English (ENGL)

The English major serves the needs of a variety of students. Some of our students simply love studying literature, some are aspiring creative writers (in fiction, poetry, and/or creative non-fiction), some hope to become teachers or professors, some plan to pursue a writing-focused career in a field such as journalism or publishing, and some simply choose English because it offers a great way to get a dynamic liberal arts education. From education to business, from the arts world to government, from law to medicine, you will find English majors at the top of many professions. Most students opt for our standard major, but we also offer a modified version of our standard major for aspiring teachers that enables them to earn a teaching license.

Typical First Year Schedule

  • FYS 120 or WRIT 120 or Conversation Program
  • World Language
  • OLE Core/Elective*
  • OLE Core/Elective*
  • OLE Core/Elective
  • FYS 120 or WRIT 120 or Conversation Program
  • World Language
  • OLE Core/Elective*
  • OLE Core/Elective*
Additional Information

*Many, though not all students interested in the English major take an English course in their first year. Prospective English majors may want to enroll in ENGL 185 (our introduction to literary studies; a required course for all majors) and/or ENGL 150 (our introduction to creative writing; not a requirement for the major or for further creative writing study, though it does serve as an English elective).

Another option is to take a 100-level ENGL course that does not have any prerequisites. These are usually offered during interim. Finally, first-year students who have completed WRR (including students who have satisfied WRR with transfer credit or AP/IB credit) are welcome to take most of our offerings at the 200-level.

Note that there are two different versions of the English major: a standard major and an English education major (for students who want to earn a teaching license). Students who are interested in a teaching license should consult with faculty in the Education Department as well as the English Department early in their college careers, as this major has a more rigid set of requirements.

  • Students are given credit for WRR if they score a 5 on the AP English Literature or English Language test or if they score a 5-7 on the IB English Language test.
  • Credit for AP or IB does not count toward the requirements of the English major.
  • Completion of the Great Conversation (all five courses) counts as the equivalent of one English elective.
  • Director of Writing (for questions related to WRR placement): Diane Leblanc (leblanc@stolaf.edu), 507-786-3438
Informational Events

Fall “Introduction to the Major” event (usually held in October)


Chair, Department of English – Jon Naito (naito@stolaf.edu)