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Gateway to Success in Many Careers

English majors at Shenandoah enjoy a very favorable student-to-teacher ratio in their upper-division courses, allowing for close cooperative work with members of the faculty, experts in a wide range of British and American literature. Study in the English major is arranged primarily by genre (fiction, poetry, and drama), with foundational courses in Ancient World Literature and Literature in Critical Perspectives. Additionally, all English majors receive intensive instruction and practice in essay and research writing.
With some care, the English major may be combined with other majors from Arts and Sciences, the Conservatory, or the Business School. All majors are urged to consider a minor to broaden their interests and develop skills that complement the critical thinking and writing skills developed in the English Major. English majors may also choose to complete professional courses toward Virginia Teacher Licensure.
The English Department co-sponsors a variety of extracurricular activities. Students are encouraged to help create and publish Avalon, the University’s creative arts magazine; students are also welcomed to compete for the annual Link-Souders monetary prizes in poetry and fiction. Other extracurricular activities are designed to foster student community. Field trips to professional theater and art exhibits, and special on-campus programs are regularly arranged in cooperation with the Willa Cather Institute. The Willa Cather Institute is a special initiative to commemorate and study the life, writing and cultural interests of Cather, a native of the Winchester area and world-acclaimed fiction writer.
Graduates from the English program are successful. As one satisfied alumna recently wrote:
“I work in the IT sector of Northrop Grumman in Chantilly, Virginia, as a Technical Writer. I edit, format, and write documents, such as instruction manuals, for numerous Government contracts. I am also a graduate student at George Mason University earning a Master’s Degree in English. The English Department at Shenandoah University prepared me immensely well for my graduate studies and career. The professors at SU taught me to think more critically, enabling me to participate more fully in class discussion and write more effective literary analyses. I also use the writing and grammatical skills I learned every day in my job. Because of my education at SU, I am able to ensure that every document that leaves our office is a professionally well-written product.”
– Nicole Davis, Class of 1999
Graduates of Shenandoah’s English program also include successful actors, accountants, attorneys, business mangers, creative writers, civil servants, college administrators, librarians, teachers, investigators. Graduates are also prepared, if they choose, to continue studies at the graduate level.

Course Requirements

Course Title Hrs.
ENG 102 Introduction to Literature 3
ENG 201 Advanced Essay 3
ENG 209 Research Writing in English 3
ENG 213 Literature in Critical Perspectives 3
ENG 235 Ancient World Literature 3
ENG 499 Senior Comprehensive Study 3
  English electives from the 300-level, including at least one course each in fiction, drama and poetry, one course in literature, creative writing, art, music or theater at the 200-level may be used in partial fulfillment of these requirements. 21
  Total 39

Related Information

Minor in English


The Willa Cather Institute

The Willa Cather Institute of Shenandoah University is a dynamic memorial that honors her name and writing by perpetuating her interests in American literature, culture and the fine arts. 

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