English Major & Minor
As an English major at Truman, you will learn to better understand and enjoy your own and other cultural traditions by engaging with a range of fascinating, challenging, and transformative literature.
Choose Your Own Adventure
The English major focuses on language, writing skills, and the theoretical, cultural, and historical diversities that shape literary tradition. Forge your own path and specialty by choosing from nearly 100 diverse courses — from Beowulf to gender theory, film studies to Russian drama, linguistics to children’s literature.
Truman’s Department of English and Linguistics also supports the Master of Arts in English program, the Master of Arts in education program, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, the Bachelor of Science in Linguistics program, as well as minors in African/African-American Studies, Asian studies, Celtic studies, cognitive science, disability studies, environmental studies, film studies, folklore, international studies, linguistics, medieval studies, and women’s and gender studies.
Small Classes & Individual Attention
Our faculty are deeply knowledgeable about their subject, whether it be Emily Dickinson’s poems, the study of how novels are made into films, or the deep structure of language, but most of all they love teaching. In class you’ll have the pleasure of discussing writers who have changed the way we think about ourselves and the world. In Truman’s English program you won’t just read more books, you’ll think broadly and adventurously about the unique power of language and literature to shape our lives and transform our world.
Our program develops strong critical thinking and analytical skills. We will encourage you to write papers and present at conferences — perhaps Truman's Undergraduate Student Research Conference - and publish in professional trade publications and academic or literary journals. This experience gives you the edge when you start your career, often leading to opportunities before you even graduate.
Preparing for Lives That Matter
It might not surprise you to know that Conan O’Brien and Stephanie Meyer were English majors, but so were 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former Kansas City Chiefs’ head coach Marty Schottenheimer, astronaut Sally Ride, Nobel laureate Harold Varmus, and journalist Barbara Walters. Not to mention countless small-business owners, doctors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and of course novelists, poets, comedians, screenwriters, teachers, journalists, and actors.
Throughout your own journey, you will hone your craft of textual analysis, become a better writer, and develop an advanced understanding of literature and the English language that will serve you well across a number of professional fields.
Our graduates have gone on to careers with diverse companies and fields including a recent alumna who already has a major novel contract and another successful graduate who has written for multiple TV shows.
22 June 2015 | 4:03 pm
Colleagues: Photographers James Crnkovich and Robert Del Tredici will be projecting and discussing their work in the Del and Norma Robison Planetarium, Magruder Hall, at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 26. They are touring the country, celebrating their collaboration James Crnkovich’s Atomic America (Naciketas Press, 2015). Crnkovich came to Truman last year, when […]
16 April 2015 | 1:01 am
The English and Linguistics Senior Seminar Conference is a large and exciting event. This semester, 75 students are capping their Truman careers with presentations developed in five seminars–on Adaptations, Creative Writing, Linguistics, Thomas Pyncheon, and 1920s America. Within these large topics, English and Linguistic majors have crafted works on an amazing range of specific interests. […]