University of Wisconsin-La Crosse |
Skip to page menu


The English department specializes in the study of literature, linguistics, rhetoric, writing, and teaching. Our dynamic and interdisciplinary work fosters an appreciation for the beauty and power of the English language, promotes open inquiry, excites the imagination, and arouses intellectual curiosity. In the tradition of liberal arts education, we promote analytic skills and encourage scholarship from our faculty and students alike. Emphasizing the practical application of knowledge, we empower our students long past graduation and enrich the pleasure they find in reading, writing, and teaching.

The English department examines what readers do when they read and what writers do when they write. Through language and story, humans interpret the past, understand the present and prepare for the future. We believe that the close study of language, writing, and literature should be a transformative experience culminating in literate, articulate, imaginative, and open-minded individuals who can take on roles as responsible citizens in diverse and dynamic communities.

Community focus

Boasting a low student-to-teacher ratio and small classes, UWL's English Department is like "family," according to one graduate reflecting back from her new life in graduate school. Our student-run English Club, campus chapter of the National English Honors Society, and various student-run and -written publications give majors and minors many opportunities to share their passion for reading and writing with each other, the department, and the community.

A practical choice

UWL's English major programs provide an excellent education in the discipline with a credit load that allows for great flexibility in selecting compatible minors or a double major, as well as in exploring various other fields of knowledge through elective coursework. With proper planning, the English major degree is completable in four years. It is also affordable, with eight scholarships available exclusively to English and English Education majors/minors, and with paid internship opportunities on and off campus.

Job-ready experience

"I believe my English major has made me very analytical. I analyze the business environment, my coworkers, and situations that arise to see what is really influencing or causing events. The corporate world often reminds me of a Shakespearean plot line, and I think my English major has helped me look below the surface to see what is really going on." - Kathy (Nelson) Zaininger (1991)

"I use my writing degree every day. Working closely with [my agency's] Executive Team on special events planning and outreach strategies, I create the forms and flyers we use on our social media pages. I assist with ghost writing speeches, grant applications, and the editing of our resource guides. I also oversee our agency website. I love that my skill in communication and language allow me to be a part of so many projects that make our agency successful." -- Jess Witkins (2008)

"Last year, I worked one-on-one with a cab driver to turn his vague memoir idea into the published book it is today, and I don't think there's a single lesson from my UWL creative writing courses that I didn't conjure up. I would have been lost without the foundation UWL provided!" -- Jaime Nelson (2009)

Prospective students

Contact the Academic Advising Center , or schedule a pre-enrollment conference with the chair of the English Department, Dr. Natalie Eschenbaum.