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.
Students shape their own majors around a core of courses grounded in both traditional approaches such as literary history and genre study and in those that examine literature from cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.
At St. Olaf, students can take courses in Shakespeare and Jane Austen, Toni Morrison and Derek Walcott, or pursue topics such as literature and the environment, digital rhetoric, folklore, and children's literature.
Study-abroad opportunities include semester and full-year programs at universities in England, Scotland, and Ireland, while Interim programs include Theater in London, Literature of the Eastern Caribbean, and Hemingway in East Africa
Because students can build the 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.