In the Literature track of the English major at Seattle University, we believe that the arts of language and the tools of literacy are necessary not only for self-understanding, self-expression, and self-realization, but for full participation in social, cultural, and political life.  In our curriculum, you will grapple with some of the most interesting questions of literary and cultural history, engage profound and intractable questions of justice and value, and become thoughtful and active citizens of the university, nation, and world. 

Program Benefits

    • Personal attention from faculty in small classes
    • The development of disciplinary and interdisciplinary literacies (from aesthetic appreciation and cultural knowledge, to cross-cultural fluency and visual and information literacies)
    • The cultivation of creative thinking, reflection, imagination, and insight
    • The acquisition of historical breadth, critical focus, and argumentative ability
    • Seattle University/Elliott Bay Book Company Reading Series
    • Fragments literary and arts magazine
    • Career and graduate school preparation

Why do employers value English majors?

According to a recent survey report of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the majority of business executives want college graduates with strong communication, critical inquiry skills, and problem-solving abilities.  Indeed, many employers prefer hiring English majors and students in the humanities.  The reasons are many.  As a student in our department, you will cultivate or practice

  • Eloquence:  the artful command of a wide-ranging vocabulary; the skillful presentation of points to different kinds of listeners.
  • Critical thinking:  the ability to ask the kinds of question that bring into view the complexities and possibilities of problems; the skill of formulating a problem in such a way as to open up paths for research.
  • Research:  the ability not just to find answers to but to construct them using convincing evidence; the power to produce knowledge in the face of unknowns and uncertainties.
  • Empathy:  the ability to understand the positions of others by means of careful reading and reflection rather than crude projection; the power to imagine as fully as possible different points of view, combined with a sense of the limitations of this ability.

Degrees offered:

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • Bachelor of Arts in English with Departmental Honors
  • English/Literature Minor

Access information about the distribution of credits in all English degrees, including those with departmental honors and the literature minor, from the degree requirements section here. Information about the University’s core can be found in the Catalog.  Information about specific English courses for the current or upcoming quarters is available on SU Online.

Literature students also have the opportunity to participate in a number of programs and activities designed to enhance the major. These include: Film Studies, Women Studies, Study Abroad, Internships, and Fragments, SU’s Arts and Literature Magazine.



Meet alum Tim Talevich '78, Editorial Director, The Costco Connection

Learn more: Watch the video and then read the article.


Literature Professor Jennifer Schulz has a new approach to teaching literature.

Learn more: Watch the video and then read the complete news article here.

Contact Us

Charles Tung, PhD

Shawn Bell
Administrative Assistant