english major

Student reads on ledge near pergola.

program description 

the english program is dedicated to developing careful writers and engaged readers. our course offerings and co-curricular programs reflect our belief that the study of english enhances our lives practically, intellectually, and emotionally.

the english major includes four tracks, each with a minimum of 22 credit hours of upper-division coursework. each track advances students’ skills in writing and analytical/creative thinking, deepens their understandings of the major developments in literature written in english, and strengthens their competence in applying critical methodologies to a wide range of literary and cultural artifacts. the major thus contributes to the education of the whole person.

our students acquire the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce and, as importantly, to build a fulfilling life. english majors and minors leave the program ready to read anything and explain what it means and why that matters, able to adapt their writing to any new context, and empowered to see the world as a text to analyze, understand, and impact.

learning outcomes 

graduates with an english degree will:  

  • value the study of literature as the basis for a lifelong enjoyment of literary works, a spur to social engagement, a perspective on the diversity of human experience, and a guide for making ethical choices in their lives
  • demonstrate an ability to function as close readers and critical thinkers by applying higher-order thinking skills to the analysis, interpretation, and critique of texts 
  • demonstrate skill in writing by generating and focusing ideas, by maintaining audience awareness, and by exhibiting formal competence 
  • make relevant connections between texts and contexts such as history, the cultures of science and politics and religion, literary theory, and other art forms 
  • apply research skills, including integrating sources purposefully and gracefully into their writing 

prospective students 

current students 


  • focus your major around one of four tracks: literature, writing, education, or film.
  • attend and participate in english club events, including harry potter parties, impromptu shakespeare performances, and marathon readings.
  • become a member of the international english honor society, sigma tau delta, and present your critical or creative work at their annual convention.
  • contribute to one or both of our two literary journals, the rockhurst review and the rockhurst reader, editing the work of nationally recognized poets and writers or contributing work of your own.
  • become involved in the community by moderating high school students’ conversations about race as part of the kansas city race project or by judging the annual louder than a bomb spoken word competition.
  • attend literary and cultural events around campus, including regular poetry readings as part of the midwest poets series.
  • connect with alumni in fields of interest, who offer mentorship, internship opportunities, and real-world guidance to students in our department.


rockhurst english majors pursue careers in many fields and become leaders in their communities. our alumni work as:

  • journalists
  • grant writers
  • lawyers
  • teachers
  • editors
  • nonprofit directors
  • corporate consultants and analysts
  • marketing copywriters
  • social media managers
  • writers
  • public relations directors
  • fundraisers
  • librarians
  • healthcare administrators
  • human resources specialists
  • educational administrators and program directors