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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

Edwidge Danticat

In residence Oct 26-27

Public reading October 26, 2017, 7:00 PM, Gorecki 204 A&B

She will be on campus to celebrate her new Sister Mariella Gable Award-winning book, The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story. Danticat has received numerous awards and honors, including the National Books Critics Circle Award for autobiography, the American Book Award, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and was twice a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. Visit the Literary Arts Institute for more information.

Solmaz Sharif

In residence Nov 15-16

Public reading November 15-16, 2017, 7:00 PM, Colman Theater, BAC

Solmaz Sharif's Look is a powerful, innovative expolration of the language of war by a new peot of passion and conscience. It was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry, named one of the New York Times Book Review's 100 notable Books of 2016, a A Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2016, a Washington Post Best Poetry Collection of 2016, one of The New Yorker's "Books We Loved" in 2016, and one of the San Franciso Chronicle's 100 Recommended Books of 2016. Visit the Literary Arts Institute for more information.

Betsy Johnson-Miller

Congratulations to our own English professor, Betsy Johnson-Miller, who has been recently published in West Texas Literary Review. Betsy's poem conundrum is one of many Betsy has published. Her work as appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Boulevard, AGNI (online), North American Review, and Poet Lore.  

Mackenzie Lobby Havey, Class of 2005

Mackenzie Lobby Havey, 2005 graduate of CSB, is the author of "Mindful Running" (Bloomsbury, Oct. 2017) and a freelance journalist contributing to The Atlantic, Outside, Runner's World, ESPN, Men's Health & the like. Join Mackenzie at the Mindful Running Launch Party Thursday, October 12, 6-10 pm at Fulton Brewery Taproom, 414 6th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN. Also, follow Mackenzie and her writing here.

Find Out More

Contact Us

Matthew Harkins
Associate Professor and Chair

Lori Moe
Administrative Assistant

Download our Fall 2017 course booklet (PDF).