The English Department serves the university’s diverse student population by offering a focused yet flexible program of courses in writing, literature, rhetoric and literary theory. Our classes examine literature as a living process intimately connected with the complex problems of its place, culture, community and history. 

Program highlights

The literary studies curriculum introduces our majors and minors to a substantial body of knowledge in British, American and Anglophone literature, as well as literary works in translation from across the globe and throughout history. Literary studies majors are encouraged to become familiar with a broad array of literary traditions and critical methodologies before specializing in a capstone project—a research-intensive, interpretive thesis undertaken in the senior year. 

The program excels at providing students with friendly advisors who welcome one-on-one conversations about writing, books, food and life. Students are given numerous opportunities, such as professor-led study abroad trips and membership in Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, to develop long-lasting relationships that will enrich the personal and professional life of the student.

Additional benefits include:

  • Participation in the yearly Les Bailey Writers Series
  • Professional experience though Saint Martin's student publication, The Belltower
  • Membership in the Saint Martin's University Literary studies majors Facebook page
  • Internships with local businesses
  • Training in industry standard software
  • Creative writing retreats at the Saint Martin's Abbey's Lambert Lodge, a beautiful, restorative retreat center on Eld Inlet in the Puget Sound

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  • Career paths

    A major in literary studies is excellent preparation for:

    • Continued professional studies at the graduate level (law, medicine, business)
    • Jobs that require skills in communication, research, analysis and public relations
    • Specialized employment in education, journalism, publishing, creative arts

    For a complete list of professional applications, visit "What Can I Do With This Major?" For additional information about how Saint Martin’s can help you find the career for you, visit our Career Center.



  • University core requirements
  • 40 semester hours of literary studies courses
  • Students must take at least one course that focuses on literature written before 1800
  • Phase III: Literature and writing electives
    • ENG 335 Comparative literature or ENG 340 Literature in the medieval world
    • ENG 345 Literature, race, and ethnicity or ENG 350 Gender and sexuality in literature
    • ENG 382 Literary theory and criticism
    • Choose 12 additional credits of electives from ENG 302 to ENG 395 

Minor (20 semester hours)

Want to become a teacher?

For information on the Washington State teacher education endorsement in English language arts, please refer to the requirements as outlined in the College of Education and Counseling section of the undergraduate academic catalog.

Saint stories

Emmalee Baker '15 published her paper in The Explicator

Putting her dreams in print

"Getting this essay published was just proof to myself that I was capable of achieving something that I assumed was an unobtainable goal. As a student, it gave me more confidence in my writing abilities."

Emmalee Baker Literary studies Class of 2015

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