Why study English language and literature?

Because reading and writing shape the world.

KU's English Department is at the core of the humanities, highlighting the "human" through our individual, one-on-one interactions with our students, our emphasis on community and global engagement, and our abiding interest in our shared humanity through the stories of others. We seek to challenge the mind and to engage the imagination of our students, to teach them to ask questions and to seek for answers.  We encourage them to grapple with the complexity of a culturally and commercially interconnected world and the global networks and processes of cultural exchange. We believe that words and ideas will shape the world. We teach our students life-long skills, so that they learn to write clearly, creatively, and effectively—discovering themselves even as they lay a solid foundation for professional success. 

A commitment to teaching and learning.

Our department is renowned for its tradition of excellence in teaching.  The vast majority of our undergraduate classes have 15-25 students, and much of the class time is dedicated to active learning and engagement with texts and ideas. In the last ten years, faculty members in the department of English have won ten Kemper Fellowships for Excellence in Teaching, two Chancellors Club Teaching Professorships, a Career Achievement Teaching Award, and a wide variety of other university-level teaching and advising awards, and the department as a whole received the Center of Teaching Excellence (CTE) award for Department Excellence in Teaching at the University of Kansas. 

A variety of career and life paths.

The English minor is an excellent complement to any major or professional degree. English students graduate to a variety of careers, including law, teaching, scholarship, publishing, library science, and journalism--as well as medicine, business, politics, design, and any number of other fields that value clear communication, interpretive skill, and critical and creative thinking.  

Engaged and innovative scholarship.

KU's English Department has several core strengths that cross tracks and periods, including Global and Cross-Cultural Approaches; Literature, Rhetoric, and Social Action; Diversity Studies; Language, Literature and Science; and Popular Expressive Forms.

At the KU English Department, students work closely with nationally-renowned writers and researchers. Our faculty have won national awards that recognize excellence in research, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Newberry Library, among others. English Department faculty members have also received major research funding from the University of Kansas, including the Hall Center for the Humanities Research fellowships and Keeler Intra-University Fellowships for interdisciplinary work. Undergraduate students can work one-on-one with faculty mentors in the Honors Program, McNair Scholars Program, and Dean's Scholars Program. 

Requirements for the Minor

The minor in English requires students to complete 18 hours of English coursework in one of two tracks: Regular or Creative Writing

Requirements for the English Minor, Regular Track

18 hours, of which 12 hours must be selected from 4 of the following categories that comprise the common requirements of the English major, and of which at least 15 must be jr/sr hours. No more than 1 creative writing course may count for the regular track.  ENGL 494, 495, 496, and 497 may not be applied to English minor requirements.


1. Individual Authors or Movements

2. Literary Theory 

3. English Language or Rhetoric

4. Transcultural Approaches to Language, Literature, or Writing

5. Writing

6. Forms and Genres

7. Literary History

For full course lists for each category, see the General Track of the English Major .

Requirements for the Creative Writing Track of the English Minor

18 hours, of which 12 hours must be creative writing workshops (see below) in at least two genres, and of which at least 15 must be jr/sr hours. For the purposes of the creative writing tracks of the major and minor, genres are 1) fiction; 2) poetry; 3) playwriting, screenwriting, and/or scriptwriting; and 4) non-fiction.  At least one workshop must be at the 500 level or above.  ENGL 494, 495, 496, and 497 may not be applied to English minor requirements.

Creative Writing workshops:

ENGL 351 Fiction Writing I (3)

ENGL 352 Poetry Writing I (3)

ENGL 353 Screenwriting I (3)

ENGL 354 Playwriting I (3)

ENGL 355 Nonfiction Writing I (3)

ENGL 360 Advanced Composition: _____ (3)

ENGL 492 The London Review (3)

ENGL 551 Fiction Writing II (3)

ENGL 552 Poetry Writing II (3)

ENGL 553 Screenwriting II (3)

ENGL 554 Playwriting II (3)

ENGL 555 Nonfiction Writing II (3))

FMS 373 Intermediate Screenwriting (3)

Minor Hours & Minor GPA

While completing all required courses, minors must also meet each of the following hour and GPA minimum standards:

Minor Hours
Satisfied by 18 hours of minor courses.

Minor Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours of KU resident credit in the minor.

Minor Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the minor.

Minor Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in all departmental courses in the minor. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.