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English Department

The English major consists of a common core of 41 credits designed to prepare students for advanced study in one of four tracks: Literature, Linguistics, Writing, and Secondary Education Language Arts (for students preparing to teach English at the middle or high school levels). In addition, we offer minors in literature, writing, and linguistics. Our goal is to give our students broad exposure to all areas of the English language.


Through our literature classes, they learn about major literary works and figures and become well versed in various theories of criticism. Through our writing classes, they refine their research and writing skills and become aware of composition history and theory. Through our linguistics classes, they develop a rich understanding of the nature, history, and structure of language.


In addition to our strong course offerings, we boast an energetic, talented, and committed faculty. Our core of fourteen faculty members all hold doctorates in their areas of expertise. In recent years, four of our professors have received university awards, including Katherine Schmidt, Cornelia Paraskevas, and Curtis Yehnert for excellence in teaching and Gavin Keulks for excellence in scholarship. In 2004 Henry Hughes was the recipient of the state of Oregon Poetry Award. We are proud of our faculty's commitment to their students and professional specialities.


Graduates of the English program also enjoy a variety of professional opportunities. Past graduates have gone on to graduate school, law school, publishing, and the one-year WOU Masters in Teaching program, as well as a variety of jobs in any career that requires strong writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills.


English, Writing & Linguistics Department (503) 838-8377 | or e-mail: