
British Culture and Travel
Science Fiction
LGBTQ Literature and Culture
The Bible & Literature
Introduction to Medical Humanities, Literature
Medicine and Literature

Rhetoric and Argument

Persuasive Writing
Living Writing
Writing Consulting Practicum
Public Writing
Writing Personal Narratives and Memoirs
Conflict Writing

Continuation Standards

All English courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher in order to count for English major requirements and for the student to continue in the major.

Literature Track

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ENGL 1940
Advanced Writing 1
or Conflict, Social Justice and Literature
3
ENGL 3250 British Literary Traditions to 1800 3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
Spring
ENGL 3050 Creative Writing: Poetry 3
A&S Core 3
ENGL 3859 Writing Consulting Practicum (qualifies students to work in SLU Writing Services) 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ENGL 3540 Literature of the African Diaspora 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 3860 Public Writing 3
ENGL 4500 The Age of Romanticism 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
Semester Abroad in Madrid  
ENGL 3591 Monsters of Europe: Nature and Monstrosity in European Literature (course offered on Madrid campus) 3
ENGL 4310 Early Shakespeare (course offered on Madrid campus; includes trip to England for live theatre) 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 4060 The Craft of Fiction 3
ENGL 4240 Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
ENGL 4910 Internship 3
ENGL 4010 New Media Writing 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 4960 Senior Inquiry Seminar 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits121
1

ENGL 1940 Advanced Writing (3 cr) may be fulfilled with AP or 1818 credit. If ENGL 1940 Advanced Writing (3 cr) is completed, take ENGL 2250 Conflict, Social Justice and Literature (3 cr).

Creative Writing Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ENGL 1940
Advanced Writing 1
or Conflict, Social Justice and Literature
3
ENGL 3250 British Literary Traditions to 1800 3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
Spring
ENGL 3060 Creative Writing: Fiction 3
ENGL 3859 Writing Consulting Practicum (qualifies students to work in SLU Writing Services) 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ENGL 3050 Creative Writing: Poetry 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 3540 Literature of the African Diaspora 3
ENGL 4500 The Age of Romanticism 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
Semester Abroad in Madrid  
ENGL 3591 Monsters of Europe: Nature and Monstrosity in European Literature (course offered on Madrid campus) 3
ENGL 4310 Early Shakespeare (course offered on Madrid campus; includes trip to England for live theatre) 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 4060 The Craft of Fiction 3
ENGL 4240 Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
ENGL 4910 Internship 3
ENGL 4050 The Craft of Poetry 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 4960 Senior Inquiry Seminar 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits121
1

ENGL 1940 Advanced Writing (3 cr) may be fulfilled with AP or 1818 credit. If ENGL 1940 Advanced Writing (3 cr) is completed, take ENGL 2250 Conflict, Social Justice and Literature (3 cr).

Research Intensive English (RIE) Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ENGL 1940
Advanced Writing 1
or Conflict, Social Justice and Literature
3
ENGL 3250 British Literary Traditions to 1800 3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
Spring
ENGL 3050 Creative Writing: Poetry 3
ENGL 3859 Writing Consulting Practicum (qualifies students to work in SLU Writing Services) 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ENGL 3540 Literature of the African Diaspora 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 3860 Public Writing 3
ENGL 4500 The Age of Romanticism 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
Semester Abroad in Madrid  
ENGL 3591 Monsters of Europe: Nature and Monstrosity in European Literature (course offered on Madrid campus) 3
ENGL 4310 Early Shakespeare (course offered on Madrid campus; includes trip to England for live theatre) 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 4060 The Craft of Fiction 3
ENGL 4670 Contemporary Postcolonial Literature and Culture (Research Intensive English Seminar) 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
ENGL 4890 Special Topics: American Literature & Culture (Research Intensive English Seminar) 3
ENGL 4960 Senior Inquiry Seminar 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 4910 Internship 3
ENGL 4990 Senior Honors Project (Research Intensive Capstone Project) 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits18
 Total Credits124
1

ENGL 1940 Advanced Writing (3 cr) may be fulfilled with AP or 1818 credit. If ENGL 1940 Advanced Writing (3 cr) is completed, take ENGL 2250 Conflict, Social Justice and Literature (3 cr).

Rhetoric, Writing and Technology Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ENGL 1940
Advanced Writing 1
or Conflict, Social Justice and Literature
3
ENGL 3250 British Literary Traditions to 1800 3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
Spring
ENGL 3050 Creative Writing: Poetry 3
ENGL 3859 Writing Consulting Practicum (qualifies students to work in SLU Writing Services) 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ENGL 3850 Persuasive Writing 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 3860 Public Writing 3
ENGL 3540 Literature of the African Diaspora 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
Semester Abroad in Madrid  
ENGL 3591 Monsters of Europe: Nature and Monstrosity in European Literature (course offered on Madrid campus) 3
ENGL 4310 Early Shakespeare (course offered on Madrid campus; includes trip to England for live theatre) 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 4010 New Media Writing 3
A&S Core 3
ENGL 4035Histories of Persuasion 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
ENGL 4910 Internship 3
ENGL 4240 Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGL 4960 Senior Inquiry Seminar 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits121
1

ENGL 1940 Advanced Writing (3 cr) may be fulfilled with AP or 1818 credit. If ENGL 1940 Advanced Writing (3 cr) is completed, take ENGL 2250 Conflict, Social Justice and Literature (3 cr).

Students can complete all or part of the English major at SLU’s campus in Madrid.

Learn More

2+SLU programs are formal  transfer agreements for students seeking an associate degree at a partner institution.