Department of English and Philosophy


English Undergraduate Studies at ISU

Why Study English?

Literature can be difficult or strange, disturbing or hysterically funny, profoundly spiritual or deeply irreverent. Majoring in English will increase your sense of intellectual curiosity and openness, and at the same time, sharpen your sense of value and discernment. In our classes, students are exposed to the traditions of American and English literature and also a diverse array of elective courses, ranging from Petrarch to Palahniuk, from Fantasy and Science Fiction to Nature Writing, from Classical Literature to Ethnic Literature, from gender theory to the graphic novel.

As a community of teachers and scholars, the Department of English and Philosophy at ISU seeks to understand the human experience through the study and appreciation of literature, language, ethics, and logic. Our programs encourage interaction among students and instructors in our shared goal of promoting innovative thinking, clear writing, and real engagement with ideas.

What Classes Would I Take?

Undergraduates studying English choose to major or minor in literature, creative writing, or professional writing. We also offer a minor in folklore as well as an interdepartmental minor in linguistics. Click on the links at the left to learn more about these options.

In addition, we support students pursuing teacher education through the College of Education.

Each major track has a list of courses for students to choose from. Students have required courses, as well as different genre components they are able to choose from, to complete their degree. Courses are described in more detail in the ISU Undergraduate Catalog. For more information, explore our website, contact the department office, or communicate with members of the faculty.

The Liberal Arts Core: Students pursuing the BA degree are encouraged to take courses in the College of Arts and Letters curriculum beyond the minimum general education requirements to provide both breadth and depth in their liberal arts education. Breadth and depth can be achieved through taking courses beyond minimum requirements in the arts and humanities disciplines of art and art history; communications, media, persuasion; dance; English; languages and literatures; music; philosophy; and theatre. Students interested in applying to graduate study in the humanities should aim to study comprehensively at least one language other than their native language. For the BA in English, one year of language, or equivalent, is required. English majors are encouraged to include at least one philosophy (PHIL) course in their coursework.

What Can I Do with an English Major?

Majoring in English is an excellent choice if you plan to become a teacher or a writer. Your career options, however, are not limited to these choices. English majors are well positioned to excel in a diverse array of career fields, including journalism, medicine, law, public relations, advertising, editing, and publishing. The skills you develop as an English major are valuable ones. Employers are continually seeking workers who can read critically, analyze logically, and communicate effectively. In addition, professional schools such as law, business, and medicine, prize applicants with English degrees.

To major in English is to become a better reader, which means learning to listen more carefully and think with greater deliberation about the world of language in which we live. We invite you to experience the pleasure and the reward of studying English.

For more information, please click on the links at the left or contact us.



921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209