Courses offered by the Department of English seek to develop students' understanding of important works of literature written in English, to provide a historical awareness of the range of thought and experience that has found expression in the English language, and to enlarge students' personal horizons by reflection upon cultural, social, and aesthetic experience. The development of this kind of knowledge also means a development of students' abilities to express themselves effectively in speech and in writing. Courses in English instruct students in becoming more observant, thoughtful, and articulate in response to what they read.
Students who graduate with a major in English pursue careers as writers, lawyers, journalists, librarians, academic and governmental administrators, and publishers, to name a few. Large businesses, for example, publish "in-house" newsletters and magazines, as well as material for the general public. News-papers seek copy editors able to write clear, accurate prose. The legal profession requires people skilled in the language arts. Many English majors go on to graduate or professional schools to educate themselves for professional careers.
The Department offers courses in creative writing (EGL 285, EGL 286, EGL 385, EGL 386, EGL 387) and secondary education leading to provisional New York State certification (EGL 398, EGL 451, EGL 452, EGL 454).