Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts with a major in writing.

Description of Program

The program in writing is committed to establishing a habit of lifelong learning that emphasizes the relationship of reading, writing and critical thinking. Undergraduate writing majors will be able to:

  • reflect critically on issues of textual representation in a diverse set of texts from literary classics to contemporary film, from the Anglo-Saxon canon to postcolonial and feminist expansions of that canon;
  • reflect on habits of reading and writing and be able to identify their strengths and limitations in particular contexts;
  • use a wide range of styles and approaches in their writing;
  • understand the interrelated nature of writing, reading, thinking and creating;
  • read a text with close attention to its many facets;
  • understand past, present and potential approaches to English studies and its relationship to other academic disciplines;
  • be aware of a variety of aesthetic, political, material and social contexts for and approaches to English studies.

Courses involve students in a range of activities, including discussions (in class and online), collaborative projects, conferences, presentations, independent study, internships and service learning.

The English Department is committed to supporting interdisciplinary programs and encourages students to pursue interdisciplinary concentrations, second majors and/or minors. A number of the Department's courses are cross-listed with interdisciplinary programs, facilitating such study. In addition, the Writing major permits students to include related courses taken outside the Department for credit toward their program of study, subject to approval by the student’s English Department adviser.

Our graduates pursue professional careers in such fields as professional writing, editing, advertising, publishing, education, management, computers, public relations and public service, or pursue post-baccalaureate study in English studies, law school or medical school. Students contemplating graduate study should confer with their advisers about special preparation and should be aware that many graduate schools typically expect proof of competence in foreign languages.

Requirements for Major

Each student, in regular consultation with a department adviser, works out an individual program to complete 36 credit hours offered by the English Department (or advisor-approved courses outside English). Asterisked numbers indicate topic courses that can fulfill a requirement when the topic is appropriate to that requirement. An English course may be used only once to fulfill a particular major requirement. Three credits toward the major (at the 20-99 level) are given for Advanced Placement. Transfer students must take a minimum of 18 credit hours in the Drake English Department.

Core Courses (9 credits)

  • ENG 60 Literary Study (Should be taken first or second year)
  • ENG 61 Writing Seminar (Should be taken first or second year)
  • ENG 20-80, 99 Choose one

Writing Core (12 credits)

  • Choose Two: ENG 86, 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 99*
  • Choose Two: ENG 102, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 171, 174*, 183, 197*

Area of Interest (12 elective credits)

  • Twelve hours (4 courses) of adviser-approved courses in a related area of interest. Courses may be from outside English and 9 hours must be at the 100-level. Sample areas of interest include creative writing, creative nonfiction, documentary film, cultural studies, new media, nonfiction and editing and more. Students are free to design their own area of interest.

Capstone (3 hours)

  • Choose one: ENG 175-197, excluding 196.

Requirements for Writing Minor

Minimum of 18 credit hours in English, including ENG 60, ENG 61, and one from each of the two columns in the writing core. An English faculty adviser is required.

University News
March 19, 2018
A new exhibition in Cowles Library examines the life and work of Jay N. “Ding” Darling, two-time Pulitzer-prize winning political cartoonist and environmental conservationist.