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English Overview

As an English major, you will find that all areas of the professional world need your skills and knowledge. With this major, you can plan a career in education, law, journalism, technical writing, public relations, advertising, speech writing, grant writing, or publishing. Although many English majors choose education or communications, the fields of business, medicine, law, industry, and government also need people who can communicate ideas, analyze information, and solve problems. These are the skills you develop in our English programs.

The general English major will help to develop your abilities to examine the world responsibly, engage with diverse voices and experiences, and understand the purposes of storytelling and creative expression. The English program offers a variety of options to help you become a more accomplished writer, reader, and critical thinker with skills valued and needed in any profession.

As a student in this department’s program, you will have a core of required courses, and may also select from a variety of courses in literature, writing, and film. You may complete this major as a day or evening student.

The Bachelor of Arts with a major in English (36 required credit hours) is designed for students who want a sound background in literature and writing as preparation for graduate study or for your individual career goals.

The English major for students interested in secondary education consists of a core of required literature and writing courses, and a variety of English electives that complete the 36 required credit hours. You must combine this major with a certifiable minor.

The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Language Arts is designed for those students interested in elementary teaching (39 required credit hours). This is a group major in which you have a core of literature and writing courses, and then choose from many courses in English and other courses as noted in the Language Arts section.

A minor in English (23 required credit hours) or language arts (26 required credit hours) provides students in any major with a foundation in literature, humanities, and oral and written communication.

Students interested in writing may select from a variety of writing courses, including such offerings as creative writing, professional writing, and writing online, and can work with their advisors to tailor a writing concentration specific to their interests.

Only courses in which the student has attained a grade of C or better can be counted toward a major or a minor in all English or Language Arts courses.

Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series
Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series Every spring the English and Modern Languages Department brings a noted author to the campus for a public reading or lecture. Students may take ENG 320, a course in the guest author’s works, and attend a master class with the author. Previous guests in the quarter-century-long series have been Gloria Naylor, Mary Helen Washington, John Edgar Wideman, Octavia Butler, Jamaica Kincaid‚ Rita Dove, Virginia Hamilton, Ernest J. Gaines, Merle Collins, Lucille Clifton, Toi Derricotte, Edwidge Danticat, Cornelius Eady, Pearl Cleage, Edward P. Jones, Charles Johnson, Marilyn Nelson, Samuel R. Delany, Elizabeth Alexander, Walter Mosley, Harryette Mullen, Paul Beatty, Terrance Hayes, Natasha Trethewey, and Andrea Lee. As an English major or minor you will have the opportunity to serve on the host committee for this event.

The Amy S. McCombs and Frederick P. Currier Writing Awards
These are cash prizes given annually to students whose essays, fiction, or poetry best express the spirit of the work of the visiting author in the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series.

The Dr. Barbara Johns, IHM Award
This annual award is presented at the College’s annual Honors Convocation to recognize students whose work demonstrates the highest standards of scholarly excellence and appreciation of the powers of language.

The Dr. Lynne Schaeffer Award
This annual award is presented to recognize an outstanding essay written by an undergraduate English and Modern Languages student.

The DeVlieg Foundation English and Modern Languages Scholarship
This annual scholarship award is given to a promising first-, second-, or third-year student in English and Modern Languages.

Sigma Tau Delta
Alpha Zeta Zeta is Marygrove’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta‚ the International English Honor Society. Its members sponsor poetry readings and book drives, host coffee-houses, and support English and Modern Languages Department activities like the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series. Sigma Tau Delta also offers an annual scholarship to a sophomore, junior, or senior who is majoring or minoring in English or language arts. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be registered for at least 9 credit hours and have a cumulative grade average of 3.5.

Study Abroad
Under the guidance of an English and Modern Languages Department faculty member, students have opportunities to take travel seminars in which they study the literature and culture of other countries, then make a ten-day on-site visit over spring break. Students also have the opportunity to spend an entire semester on-site studying the literature and culture of another country. Marygrove English majors have studied in Australia, England, France, and Scotland. Research and Publication Opportunities

Research and Publication Opportunities
Students have opportunities to work closely with professors on research and publications, and to publish their work in course anthologies and other outlets connected with coursework in the department. Students have many opportunities to present their research at national, regional, and local conferences including the College’s annual academic symposium named in honor of our late colleague, Dr. Chaepyong Song.

The Literary Map of Detroit
In partnership with the Marygrove Institute for Detroit Studies, faculty, students, alumni, and friends of the Marygrove English and Modern Languages Department develop and maintain this online resource to highlight Detroit-area literary sites. Visit the map at:

Annual Department Events
The English and Modern Languages Department sponsors a variety of social and academic events for students throughout the year. You will have the opportunity to join with department faculty and other students at an annual welcome-back event in the fall, an annual party at the end of the winter semester, special workshops, and colloquia designed specifically for the needs and interests of our majors and minors. Additionally, the English and Modern Languages Department often co-hosts Dramafest, an evening of staged readings of original dramatic works written and performed by Marygrove faculty, students, and staff, as well as playwrights and actors from the community.