department of english

Mission Statement

The Department of English promotes scholarly and creative discovery within FAU’s uniquely diverse community. English study trains students in textual analysis, communication, and critical thinking, thus preparing our students for any job requiring imaginative thinking, analytical thinking, and/or communication skills. These jobs exist in numerous fields, including, but not limited to: business, publishing, marketing, advertising, teaching, public relations, law, technical and professional writing, public radio, and medicine.

We encourage our students to make original and important contributions to the discipline and develop their own analytic and creative voices through innovative assignments, research papers, one-on-one interactions between faculty and students, and significant feedback on student work, enabled by our small classes and rigorous instruction. Our faculty’s creative activity and groundbreaking research model a culture of investigation for our students while expanding human knowledge and enriching the arts. Additionally, the Department of English plays a dynamic role in the community, providing a hub of intellectual and cultural activity in South Florida.

What You Gain as an English Major 

English majors learn to decode language, to manipulate language, to love language and to sometimes do battle with it.

You’ll read and you’ll write a lot, and you’ll get substantially better at both.

You can expect to have your knowledge of classic and contemporary literature expanded, but you may also find you form, and re-form, your own perspective on ethics, identity, politics, history, economics, aesthetics, and many other subjects. 

As an English major you’ll develop your skills in verbal expression, particularly written; learn pattern recognition; improve your ability to give and receive critical feedback; enhance your capacity to recognize and reject clichés and stereotypes; and potentially gain experience, not only in academic writing, but in professional and technical writing. These skills--as well as an expanded imagination, the habitual practice of empathy, and the ability to recognize and create art--are ones that will not only pay off in the workplace, but also enrich your daily life. You will be able to engage more productively in social and political discourse and citizenship, you will be able to revel in a good book, and you will be in a better position to get a job that keeps you housed, fed, and contributing to humanity. 

Facts and Figures

  • At the undergraduate level, we offer five concentrations: American Literature; British Literature; Multicultural Literature and Gender Studies; Writing and Rhetoric; and World Literature. At the graduate level, we offer the MFA in Creative Writing  and the MA , which includes one of the few concentrations in Science Fiction and Fantasy in the world. We are also important partners in the innovative new interdisciplinary PhD in Cultures, Languages, and Literatures .
  • Over the past decade, we have rapidly expanded our curriculum by hiring specialists in early American literature, African American literature, Caribbean studies, creative nonfiction, digital humanities, Rhetoric and Composition, Romanticism, trans-Atlantic modernism, and translation.
  • Our undergraduate creative writing workshops average seventeen students per faculty member, and our advanced rhetoric and writing courses average twenty-five students per faculty member, allowing students to develop advanced writing and research skills by working closely with faculty.
  • In 2012, we graduated 129 English majors and 31 MA, MAT, and MFA students.
  • Our recent graduates have gone on to doctoral programs at numerous institutions, including Penn State University, University of Miami, Arizona State University, University of Massachussetts, SUNY Buffalo, University of Connecticut, University of Michigan, University of Iowa, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida and Florida State University, as well as MFA programs at University of Washington, University of Miami, and University of Idaho. Our alumni have secured jobs as tenure-track faculty, and in fields such as education, nonprofit development, technical writing, curriculum editing and creation, freelance writing, photography, academic administration, and magazine publishing.
  • Our MFA graduates have published in quality literary journals such as Iron Horse Literary Review, Rattle, Third Coast, Brevity, The Kenyon Review, RHINO, Fiction Southeast, and other publications.
  • Our BA graduates have secured full time employment with companies such as Sandow Media, Teach for America, and eBay Inc. Others have gone on to New York University’s Center for Publishing and Writing, University of Miami School of Law, and Nova Southeastern University’s Speech-Language Pathology Program.
  • We have placed more than 20 undergraduates in community internships, in fields such as magazine publishing and public relations.
  • Faculty members have won numerous awards from FAU including the Award for Excellence and Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching, the Talon Leadership Award, Lifelong Learning Distinguished Professor in Arts and Letters, and the University Scholar of the Year Award.
  • Faculty have likewise received national and international recognition including awards from institutions such as PEN, the Fulbright Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as an American Council of Learned Society Fellowship, and a Scholar-in-Residency at New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Cultures
  • In the past five years, faculty have authored 25 books of various kinds (novels, books of literary criticism, biographies, essay collections, poetry and short story collections), and approximately 250 shorter works published in journals or periodicals (poems, short stories, personal essays, essays of literary criticism, etc.).
  • The Off the Page: Events for Readers and Writers series and the Lawrence A. Sander Writer-in-Residence Program have brought numerous authors and publishers to campus for public events. Recent readings and lectures have featured Eula Biss, Myriam J.A. Chancy, Cristina García, Paul Muldoon, Michael Martone, Barbara Hamby, Rachel Manley, Nick Flynn, literary agent Betsy Lerner and the publisher of Graywolf Press, Fiona McCrae.
  • Departmental contributions to interdisciplinary programs such as Caribbean and Latin American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Peace Studies, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies help serve the college and university community.


The Department of English proudly fulfills its mission through excellence and innovation in teaching, outstanding research and creative activities, public engagement and distinctive cultural alliances, all within an environment that fosters inclusiveness.


 Last Modified 11/8/16