Students who major in English at St. Lawrence develop critical reading and writing skills, explore diverse cultural backgrounds and historical periods represented by literary works, produce (and sometimes publish!) their own creative work, and examine the relationships between literary art and life. They go on to apply this knowledge in a variety of careers: writing, editing, journalism, education, law, advertising, communications, public relations, and business.
Students can choose to major either in creative writing or literary studies. The major is founded on a fundamental belief that writing and literature infuse and enrich one another. For this reason, literary studies majors who focus on authors such as Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and Toni Morrison also have the opportunity to write fiction, essays, and poems. Creative writing majors, meanwhile, work in two genres (including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and journalism) and also study topics such as environmental writing and multi-ethnic literature from across the United States.
Additional opportunities that await English majors include off-campus study (London and New York City are popular), an array of internship possibilities, student-run publications, summer fellowships to support independent literary study and creative writing, and honors projects to complete extended critical studies and book-length creative manuscripts.The writer studying literature develops a critical acumen that fosters sophistication of technique; the literary critic studying creative writing achieves an understanding of the ways an author thinks about craft. Our English department courses help students explore cultural backgrounds and values, examine the bonds between life and art, and discover the liberating qualities of the imagination.
Photo by Greg Locke.