Student studying with laptop

What can you do with an English major from St. Kate's? Pretty much anything you want. English is a prime major to prepare you for law school or graduate study — or to help you think on the job creatively and critically.

St. Kate's English majors are sophisticated communicators, adept at solving complex problems and managing projects from conception to completion. Each year our graduates land jobs in many fields, including advertising, management, publishing, sales, medicine, law and teaching.

Choose your focus

Our major is designed to let you follow your own path, with required courses in literature, writing and language, and focus areas in creative or professional writing, literature, cultural or language studies, pre-law, English as a second language and teaching. Whichever path you choose, your time at St. Kate's will include an exploration of:

  • The traditions of literature
  • The development of the English language
  • The process of writing

"The amount of reading, analysis and discussions of literature prepared me well for my field," says St. Kate's graduate Cheryl Warn, a criminal defense attorney.

Unique courses

St. Kate's has a slew of engaging courses — on topics such as female heroes, journalistic writing, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, poetry and folklore, and the immigrant perspective in literature. The course "Drama: On the Page and On the Stage" includes live performances at theaters across the Twin Cities. You'll explore themes such as social protest and reform, dreamers and schemers, and the self in society.

Enhancing your résumé

Increase your competitiveness for future jobs and graduate school through paid, professional positions such as writing tutors and faculty research assistants. English major Maria Ingnacio, for example, collaborated with Professor Cecilia Konchar Farr to develop a course on summer reading.

Build your portfolio

Faculty will work with you to develop a professional portfolio for job interviews and graduate school applications. You also have plenty of opportunities with actual clients that will add to your portfolio.

For example, in the "Writing for Life: Developing Skill and Confidence" course, you'll write articles, marketing materials and annual reports for nonprofits and local organizations. In "Writing to Delight, Incite and Pay the Rent," you will complete a month-long internship with a St. Kate's office.

Exposure to great writers​

World-class writers visit St. Kate's every year to share their knowledge with students. Past visitors include Maya Angelou; Marvin Bell, Iowa's first Poet Laureate; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson; poet Marilyn Chin; J. M. Coetzee, 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature recipient; John Stanford, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist; and Dessa, Twin Cities poet/performer/rap artist.

Flexible major

No need to choose among your interests. Erin Dirksen, now a grants administrator at the Bush Foundation, paired English with marketing and management. Lauren Dees-Erickson majored in English and French, and added study abroad in Rennes, France, to the mix. Alumna Melissa Honkanen merged English and political science, and is now working as a paralegal in San Francisco.

Faculty mentors

St. Kate's English faculty are outstanding teachers, respected scholars, and published authors, poets and creative writers — all committed to mentoring students and nurturing their talents. In addition to their published works, they're experts in areas such as fiction and poetry writing, biblio-therapy, Shakespeare's comedies, innovative writing practices and the popular novel.