Department of English

Scott Slovic, Department Chair (200 Carol Ryrie Brink Hall 83844-1102; phone 208/885-6156; Faculty: Anna Banks, Kim M. Barnes, Mary Clearman Blew, Steven R. Chandler, Thomas A. Drake, Stephan P. Flores, Doug Heckman, Walter A. Hesford, Erin James, Janis Johnson, Mary Ann Judge, Diane Kelly-Riley, Jennifer Ladino, Ronald E. McFarland, Jodie Nicotra, Daniel Orozco, Joy Passanante, Caroline Payant, Kurt Queller, Brandon R. Schrand, David Sigler, Scott Slovic, Alexandra Teague , Karen L. Thompson, Gary Williams, Robert A. Wrigley.

English majors develop skills in writing, textual interpretation, and critical thinking as they study the nature of language and rhetoric and learn how English and American literary traditions develop and relate to world literature. They learn the formal qualities of texts as well as their historical and cultural contexts. Advanced courses allow students to pursue interests in literature, expository and creative writing, cultural studies, literary criticism and theory, linguistics, and English pedagogy. Students write extensively in all courses and gain speaking experience through oral reports and class discussions. (For this reason, international students must have a TOEFL score of 560 or above.)

The Department of English encourages students to plan their curricula according to personal and career goals. Aspiring writers emphasize creative writing courses; future teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) study linguistics; pre-professionals take advanced writing and career-related courses. Those heading for graduate school in literature, linguistics, or ESL choose courses that prepare them for graduate study in their area. English majors who intend to teach English in secondary schools plan their program to satisfy state certification requirements (see "Secondary School Teaching Certification for Majors Outside the College of Education" in the College of Education section).

To enable students to focus on such interests within a coherent program of study, the English Department offers the choice of four emphases within the major: literature, creative writing, professional, and teaching.

The Department of English offers four graduate degrees at the master's level: the M.F.A, the M.A., the M.A.T., the M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language. Through course selection and choice of thesis topic, and with the approval of appropriate faculty members, students pursuing the M.A. may emphasize literary studies or studies in composition/rhetoric. Through course selection and choice of thesis topic, and with the approval of appropriate faculty members, those pursuing the M.F.A. may emphasize fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. Students planning to work for the M.F.A., M.A. or M.A.T. should be well prepared through the curriculum outlined below. The MFA also offers students the tools to work and teach as literary writers. Those planning to pursue the M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language should take extra course work in linguistics.

The purposes of the graduate program in English are to enable students to acquire a broad background in English and American language and literature and to develop specialized skills in independent, scholarly research and in mature, original criticism of literary works, to hone their skills as creative writers, or to deal with the theoretical and practical issues pertaining to English as a second language. The graduate program in English serves those who plan to teach English at junior or community colleges, those who plan to teach English at the secondary level, those who plan to seek employment in business, commerce, industry, or government, and those who plan to pursue the Ph.D.

For admission to the graduate program in English, the student must have a bachelor's degree with a major in English or equivalent preparation and should have an overall grade-point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) to be granted full admission. Non-native speakers of English must score at least 560 on the TOEFL exam.


See the course description section for courses in English (ENGL).