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

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 exploration of the language of war by a new poet 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.  

Mike Opitz and the Karma Refugees

The Karma Refugees (Mike Opitz, CSBSJU English Department, Tom Daddesio, recently retired professor of Modern Languages, Slippery Rock (PA) University, Caitlin Brutger, CSBSJU, 2011, Brian Heilman,  CSBSJU, 2006 and Mysterious Madame X, CSBSJU, ??) announce the release of two new songs.  The first, a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song,” allows Mike to speculate on his advanced age.  The second, “Courtly Love,” is an original work.  The Karma Refugees were formed as a part of Mike Opitz’ Song Writing and Theory Project.  Find the new songs, accompanying blogs, videos and all of the band’s previously released work here.