The UW-L English Major

Our Mission Statement

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.

English Majors graduate with job-ready skills in the following:

  • understanding words in their historical and literary contexts
  • articulating, arguing, and defending a position
  • analyzing the motives and evidence behind other writers' or speakers' claims
  • collecting, organizing, and analyzing information
  • understanding multiple points of view and multiple ways to evaluate a situation
  • synthesizing knowledge from diverse fields (politics, history, sociology, economics)
  • reading, thinking, and writing critically and creatively
  • communicating effectively in a variety of contexts

A Vibrant Community

Boasting a low student-to-teacher ratio and small classes, UW-L's English Department is like "family," according to one recent 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 Program

At 36 and 37 credits, UW-L's English major programs provide an excellent education in the discipline with a credit load that allows for great flexibility in selecting compatible minors, a double major, or an Honors Program track, 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 campus.

Prospective Students

Read our brief departmental pamphlet, contact the Academic Advising Center, or schedule a pre-enrollment conference with the chair of the English Department, Dr. Susan Crutchfield.

English Department Bylaws

Current department bylaws as of 10-4-2013

Contact Information

Department of English
433 Wimberly Hall
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
La Crosse, WI 54601
Phone: (608)-785-8295
Fax: (608)-785-8301