The 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.

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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.

Students who wish to prepare themselves for professional careers that stress communication skills should consider the major in English with a concentration in professional communications (36 credit hours). This sequence will provide the richness of a background in literary studies with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for success in careers such as journalism, professional writing, creative writing, publishing, public relations, and advertising.

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. For secondary teaching, you must combine this major with a certifiable minor. 

The Bachelor of Arts with a major in language arts is designed for students interested in elementary teaching (39 required credit hours). This is a group major in which you take a core of literature and writing courses, and then choose from many courses in English and humanities.

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 communications.

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


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 journalism, 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 any English major or concentration.


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Visiting writers

Literary guests in these two series have included --- Pulitzer Prize winners, ---National Book Award recipients, --- MacArthur fellows, and  two US Poets Laureate, 

  • The 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 class session with the author. Previous guests in the 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, and Harryette Mullen. As an English major or minor you will have the opportunity to serve on the host committee for this event.

  • Defining Detroit

Literary events in this series of Detroit-related lectures, readings, exhibits, and performances are co-sponsored by the English and Modern Languages Department and the Institute for Detroit Studies. Previous literary guests in this series include Jim Daniels, Joyce Carol Oates, Lawrence Joseph, Philip Levine, Alvin Aubert, Terry Blackhawk, Melba Joyce Boyd, Jeffrey Eugenides, Naomi Long Madgett, Lolita Hernandez, Susan Messer, Michael Zadoorian, and Peter Markus.

Awards for students

  • The Amy S. McCombs and Frederick P. Currier Writing Awards

Cash prizes are 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 Award

This annual scholarship award is given to a promising first- or second-year student in English and Modern Languages. 

Study Abroad opportunities

  • 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.
  • Semesters abroad

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.

Sigma Tau Delta 

Alpha Zeta Zeta is Marygrove's chapter of Sigma Tau DeltaĆ¢ 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 a major or minor 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 or above. 

The Maureen DesRoches Shakespeare Garden 

Dedicated in 2011 and designed and maintained by English professors and students, this garden is named for Professor Emerita Maureen DesRoches who inspired generations of Marygrove students with  love of literature, especially Shakespeare. The garden will be the site of poetry readings and other special department events held throughout the year.

Publication Opportunities 

The English and Modern Languages Department publishes The Maxis Review, a literary resource for Marygrove College and the surrounding metropolitan Detroit community. The Maxis Review publishes quality poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, photography, and artwork. Contributors range from nationally established creative artists to emerging voices. English majors and minors take part as contributing authors as well as editorial assistants. Students also have opportunities to publish their work in course anthologies and other outlets connected with coursework in the department.

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 party, special workshops, and colloquia designed specifically for the needs and interests of our majors and minors.

English Overview

English Overview

Marygrove's English program is designed to help students better examine and engage with the world through the development of high-level writing, reading, and critical thinking skills.

Contemporary American Author Lecture Series (CAALS)

Contemporary American Author Lecture Series (CAALS)

The CAALS brings a nationally-known author to Marygrove College each year for a public lecture and a seminar with students.

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