Every English major will be capable of analyzing literary texts critically through the study of the historical, intellectual, and philosophic backgrounds of the traditional historical periods of English and American literature. English majors also develop proficiency in interpretive, expository, and analytic writing while exercising essential skills in the mastery of grammar, rhetoric, and logic.
At the University of St. Thomas, the English major offers two concentrations, a Literature track and a Writing track. Each track combines rigorous upper-division coursework in both literature and writing, but with distinct emphases and different opportunities for acquiring skills and aspiring to excellence.
The Literature concentration offers a comprehensive survey of English and American literary history and sustained practice in analytic, expository, argumentative, and interpretive writing, coupled with the study of the techniques of literary analysis and the principal schools of literary criticism.
The Writing concentration provides a number of classes and seminars in professional and creative writing, including workshops in poetry, fiction, drama, and memoir, together with courses in advanced rhetoric and technical and scientific writing, all combined with the literary study of a major author, genre, and period.
In addition, the English Department sponsors and publishes two student-generated magazines: a literary magazine called Laurels and a feature magazine named Thoroughfare.