English Major

Love writing and literature?

Want to pursue graduate school or teach at the secondary level? Or just study in the field you love? Then consider Nichols English program.

Through the program, you will have an opportunity to . . .

How do we do this? By giving you access to . . .

Instruction from professors with a wide variety of experience Our professors have extensive research and writing experience and the skills needed to work with you no matter what your interests are. Their involvement represents a wide scope of experience, including . . .

Career Success

English Education students are currently employed at the following schools:

Graduate School

English graduates have pursued or are currently pursuing graduate school at . . .

Will Brown ’12, Graduate Assistant at Clark University

The English faculty is amazing. Each one brings something different to the table. The small classes lead to a lot of personal interaction and discussion where I learned to respect others’ options. I don’t believe I would have gotten that at another school. In addition, the teachers were so supportive during my process of applying to grad school. I have been accepted for the graduate program at Clark University and hope to eventually teach at the college level.


English majors must complete 120 credit hours (approximately 40 courses), including courses from the foundation curricula, focused electives and these required specialization courses:

Group I (All Required)

ENGL 235
World Literature I
3 Hours, 1 Semester

We begin our reading of ancient literature by learning the way people lived 2000 years before Christ and discovering that little has changed since then. Time-tested works like the epics of Homer and the Greek plays reinforce the fact that we can learn from these ancient texts to live our own lives more wisely. The advent of Christianity changed the way the West looked at life; but medieval literature, while serious in its mission to teach Christian views, is filled with fun and fantasy.  (We will read selected works from ancient times to the medieval ages.)

ENGL 236
World Literature II
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Not much is known about Gentle Will Shakespeare’s life, which is ironic in the sense that he defined, in many ways, what it means to be a human being. This class will take a peek into how the period of time known as The Renaissance created our ideas about human life today. We will focus on the dramas of Shakespeare, plays that shape what it means to be human, plays that continue to pose questions to us: Is feeling more important than thinking? What happens to a person who attains great power? Does knowledge keep us from doing? Should we be loyal at all costs? We will look at a few of the great movies that have been made from these plays.  (We will read selected works from The Renaissance and the 17th century.)

ENGL 238
World Literature IV
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Across the continents, themes like love, becoming an adult, and death are universal. Other topics are unique to just some countries and cultures. As globalization makes today’s world smaller and smaller, this course will look at contemporary world literature to explore the ideas that join us and those that still drive us apart. (We will read selected works from the 20th and 21st centuries.)


Group II (3 Required)

ENGL 318
Short Story
3 Hours, 1 Semester

The short story is the newest form of literature, and in some ways the most challenging for the writer, who must compact drama and theme into a few short pages and make it seem real. This course will look at short stories from all over the world and examine themes and styles while examining what they have to say to us and about the author and society that produced them.

ENGL 319
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Poetry can be simple, maddening, inspired and inspiring, thunderous and soft, melancholy and raucous, intricate and still — in short, everything that we are. It is epic as Homer, seductive as a love sonnet; its forms are as various as human experience, its voice as personal as your own. Poetry is, at one and the same time, a mirror and a window, revealing to us our deepest selves and providing a way to see beyond ourselves. Introduction to Poetry offers an opportunity to explore words, life, and the relationships they can build.

ENGL 326
3 Hours, 1 Semester

The novel is the genre of literature that gives the author the most extended opportunity to create a world and the people in it. This course will look at the many strategies novelists have used to move us, teach us, scare us, entertain us, and understand us. We will study how authors have developed new ways to tell a story, trying to keep up with the constant changes in the world and the attitudes of the people around them.

ENGL 327
3 Hours, 1 Semester

From Greece in 300BC to Broadway today, playwrights have taken on the daunting task of creating a slice of human drama that can be performed in (usually) three hours or less. We will read and watch a variety of plays to see how writers have created characters, wars, heavens, hells, pasts, and futures – and brought them to life on a tiny stage in front of a live audience. From classic to cutting edge, the themes of heroism, pride, sex, love, war, and the range of human experience are brought to life in every scene.


Group III (1 Required)

ENGL 320
Fiction Writing
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Muriel Rukeyser once wrote, "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." Fiction Writing centers on making our own universes through the creation of story and on the discovery of the universe  within each of us, the stories of which we are made.  Through discussion and revision  of their own work as well as the reading of published pieces, class members find their own voices, hone their skills, and release the energy of their own creative expression. Prerequisite: ENGL 105

ENGL 321
Professional Writing
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Intensive practice in a variety of approaches to professional writing tasks: memoranda, correspondence, proposals, and both brief and longer reports. Prerequisite: ENGL 105

ENGL 345
Non Fiction Writing
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This is a writing workshop course in which students will explore their own experiences and ideas while learning how to effectively share those ideas with readers. The course will focus on writing experiences including autobiography, profiles of others, creative literary non-fiction, and pieces that relate to world events and the society and culture around us. In addition to extensive writing, students will read model essays.
Prerequisites: ENGL 105

ENGL 346
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Designed for students interested in journalism and those who want to improve their written communication skills. Intensive hands-on work in various aspects of news writing combined with analysis of the influence of media’s role in the world.
Prerequisite: ENGL 105


Group IV (1 Required)

ENGL 314
American Literature I
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Thomas Jefferson’s beguiling phrase — “The Pursuit of Happiness” — is one of the founding ideas of American culture. But what did Jefferson mean? Through literature, music, and film, this class will consider the foundations of American thought — from the Indians and Puritans, through Jefferson and the Revolutionary War period, to the great flowering New England society in the Pre-Civil War era.

ENGL 315
American Literature II
3 Hours, 1 Semester

For a century and a half, American writers have been trying to understand and express what it means to live in the modern world. From Mark Twain to Ernest Hemingway to Toni Morrison, these authors examine love, sex, war, race, gender, conflict, and community in a country where life always seems racing to be faster, bigger, stronger and more complex.


Group V (1 Required)

ENGL 480
English Seminar
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Designed to demonstrate proficiency in the study of English, this course requires in-class presentations, in-depth critical analysis, research, and a paper of considerable length. The content of the course varies and is determined by the instructor. Required of all English majors.


Group VI (1 Required)

ENGL 470
Special Topics in Literature (or 1 course not taken from ENGL Groups I, II, III or IV.)
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course is offered on an occasional basis and addresses topics and themes of special interest not covered in the standard course offerings in English.


Internships, while not required, provide an opportunity to gain real-world experience and explore career opportunities. English majors have interned at:


  • Dow Jones Newspaper Fund
  • John F. Kennedy Library
  • U.S. Department of State
  • Worcester Foothills Theater
  • Warner Trade Publishing
  • MediaOne
  • Institute of International Education

College Catalog

Review or download the college catalog for additional details and information about courses and requirements.

College Catalog

Review or download the college catalog for additional details and information about courses and requirements.

Key Faculty
Jeffrey Halprin
  • Jeffrey Halprin
  • Program Chair
  • Kellie Deys, PhD, Assistant Professor
  • James Deys, PhD, Assistant Professor
  • Michael Lajoie, Visiting Assistant Professor

Questions about the English Program? Contact Professor Jeffrey Halprin, Program Chair, at jeffrey.halprin@nichols.edu or 508-213-2122.