Stetson University

College of Arts and Sciences

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Department of English

English is the study of a language, of the novels, poems, plays, and other forms of literature written in it, of the creative process of self-expression, and of the ideas and experiences that have been (and are being) shaped and expressed in our language.

The English Department at Stetson is (as a recent reviewer noted) "a wonderful place for both students and faculty," created by "a vast volume of good will, positive energy, fine talent, and fierce dedication" among department members. For our professors, teaching comes first: classes are small, and students are encouraged to ask questions and get to know their professors. Excellence in teaching and our focus on student development allow our students to learn critical thinking skills and strategies to communicate their ideas clearly through the written word. Our curriculum emphasizes

  • Analysis and writing, the skills most sought by employers,
  • Student-centered seminars,
  • Individualized instruction

All students study canonical works, newly appreciated texts, language, writing and literary theories, choosing points of emphasis for themselves. Majors take three seminars, limited to just 15 students each, and the Senior Colloquium, in which they pursue individual senior research.

The Sullivan Creative Writing Program encourages creative writing at Stetson through visiting lecturers, workshops, support for conference and publishing expenses, and creative writing prizes.

Learning by Doing

Students who major in English are encouraged to test career goals through internships and other opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. Recent students of English of Stetson have worked with commercial television stations in Orlando and Tampa, and with the national publishing firm, Harcourt Brace, also in Orlando.

A unique student-organized program, Poetry at an Uncouth Hour, provides a public forum for creative people to share their work with others. Sponsored by Touchstone, the campus literary magazine, Poetry at an Uncouth Hour brings students, faculty and staff together in an informal setting and at an unusual hour on Thursday evenings.

English majors also can gain valuable experience as staff members for Touchstone and The Stetson Reporter, Florida's first campus newspaper.

Life After Stetson

A degree in English can opens the door to a wide variety of careers because it gives students an excellent foundation in such skills as analysis and writing. Responding to a national survey of college graduates, an English major said recently:

"Problems in literary study are more like real life problems than any I was given in other classes. When you're asked to compare Hemingway and Faulkner, there is no right answer in the back of the book. You have to figure out for yourself what matters."

Stetson students have taken English courses to prepare for business, education, law and veterinary school, as well as for graduate study in English. An advisor can recommend additional courses that might be helpful for English majors who plan a career in law, business or other areas. In addition, the resources of Stetsons Career Services Office are available to assist students in setting specific career goals and development the skills needed to implement these goals.

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