A Northwestern professor assists students with coursework.

English programs

Our department's mission is to cultivate educated citizens who

  • READ WIDELY, delighting in texts that challenge them
  • REASON CAREFULLY, sensitive to textual nuance and cultural contexts
  • THINK CREATIVELY, aspiring to broaden their minds and express their souls
  • WRITE BOLDLY, attentive to the needs of diverse audiences
  • SERVE FAITHFULLY, rooted in the God-given power of language to inspire, inform, persuade and heal


Explore texts broadly and deeply through story, poetry and nonfiction. Along with courses covering Shakespeare and Twain, you can take classes like Literature of the Developing World and Native American Literature.

English teaching

Feed your passion for words in preparation for teaching grades 5-12 English language arts. In addition to your English classes, you’ll take courses in an education department that is accredited by the Iowa Department of Education.

Writing and rhetoric

Develop your creative and persuasive skills by writing in many genres from creative nonfiction to analytic essays, poetry to fiction, journalism to professional writing. You’ll add a second major or minor so that you have a specific field of writing expertise. The choice is yours: history, art, political science, public relations, religion or wherever your interests lead you.