• Female student writing

Literature changes the way we view the world. As an English major, you’ll be taught to read and write with attention to detail; communicate with style and clarity; and hone your unique voice. You'll be afforded the opportunity to pursue your own interests and experiment with courses that will expose you to a variety of fields, like journalism, publishing and teaching. Courses are designed to teach you to communicate your distinct thoughts and insights through effective writing and speech.


  • While some programs at other universities focus more narrowly on literature, our programs allow you to pursue your own interests and to experiment with unique courses such as American Wilderness Literature, Visual Rhetoric and Drama Practicum.
  • A diverse range of courses including American Literature, British Literature and World Literature; Creative Writing; Linguistics and Language; Media and Film; Theater Acting and Directing; and internships and practica in journalism, drama, & communication
  • You’ll have opportunities for participation in cross-cultural learning experiences, such as study abroad in England
  • Approximately half of our students go on to careers in teaching, but our well-rounded graduates also pursue careers in library science, journalism, counseling, ministry, business, law and many other fields
  • Courses for the secondary teaching emphasis explore a broad range of topics in language and linguistics, multicultural literature, American literature, world theater history, creative writing, composition theory and much more
  • Extended studies offer courses in communication and sociology

Career opportunities

Library work, writing, education and various positions in the media and journalism. Secondary teaching emphasis prepares you for a career as a teacher in the classroom.

Course listing

In order to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Fresno Pacific University, students must complete at least 120 units. Along with completing all required courses in their selected area of study, general education requirements must be met by all graduates. See the general education summary in the undergraduate academic catalog for more information.

Select programs may not provide enough units for a student to graduate and therefore an emphasis and/or elective courses must be completed alongside the major. Please see below for emphases related to this area of study.

General Education Prerequisites (9 Units)

COM 110Written Communication3
COM 120Oral Communication3
LIT 180Introduction to Literature3

Required Courses (minimum Units: 49)

Core Courses
COM 345Composition Theory and Writing3
LANG 340Introduction to Linguistics3
LIT 395Text and Performance3
LIT 415Shakespeare3
LIT 460Critical Approaches to Literature3
LIT 480Narrative3
Literature Courses

Select one of the following

LIT 355American Literature: Beginnings to 19th Century3
LIT 360American Literature: 20th Century3
PHIL 430American Wilderness Literature and Philosophy3

Select one of the following

LIT 400Medieval Life, Thought and Literature4
LIT 420English Literature: Romantic and Victorian Literature3
LIT 425English Literature: 20th Century Literature3

Select two of the following

LIT 364Hispanic Literature of the United States3
LIT 370The Novel3
LIT 380World Theater: Roots to 18003
LIT 385World Theater: 1800 to Present3
LIT 448Multicultural Literature3
SPAN 445Latin American Literature3
Language Courses

Select one of the following

COM 350Visual Rhetoric3
COM 455Philosophy of Language3
LANG 350Modern English Grammar3
Writing Courses

Select two of the following

COM 300Creative Writing: Fiction3
COM 310Creative Writing: Poetry3
COM 320Creative Writing: Nonfiction3
COM 330Writing and Reading Journalism3
Internships And Practica

Select one of the following

COM 155Journalism Practicum1
COM 340Composition Practicum1
COM 365Media Practicum1
COM 496Communication Internship1
THTR 315Drama Practicum: The Company2
THTR 496Drama Internship1
LIT 496Literature Internship1
  • Students may write in another internship or practicum with program mentor approval.


In consultation with a program mentor, select three additional courses from those listed above under Literature Courses, Language Courses and Writing Courses or from the following list

COM 335Legal Research and Writing3
COM 346Scriptwriting3
COM 355Digital Video Production I3
COM 360Digital Video Production II3
COM 368Ancient and Medieval Rhetoric3
COM 370Audio Production3
COM 380Film Studies3
COM 385Cinematography: Visual Story Telling3
COM 390UI/UX Web Design3
COM 400Intercultural Communication3
COM 410Media and Society3
COM 420Conflict Management and Resolution3
COM 430Group Dynamics and Leadership3
COM 440Performance and Culture3
COM 450Communication Theory3
HIST 360Greece: Drama and Paideia in the Polis4
HIST 364Classical Mythology3
HIST 385Early Modern Europe4
LANG 310First and Second Language Acquisition3
LANG 320Teaching English Language Learners3
LANG 420Teaching English as an Additional Language3
LANG 462Literacy Development for Adult English Learners3
LIT 405The Renaissance and English Literature4
LIT 426English Literature: C.S. Lewis3
LIT 449Literature and Film3
LIT 465Literature for Children and Young Adults3
SPAN 440Peninsular Literature3
THTR 350Acting3
THTR 355Creative Drama3
THTR 360Directing and Staging Texts3


This program has optional emphases

Program director

Eleanor Nickel, Ph.D.
Eleanor Nickel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English