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English Major & Minor

Situated on over 3,200 acres of lakes, prairie, oak savanna, and forest, our campuses not only create community but also provide an inspiring location for exploration of the book and the written word with faculty and students from around the world.

The English Major encompasses the study of literatures and literary histories, methods of interpretation, creative and analytical writing, and the cultural contexts in which reading and writing take place. Pursuing this major teaches students to write and speak clearly, to think critically, to research effectively, and to apply knowledge to real-world situations. These skills make English a highly versatile degree, as shown by our alumni--who pursue successful careers in marketing, education, law, medicine, non-governmental organizations, advocacy, speech pathology, editing and publishing, and more. 


Our students gain field-specific experience through service learning, internships, independent learning projects and practicums. Faculty work closely with students to design a course of study suited to their goals, and our small classes foster an energetic environment where students and faculty discuss literature as it relates to contemporary issues, ideas, and our lives.

To ensure the best preparation for our students, our program offers five different degree options.

Why study English at CSB/SJU?

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University are two of the nation's best colleges for students seeking great academics, outstanding career preparation, and generous financial aid, according to The Princeton Review. The College of Saint Benedict is also among the top bachelor's institutions for producing the most Fulbright Students for 2014-15, according to a ranking released Thursday, Feb. 12, by the Institute of International Education for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Our alumni become global citizens, influencing the world as teachers, advocates, writers, doctors, attorneys, editors, publishers, NGO workers, and business leaders.


Department Highlights

Susan Stewart and Ann Hamilton

Susan Stewart is the author of 5 books of poetry including Cinder: New and Selected Poems, which is this year's Sister Mariella Gable award-winning book. Ann Hamilton is an internationally renowned visual artist known for the sensory surrounds of her large scale multimedia installations. On March 19, CSB held a collaborative performance of their pieces, "Channel" and "Mirror."

Susan Stewart presented a reading on March 21. Stewart is the Sister Mariella Gable Award winner for 2016. 

Irish Poet Eamonn Wall  

CSB held a conversation with Irish Poet Eamonn Wall, author of 7 collections of poetry including Junction City: New and Selected Poems 1990-2015, and the Smurfit-Stone Professor of English at the University of Missouri-St. louis. On March 22 we honored Sister Colman O'Connell for her 90th Birthday. 

Matt Batt 

The English Department hosted author Matt Batt, for our student reading on April 4 at Brother Willie's Pub. Matthew Batt's fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Tin House, Mid-American Review, The Isthmus, and elsewhere. We enjoyed a reading from Matt as well as student performances of their personal writings. 

Find Out More

Contact Us

Matthew Harkins
Associate Professor and Chair

Lori Moe
Administrative Assistant

Download our Fall 2017 course booklet (PDF).