Why Study English?

The study of English is truly interdisciplinary, blending aspects of history, art, science, philosophy, sociology, and religion into one robust major. As an English student, you won’t just read books and write papers—you’ll investigate the world and live more fully through language.

Majoring in English requires a passion for learning, sharing ideas, and expressing yourself through writing. As you pursue those interests, you’ll gain valuable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication. Developing these skills as an English major can be the first step toward a career in any field.

Why Study English at Luther?

It all begins in your first year with Paideia 111 or the major’s introductory courses, The Writer’s Voice and Literary Ventures. You’ll work closely with the English faculty, who get to know you in and outside of the classroom. They’ll collaborate with you all the way through your senior capstone project, which could be an original work of scholarship, creative work, or classroom lesson plan.

In between, you’ll find a variety of fun and challenging opportunities. You could present your work at the international Sigma Tau Delta convention, publish in The Oneota Review, or write for our student newspaper, CHIPS. Some students recite their poems onstage at the ArtHaus poetry slam in the Decorah community, while others network with visiting editors and writers. These experiences make English students competitive candidates for internships at places like Augsburg Fortress Publishers, Inspire(d) Magazine, Seed Savers Exchange, and the Playwrights’ Center.

English majors at Luther are also big travelers. Our department is home to some of the most popular study-away programs on campus, including Tolkien and Lewis, In Frankenstein’s Footsteps, Tales of the Sea, and English Theatre in the UK. We also participate in long-term programs in Nottingham and Malta, and those through the ACM (Associated Colleges of the Midwest), many of which our faculty also direct.

With every course, students studying English at Luther gain marketable skills such as careful reading, clear writing, detailed research, and critical analysis. They’ll graduate well-equipped for careers in many fields. Our alumni have become writers, teachers, professors, admissions counselors, public relations consultants, account managers, computer executives, arts organizers, lawyers, librarians, and computer programmers!

The English faculty at Luther are among the best in student interaction. They are not only well-read, they’re also engaging and considerate. Being an English major has taught me how to think critically as well as improve my reading and writing skills, and most of all, it has taught me that work and fun often can—and should—be the same thing.

—Sarah Rickertsen ’16

I was blown away by the thought-provoking discourse my literature courses provided. With the intimate class sizes and the consideration of all my professors, I couldn't have asked for a better collegiate experience.

—Britany Thorpe ’16