The Department of English at St. John’s University comprises a vibrant, dynamic community of faculty and students exploring literature, writing, and creative arts.
The core of the program is our thriving undergraduate Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) major, which is offered to students on the Queens campus and the Staten Island campus. Students may take classes on either campus, and many English undergraduates also study abroad at the St. John’s campuses, in Rome, Paris, and elsewhere.
The department offers three graduate programs, a Bachelor of Arts / Master of Arts (B.A./M.A.) that allows ambitious undergraduates to engage in graduate-level work, a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.
The department’s faculty adds to the intellectual life of St. John’s University by producing original works of scholarship, creative arts, and public culture. Prominent national and international organizations, from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies to the Folger Shakespeare Library and National Public Radio, have supported and featured the work of St. John’s English faculty.
The English department also sponsors an active intellectual life on campus. We organize colloquia and invite outside speakers to speak to our students each semester. We also present public lectures and events organized by department faculty. One popular recurring feature is our “Bookmarks” series, which features conversations with English faculty who have published new books. For details about new and upcoming events, please see the English Department Blog. For descriptions of recent students and faculty achievements, see the English Department Newsletter.
The department’s graduate students founded a journal in 2003, The St. John’s Humanities Review. The journal features book reviews, essays, and interviews by contributors on campus and from around the world.
The department also supports a literary journal of student poetry and fiction, Sequoya.
The department plays an important role in the Institute for Writing Studies, which was founded in 2006 by English faculty member Derek Owens. Within the IWS, the University Writing Center (UWC) hires qualified graduate and undergraduate students to work as writing consultants and peer tutors. The Institute for Writing Studies also houses the university’s First-Year Writing Program and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program. The WAC program hosts a series of faculty workshops and institutes and leads a Writing Fellows program. The UWC and WAC programs were recognized as Writing Programs of Excellence by the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in 2014.
For those students interested in using their B.A. toward graduate education in English, the department has recently placed students in top graduate English programs such as those of Brown, Oxford, Columbia, SUNY Buffalo, and the CUNY Graduate Center. Students who major in English develop strong reading and writing skills, powerful habits of analytic thought, and research abilities that make them very competitive in a dynamic job market. Many future law students prepare for their careers as English majors. Because most fields of employment need people who can read and write well, an English major or minor is a valuable asset. A degree in English provides students with a versatile educational foundation.
Jennifer Travis, Chair
St. John Hall, Room. B-16
Mon-Thurs: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Fri: 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.