The study of literature, written expression, and language is always evolving to address the texts and rhetoric we find in the world around us. Therefore, the field of English is expansive, ranging from the study of major literary works to contemporary digital texts and to the processes and practices of composing texts.

Seal indicating CBU is a Best Value Schools Top Small Colleges

Based on the variety of our majors and CBU’s competitive net price, we were ranked as a “Best Value Small College for an English Degree” for 2016-17.

The Department of Literature & Languages serves all of CBU’s students, offering a student-centered learning environment with courses in composition, literature, creative writing, rhetoric, and foreign language.

We aim to help students develop their creative and critical thinking as well as their written and oral communication skills. Moreover, our courses invite students to reflect on the meaning of being human, the world, and culture through the study of literature, rhetoric, language, and other cultural artifacts.

Our degree programs emphasize a blend of classroom learning and hands-on experiences, and all student have the opportunity to complete internships as part of their education.

Graduates go on to graduate programs in English and education, law school, and a range of careers, from public relations to journalism.

Areas of Study in Literature & Languages


The English Major centers around the reading and interpretation of texts (fiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction) and the contexts (artistic, historical, cultural) from which those texts emerge. The study of English involves both the close reading of the text and a broader critical and theoretical exploration of issues. This degree program culminates with a senior capstone project. English majors gain a range of critical and creative skills through practice in interpretation and writing.

Creative Writing

Majoring in Creative Writing provides you an opportunity to learn and practice the craft of writing in different methods, styles, and genres. Our skilled and published faculty offer beginning and advanced courses in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, playwriting, and screenwriting. Creative writing students create a senior thesis project, which should include material of high enough quality for submission for competition and publication.

English Education

The English Education Major, offered in partnership with CBU’s Department of Education, prepares students for licensure to teach middle school and high school English.

English for Corporate Communication

Our English for Corporate Communication (ECC) Major aims to prepare students for careers in professional writing. In addition to attending law school and graduate school, ECC graduates find a range of opportunities in marketing, advertising, nonprofit management, and corporate environments. Students study rhetorical history and theory, professional communications, digital composition, and literature courses to be well-prepared as critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. A capstone internship pairs students with a company or organization for valuable professional experience.

View English for Corporate Communication brochure (PDF)

Minors in Literature & Languages

Minors in Spanish and French allow students to study both the language and then the cultures and literature of Spain and Latin America or France, respectively.

Minors in English and Creative Writing pair well with a variety of majors, offering students a strong background in critical interpretation and writing. Our courses also contribute to interdisciplinary minors in American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Sustainability Studies, and Peace Studies.

Professional Writing Certificate

A Professional Writing Certificate is available to interested students. It takes 9 hours of Art and English courses to earn a Professional Writing Certificate, with three of these courses taken at CBU. For more information or to apply for the Professional Writing Certificate, contact Dr. Clayann Gilliam Panetta.

Professional Writing Certificate (undergraduate catalog)

Contact Us

If you are interested in studying English, Creative Writing, or ECC at CBU, come see us or contact our Department Chair, Dr. Karen Golightly. A bachelor’s degree will open many doors to you, and the world will never stop needing people who write and communicate well, who think outside the box, and who can create.