The English Department serves nearly 500 undergraduate English majors, MA in English and MFA graduate students. At the undergraduate level, we offer five concentrations within the major as well as service learning, study abroad, and internship opportunities. Majors may achieve honors in literature and/or honors in creative writing through the completion of an honors thesis. 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.
The Department contributes significantly to the College’s interdisciplinary MA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), to the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Initiatives, to the recently launched Our Americas project, and to the Jewish Studies program. The faculty of English contribute to the “Cultures, Languages, and Literatures” track of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters’ Comparative Studies Ph.D. program.
Our faculty/student ratio, capped class sizes and opportunities for Directed Independent Research ensure close collaboration between students and faculty members. Our required courses in the major are capped at twenty-five students. 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.
Each year, 10-15 English majors complete an honors thesis and present their research or creative writing thesis to the Department.
Faculty members mentor majors in our honors sequence as they develop research questions, conduct research and inquiry, apply for funding through FAU’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry, and present their research. In both 2016 and 2017, an English honors student won first place in the interdisciplinary category of “Music, Art, Literature, Theater, and Philosophy” at FAU’s annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. In 2018, an English major published in FAU’s Undergraduate Research Journal.
Since 2012, 165 students completed the Department’s internship program. While enrolled in ENG 4940, students gain professional experience in various fields and positions with local agencies as well as within FAU, including the English undergraduate literary publication Coastlines and FAU’s Theatre Lab. Frequent agency placements outside of FAU include positions with local publishers, area lifestyle magazines, media and marketing agencies, public relations firms, and nonprofit organizations. In editorial internships, students receive training in reviewing and responding to manuscript proposals and submissions, copyediting, research and fact-checking, and working under real-world deadlines. In marketing and public relations positions, students receive training and practice in creating online content for real clients, and learn to compose using multiple platforms and modalities (including video, info graphics, blogs, and social media). Students have also interned with local nonprofits, gaining experience in grant writing, website development, social media and marketing, and nonprofit administration. Several of our students have gone on to full-time positions at agencies where they have interned and many others have built on their internship experiences in order to locate jobs in the fields that they have practiced.
Recent departmental hires have strengthened the Department’s research and course offerings in areas such as environmental, digital, and medical humanities, Medieval, Renaissance, Victorian, Asian world literatures, Caribbean, Colonial American, early African American, U.S. Latinx and LGBTQ+ Literatures.
Department of English faculty members produce important, influential and award-winning scholarship and creative writing, receiving 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, the American Council of Learned Society Fellowship, and a Scholar-in-Residency fellowship at New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Cultures.
The Department of English has been a model of excellent and respected teaching, with faculty selected as Master Teachers and winning 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.
Since 2014, English BA, MA and MFA students and alumni have been accepted into graduate programs such as Arizona State University, City College of New York, Columbia University, Emerson College, Florida State University, Harvard University, Howard University, Illinois State University, Long Island University, New York University Center for Publishing and Writing, Nova Southeastern University's Speech-Language Pathology Program, University of Connecticut, University of Florida, University of Florida School of Law, University of Miami, University of Miami School of Law, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Missouri, University of New Mexico, University of Rochester, Seattle University School of Law, St. Thomas University School of Law.
Our alumni have secured jobs as tenure-track faculty (Claflin University, Sante Fe College, Howard University, Western Washington University, University of Hawaii Kapiolani Community College, Susquehanna University, College of the Bahamas, New Mexico Military Institute, Nicholls State University, and Pennsylvania State University), 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.
The Department of English enhances South Florida’s position as a hub for the arts and humanities by inviting scholars in the humanities, creative writers, and arts professionals to deliver readings and presentations. The Creative Writing Program’s Off the Page series invites 5-6 influential and important writers to read from their work each year, both for the community and the student body. Off the Page also frequently invites literary agents, an event that is very popular in the community, as many local authors attend the event in order to ask questions about the publishing and marketing of their literary work. Additionally, each year we bring the Lawrence A. Sanders Writer-in-Residence to read from their work, answer questions, and deliver a one-week seminar to MFA graduate students. Recently hosted humanities scholars have included John Lennon (from the University of South Florida), Daniel Cross Turner (Coastal Carolina University), Pawel Frelik (Marie Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin), and Faith Smith (Brandeis University). FAU has also launched their own international literary magazine, The Swamp Ape Review.