Whatever their destination, graduates find that English is a satisfying and enjoyable major that imparts not only thinking and writing skills, but also empathy and insight that enables them to find common ground with others of different cultures and backgrounds.
English study at St. Olaf brings together the rich tradition of British and American literature with the diversity of literature being written in English around the globe. It also brings literary works such as novels and poems into conversation with other cultural forms such as films, popular music, and video games. Finally, studying English can mean writing your own literary works or developing your writing skills for a variety of professions.
Each year, the St. Olaf English Department offers more than 40 different courses. These include courses on British, American, and Anglophone postcolonial literature (African, Caribbean, and South Asian); as well as creative writing workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction; interdisciplinary courses; and courses in fields such as journalism.
Study-abroad opportunities include semester and full-year programs at universities in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and in many other locations around the world. Our students also take part in Interim programs led by St. Olaf faculty such as Theater in London.
Because students can build a path through their major that suits their own individual goals, our graduates find work in a wide variety of professions. Recent graduates have gone on to graduate school in literature, creative writing and journalism. They work for publishing firms, technology companies, news organizations, and non-profits. Our graduates also include lawyers, architects, and experts in public policy.