Studying English prepares students for graduate study, teaching and a wide range of professions such as law, journalism, publishing, government and business.

Whatever career a student enters, they find employers value the written and verbal communication skills and education in the humanities that an English major receives.

At Illinois Wesleyan, we offer two sequences for majors: a Literature sequence and a Writing sequence that includes journalism and/or creative writing.

In both sequences, our students are encouraged to be creative and learn how to take analytical positions and back them up. They become keen analyzers of literary texts, which are as complicated as life; they learn to write and construct compelling arguments.

New technologies have created new career opportunities for writing. Writing remains an essential tool for our graduates, but often in ways they wouldn't have expected, or might not have even existed 10 years ago. Because we give them a strong foundation and a broader picture, they gain the flexibility to thrive through these inevitable changes.

Get Published

Every writer desires an audience, and at IWU students have many outlets to write and to publish, including the campus newspaper The Argus, the literary journal Tributaries, the stand-up poetry group Lyrical Graffiti, the undergraduate magazine The Delta and the online community for writers Pseudonym Required. Coursework also creates publishing opportunities: for example, students enrolled in "Feature Writing and Investigative Reporting" published an in-depth report on coal ash contamination in Illinois. 

Because we're a small school, students have many opportunities to be involved – in writing, editing and producing publications – without too much competition. 

Faculty Attention

Whether it’s helping students find the right graduate school, internship or study abroad program, guiding them on a research honors project or just offering a sounding board to discuss concerns, our faculty spend time with students and develop authentic mentoring relationships.

Our faculty include playwrights, film critics, songwriters, award-winning authors and literary scholars. Whatever your interest, there’s a good chance it will be shared by someone on the English department faculty.  



Janna Strain '13 just announced her first major work of fiction, Edenfall, is being released by Ceti Publishing (a publishing house started by another IWU English alum, Chris Francis) on July 15th. It's already up for pre-order on the website here:

"One of the cool things about this particular novella," Strain says, "is that the initial drafts were actually written for an IWU English class led by Brandi Reissenweber. I've reached out to her to let her know as well; it only seems appropriate to acknowledge the university that fostered some of my best creative work now that it's actually going somewhere."

Congratulations from the entire English department!