Welcome to Santa Clara University's English Department
We offer courses in literature, rhetoric, composition, creative writing, theory, new media and film.
- The English Department is a community of writers that includes scholars and creative writers.
- English majors take shared foundation course and choose specializations in writing, and in literary and cultural studies.
- English majors have opportunities to collaborate with faculty and each other on the Santa Clara Review, at the HUB, and on research projects.
- English majors go on to successful careers in the arts, publishing, public relations, education, business, law, and more.
Santa Clara alumni consistently report that their strong writing and analytical abilities are the most valuable assets they bring from the campus to the world after college.
Majoring in English
Those selecting English as a major
often intend to bring their skills in and passion for writing and interpretation to a professional career – whether in journalism or the arts, as teachers or professional/technical writers, or in graduate or professional school (in law, medicine, film/television, and business). The Career Center
can provide majors with additional information regarding careers. See Why English? for update on some of our graduates.
Our majors value the training in analytical thinking, rhetoric, and persuasion, and find literature a way to enter empathetically into the lives of others. They see their studies as a wonderful preparation for social and civil service, sometimes after spending time in such popular forms of community service as the Peace Corps or the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
Many of our majors see in creative writing an opportunity for self-exploration and vibrant expression, leading to careers in the media, arts, education, and public relations. Many of our graduates go on to seek an M.A., M.F.A., or Ph.D.
English majors take courses in writing, literature, and critical theory. They explore a broad range of approaches to literature, culture, new media and film, including feminist criticism, critical race theory, postcolonialism, semiotics, and queer theory.
Students have the opportunity to study traditional British and American texts as well as contemporary media and multicultural literatures from around the world.
Minoring in English
The English minor requires the two foundation courses (English 14 or 15, and 16), plus five electives. Of these five electives, four need to be upper division.
The Creative Writing Program offers students a coherent course of study in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The creative writing minor is firmly grounded within the liberal arts tradition, integrating courses in poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and creative nonfiction writing within their broader literary and cultural context.
Introductory courses familiarize students with the practice and theory of creative writing. Advanced courses offer a workshop setting in which students write and critique one another’s work. Electives focus on particular genres of creative writing, such as Lifewriting, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Screenwriting. All creative writing courses incorporate some study of literature as well as close attention to students’ own creative writing.