English Education Major

The English education major at Saint Mary’s is designed to prepare students for a career in secondary school teaching.

In addition to the requirements listed below, students must complete the teacher education program (secondary level) to be licensed as a 5-12 English teacher.

Teaching Licensure

Teaching licensure requirements are subject to change; therefore, students considering teaching in this area should be in regular contact with both an English and an education adviser to be aware of any curricular updates that may be required.

Career Options

Most graduates with an English education major teach in public or private middle or high schools. They also may pursue advanced degrees at Saint Mary's in special education, literacy, ESL/bilingual education, educational administration, curriculum and instruction, school counseling, and school psychology as well as graduate degrees in English related fields that are not tied directly to education.

High School Preparation

Creative Writing; Grammar; Literature; Journalism; Psychology; Speech; Math; Science; History

Enhance Your Experience

Students who pursue an English education major find that courses in psychology and literature enhance their experience. 

Degree Requirements

A. All of the following:

COM111 Introduction to Mass Communication (3 cr.)

A study of the history, production methods, and social and economic factors of the mass media. This course gives students an understanding of print media, broadcast media and public relations by analyzing the technical development and social impact of media.

E220 Argumentative and Research Writing (3 cr.)

In this intermediate writing course, students learn how to read and produce informative and persuasive essays. Students write essays and a research paper incorporating outside source material. Review of MLA citation and documentation style is included, along with practice in doing library and web-based research.

E250 Literary Imagination (3 cr.)

This course for potential English majors and minors introduces students to various critical reading strategies, provides practice in close reading and the development and defense of a thesis appropriate for literary analysis, and offers multiple writing opportunities. The course aims to convey a sense of literary history by exposing students to intensive study of the representation of a particular theme or strain (e.g., ambition, desire) in different genres over time.

E295 Practical Grammar (2 cr.)

The purpose of this course is to teach students to identify basic and advanced grammatical structures. Students are asked to apply this grammatical knowledge to exercises that require them to edit for grammar and punctuation.

E325 The Art of the Essay (3 cr.)

In this course, students produce a variety of essays that cover a range of rhetorical situations. Emphasis is placed on strategies for developing and organizing essays as well as on rhetorical concerns, such as audience, purpose, voice, and style. Attention is also paid to integrating research, both formal and informal, into students' work.

E333 Shakespeare (3 cr.)

This course focuses on a representative group of Shakespeare's sonnets, comedies, histories, and tragedies. Emphasis is placed on close reading of the plays, with the intention of exploring some of Shakespeare's most pressing issues, including love, nature, death, dreams, relationships between parents and children, gender roles, freedom of the will, and reality itself. The course also address the cultural milieu out of which the texts were generated; the meaning of the terms "comedy", "history", and "tragedy"; and the relationship of the written plays to modern adaptations.

E452 Critical Approaches to Literature (3 cr.)

This course explores relationships and dialogues among literary works, literary criticism, and cultural theory. In a seminar setting, students wrestle with key theoretical concepts, such as identity, gender, power, language, and representation, and learn to situate their own readings of literary works in a theoretically informed critical conversation. The course investigates the contributions, methodologies, and assumptions associated with key figures in literary and cultural studies.

E490 Senior Thesis (2 cr.)

Designed to be a capstone experience for senior English majors, this course provides advanced instruction in the research methods, drafting and revision, and bibliography work involved in writing a major research project. Students complete a major research paper in an area of their interest in literary studies and make an oral defense of their project at the end of the course.

ED385 Adolescent Literature (1 cr.)

This course surveys literature appropriate to the needs, interests and abilities of middle and secondary school students. It also focuses on the selection, effective presentation and the developmental value of currently available reading material based on specific developmental tasks, and identifiable characteristics, traits, special problems and reading interests of adolescents. This course is required for English majors seeking certification in Minnesota.

B. One American Literature course:

E302 An American Conflict: The Individual vs. Society (3 cr.)

Especially because of its strong historical emphasis on the individual and individualism, there has always existed in American culture a dynamic tension between the individual and society. This course explores how major American authors have chosen to present and interpret this theme by tracing it from its roots in early American literature to its most sophisticated expression in works written during the latter half of the 19th and first part of the 20th century.

E303 Imagining Nature in Early American Literature (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the relationship between the American literary imagination and nature. It examines how early American romantic, naturalistic, and modernist authors have imaginatively perceived the relationship between nature and humanity. Students read and discuss American literary texts that embody a variety of perspectives on this relationship, leading to a deeper understanding of this pervasive cultural theme.

E306 American Postmodernities and Beyond (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the theme of identity in American literature since the start of the 20th century and, in particular, on those authors and texts that explore the topic of identity in relation to the American dream. Students read and discuss a variety of American literary texts that embody varying perspectives on this relationship. These perspectives include, but are not limited to, the following: gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, geographical location, and religious affiliation.

E307 Modern American Literature (3 cr.)

American Modernism studies the major American authors who were writing between the two world wars and the Modernist literary movement of which they were a part. Students examine a variety of poetry and fiction to identify the changes in form that emerged around the time of World War I; students make connections between the content and form of literature and what was happening in world history and in the world of art; and students consider the individual innovations of writers within the broad aesthetic movement known as Modernism.

C. Two British Literature courses from two different periods:

E315 Christianity and Its Others (3 cr.)

In this course, students explore the advent and establishment of Christianity as the dominant mode of discourse in the Medieval and Early Modern periods of British Literature. This investigation hinges upon exposure to countercurrents which Christianity operated against as it established its primacy (such as paganism, Judaism, Islam), as well as to tensions within Christianity itself (heresies, humanism, patriarchy v. feminism, and the division between Catholicism and Protestantism). While the course thus is historical and cultural in its overall theme, the emphasis is on close reading and discussion of literary texts.

E316 From Romance to Epic (3 cr.)

In this course students explore the development of medieval British Romance especially from its Celtic and French origins, then proceed to examine Spenser's fusion of romance with epic in the context of the rising vogue of the epic in the Early Modern period, and conclude in a sustained engagement with Milton's Paradise Lost. The course focuses on the development of these two genres, but with attention to the cultural context in which the texts to be explored were produced.

E330 British Restoration and 18th Century Literature (3 cr.)

This survey examines the major works and authors of the Restoration through the Eighteenth Century, including the historical, political, and social contexts of these works.

E331 The Romantics and Their World (3 cr.)

Between 1785 and 1830, British writers witnessed two major revolutions and participated in many cultural, political, and intellectual watersheds, from the rise of Romanticism and Republicanism to nation building to the beginnings of modern feminism. They dealt with these cultural experiences in new as well as traditional literary forms, including the historical novel, lyric and narrative poetry, essays, letters, and journals. This course examines the lives and works of a selection of major literary figures from this period and assesses their contributions to the literary tradition in English.

E351 British Modernism: Its Origin and Its Ends (3 cr.)

This course explores the primary characteristics of British Modernism by studying authors writing before, during and after the high point of the movement in the early twentieth century. By studying Victorian, Modern and Postmodern British writers, the course considers the creation of modernism and its aesthetic aftermath and simultaneously questions the legitimacy of modernism as a distinct aesthetic category. Special attention is given to aesthetic, theological and philosophical questions and how these are reflected or addressed in literary works. Authors studied might include Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Jean Rhys and Peter Carey.

E352 The Edge of Empire (3 cr.)

This course studies British Literature from the Victorian Age into the postmodern period by looking at it from the "outside." By studying works of literature from those writing on or about the periphery of the central literary tradition of the British empire, students gain a sense of post-1830 British literature and its relationship to the cultural conditions in which it was produced. Topics could include such areas as Colonial Literature, the Irish Literary Renaissance, and Women's Literature and consider writers such as Bram Stoker, Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce, Graham Greene, Jean Rhys, Salman Rushdie, and Seamus Heaney.

D. One literature course from the following:

E373 Post-Colonial Fictions (3 cr.)

This course focuses on literature in English that addresses colonization and decolonization. The course considers how postcolonial texts present the legacy of imperialism; how postcolonial writers inscribe their perspectives, politics, and lived experiences in literature; and how various fictional accounts (of origin, of colonization, of identity, of nationality) contribute to a contemporary understanding of community, history, and narrative.

E381 The Adventures of the Writer in World Literature (3 cr.)

A study of selected works from non-Anglo- American cultural traditions. Students in this course examine how geographical and cultural differences contribute to varying literary representations of "universal" themes. Taking as our point of departure the notion of the artist figure, we examine ancient and modern ideas of creativity, authorship, and the social role of the writer in society in cultures around the world.

E383 Geographies of Identity (3 cr.)

A study of selected works from non-Anglo- American cultural traditions. Students in this course explore literature from around the world with a focus on how identities, perspectives, and values are shaped by geographical and cultural circumstances. We look particularly at literary dialogues and confrontations between the Western European tradition and writers from other cultures, especially Russian and African, from the 19th century to today.

E391 African American Perspectives (3 cr.)

African American Literature studies the literary works of major authors of African American heritage. Students examine poetry, fiction, and autobiographical narrative, as well as engage critical race theory that seeks to situate writers of color and their relationship to the American literary tradition. This course considers African American literature as integral to the American literary canon, and readings allow students to see the ways in which African American writers have contributed to, been influenced by, and transformed American culture.

E. One seminar:

E470-479 Seminars in English (3 cr.)

These courses, reserved for upper division English majors and minors, explore special topics in depth through careful reading and research in a seminar setting. Topics vary by semester (see specific descriptions on the course schedule).

F. Required education course work

See Secondary Education webpage for information