The English Department offers courses in literature, theater, and film that empower you to write, speak, and think critically.
An English degree is excellent preparation for many professions and occupations, including law, medicine, teaching, journalism, communications, business, government and military service. Many of our English students pursue post-graduate study. Norwich also offers an English minor that will enhance any course of study.
A broad range of electives is open to every student, and provides period and thematic emphases across the literary canon. Specialty classes, from Military Literature to Third World Literature, broaden perspectives and allow students to study what interests them. Writers and artists will also have an outlet to express themselves in the Chameleon, our literary journal. A writing laboratory and computer clusters enable technology-assisted writing instruction.
Courses are offered in literature, theater, and film, which provide a broad humanistic background, and in writing and speech, which provide practical skills. The composition and literature sequence emphasizes writing, reading, and critical thinking skills; students also receive instruction in the forms of discourse and literary genres. The world literature sequence, required of all Bachelor of Arts students, examines world texts in their historical and cultural contexts. A broad range of elective offerings, open to students of all academic disciplines, provides examination of traditional periods and authors as well as emerging literary forms. Specialty courses also include literature of the developing world, of leadership, of American culture and ethnicity, and of the military. A variety of writing courses, both technical and creative, introduces and strengthens rhetorical skill.
Through developing a critical understanding of English and American literature in relationship to aesthetic, cultural, and intellectual contexts, we are committed to fostering opportunities that cultivate freedom of expression, personal and professional fulfillment, intellectual development, collaboration, and social growth.
An English minor complements any major. Students who major in disciplines other than English, but share a love and respect for language and literature, often pursue a minor degree. This versatile and popular program encourages students to draw from a broad range of courses in writing, literature, film and theater, tailoring a program to their desires. Students interested in developing their writing skills, for example, might choose a minor consisting of courses in advanced composition, professional and technical writing, creative writing and a class in critical analysis of literature.
English minors must complete six courses with a ‘C’ average or better: EN201, EN202, EN282 and four additional courses numbered above EN202. To view current course offerings and requirements for this minor, please see Norwich's academic course catalog:
The writing minor offers opportunities to study creative, persuasive, environmental, and sports writing, along with journalism and writing in digital environments.
The writing minor offers a sustained focus on skills employers value in college graduates, especially concerning connections between writing, technology, and creativity as well as collaboration, creativity, problem solving, innovation, and new media literacy. The writing minor prepares students for the tasks expected from today’s employers.
Outside of the classroom, students can explore writing as reporters for our school newspaper, The Guidon, and publish creative work in or serve as editors with The Chameleon Literary Journal. They can meet celebrated novelists, screenwriters, poets, and playwrights who visit campus through our NU Writers Series, and those interested in playwriting and screenwriting can see their work on stage with Pegasus Players and on-screen at the annual NU Film Festival.
English majors may choose to take education courses and a semester of student teaching to qualify as a teacher in Vermont. Students should begin planning during freshman year to fit licensure requirements into their major.
Sean Prentiss, Award-Winning Author and Associate Professor of English
I stumbled into teaching by accident. I meant to get a job digging trails in wilderness. Instead I got a job digging trails in the wilderness and leading at-risk youth. I soon discovered that I loved teaching and leading as much as being in wildness. The things I love about teaching are watching students take risks, grow, explore, and become passionate about some new idea. Literally every day is better after I teach because students bring so much energy to class. They repeatedly inspire me.
I grew up with a deep love for the environment. I am drawn to the quiet and remote places, which is one of the reasons I chose to teach at Norwich University. I am drawn to the places on the edges. And much like how I accidentally fell into teaching, I also accidentally fell into creative writing. But once I began writing, I realized that it allowed me to be creative, to take risks, to explore myself, and to explore ideas. It allowed me to grow and change and question who I am and why I am that way.
And there’s that famous quote, "If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life." So I decided to do just that, to be a creative and environmental writer who also teaches. Now, whether I am at home writing a poem or at campus teaching, every day is a joy because I get to live my passions.
To view English course offerings and a curriculum map for majors and minors, see the Norwich University academic catalog: