Why Choose EIU?
Small Classes, Great Faculty
Look around the English Department at EIU and you won’t see lecture halls. We keep classes small to allow for close interaction among students and faculty.
Who teaches our classes? All classes required in the English major at EIU are taught by full-time faculty members with PhDs. These active writers and scholars keep up with new developments in the areas they teach, and they bring that knowledge to their classes.
Read what students have to say about interacting with faculty.
Dr. Suzie Park was awarded the 2015 Provost's Undergraduate Research Mentor Award for the College of Arts and Humanities and the 2015 Rodney S. Ranes Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award for Eastern Illinois University. Dr. Park, on the far right, is pictured with the students who nomimated her: from left to right, recent English M.A. graduates Terri Coleman and Stephen Nathaniel, and English undergraduate Molina Klingler.
Hear faculty discuss their research and writing
English at EIU supports all the traditional areas of study within English. Students are not required to declare a minor, but many do.
Choice of major:
The EIU Department of English has revised its undergraduate majors and minors to offer students more choice and flexibility.
We now offer five areas of study in English:
- Emphasis in Literary and Cultural Studies (BA)
- Emphasis in Professional Writing (BA)
- Emphasis in Creative Writing (BA)
- Emphasis in English Studies (BA)
- English Language Arts (BATL) - secondary teacher licensure
Students in all Emphases of the English major take a group of common core courses. The core introduces key concepts including the study of language, textual analysis, and an orientation to British and American literary history. The core also helps students develop their research and writing skills and plan and prepare for careers. Read more about the Core Curriculum.
Students who began college prior to Fall 2015 may choose the new program or continue to follow the requirements of the old program, if they wish.
Revised minors have also been developed to support the revised majors. Students with interests in writing may choose a minor in Literary and Cultural Studies, Professional Writing, Creative Writing or English Studies; some choose both.
The English Department has close ties with several interdisciplinary minors, including Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Film Studies, Latin American Studies, Medieval Studies, and Women’s Studies. Our faculty often teach classes in these minors, and many English majors participate in these programs. Other common minors for English majors include Pre-Law, a foreign language, or Theatre.
Minors for students in other majors:
If you want to minor in English but have another area as your major, you can select from a general English minor for maximum flexibility, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, or the minor in English Language Arts (for students pursuing teacher certification in another field who want to be certified in Language Arts as well).
Student Research, Creative Activity, and Internships
We encourage students to pursue independent research and creative projects, and faculty mentors work with students to help them prepare to present their research or read their creative work in public. We also offer an internship program in professional writing that places qualified students in local internship opportunities.
These experiences help students prepare for professional settings, including work or graduate school, and help students build a track record of accomplishment before graduation.
Every spring, the English Student Conference features presentations by students in teaching methods classes as well as literature, creative writing, and professional writing.
Creative writers can submit their work to several major on-campus contests and to the Vehicle, the student literary magazine. Contests and student groups often organize poetry slams and other readings.
We encourage students to pursue independent research and creative activities with faculty mentors.
The department’s internship program places qualified students in writing and editing related internships in the local area or students' hometowns..
EIU offers future educators life-changing international experience. Read more...
This is EIU, Too
Every Eastern student can live and study at Harlaxton, Eastern’s partner campus in England. Harlaxton was recently ranked the #1 in study abroad by Best College Reviews. Read more about EIU student and faculty experiences at Harlaxton ...
In addition to all the other study abroad programs offered at EIU, faculty in English lead two popular summer study abroad programs, to Harlaxton College in Grantham, England (50 miles south of London) and to South Africa.
EIU English graduates work in a wide variety of areas, including writing and editing, other communications jobs, law, public relations, college student services, advertising, careers in nonprofit agencies, and jobs in the corporate sector, especially marketing and human resources, teaching English abroad, and of course teaching at the high school or college levels.
Our placement rate for English Language Arts majors as high school teachers has consistently been quite high. Among our most recent graduates are new teachers in the following places:
- Seton Academy, Illinois
- Sandwich, Illinois
- Freeport, Illinois
- Mattoon, Illinois
- KinderCare in La Grange, Illinois
- Reed-Custer HS, Illinois
- Cairo, Illinois
- Prescott, Arizona
- Colegio Americano de Torreon in Mexico
Many alumni also pursue graduate education, and in recent years our graduates have been successful in obtaining funding from competitive colleges and universities. Currently, our alumni are graduate students in fields including literature, creative writing, library science, and new media studies at the University of Colorado, New York University, Purdue University, University of Tennessee, University of Illinois, Kent State University, DePaul University, Southern Illinois University, and EIU.
Finally, our alumni who pursue creative writing have had significant success, publishing their work in respected publications such as Poetry, Spoon River Quarterly, Harper’s, Ms. and Story.