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Keene State College English Department



English majors and minors study the historical development of literary and rhetorical traditions, literatures written in English, and literatures in English translation.

In the English programs at Keene State College, students study the past, present, and future of the written word. Literature raises important questions about humanity, justice, and morality, and, as a result, has the unique power of both reflecting and transforming the place, time, and culture in which it was created. In short: literature matters, and it always will. Our curriculum offers students learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom. Many classes incorporate reading and writing with hiking, walking, or cooking, while others have provided students the chance to work with materials in the new Frank Shuffleton Modern Poetry Collection in the Mason Library archives. Students participate in public readings and publish their work in national journals. They have assisted with the Conference on International Women’s Writing in the Twenty First Century and have collaborated with graphic design classes in the production of a literary journal. English majors also have opportunities to study away or participate in a writing internship.

Program Options

The major offers both a literature option and a writing option. While both options focus on literary and historical traditions in context, the writing option provides practice in several different genres, including poetry, fiction, professional writing, and creative nonfiction, and the literature option offers exposure to a wide range of literary texts from different cultures, traditions, genres, and historical periods. All English majors learn clear and effective writing, aesthetic appreciation, textual analysis, and the theoretical foundations of the discipline. Over a third of our graduates receive a dual degree in English and secondary education, and another third are enrolled in the elementary education program. Many students choose a minor in addition to the major.

We offer writing and literature minors as well as an interdisciplinary medieval and early modern studies minor. This program includes faculty and courses from English, history, and art history. Course offerings include several Integrative Studies classes that expose students to a variety of disciplinary and cultural perspectives.

The Upsilon Pi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, established in 1986, recognizes student achievement in English and fosters the study of language and literature outside of the classroom. The honor society’s active members organize campus events, promote student engagement and excellence, and take advantage of special opportunities on campus and away.

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Career and Other Opportunities

Graduates of KSC’s English program go on to graduate or professional programs or pursue careers in:

  • education locally and abroad
  • writing or journalism
  • volunteer organizations such as Teach for America, AmeriCorps, or the Peace Corps
  • publishing
  • editing
  • advertising
  • library sciences


As an English major, you’ll learn the habits of mind and skills to succeed in a changing world. You’ll learn to communicate effectively, to think critically and creatively, to read carefully, and to write with clarity and purpose.

It was in one of Dr. Emily Robins Sharpe's English classes that introduced me to the archives field, and it was through that class that I met Keene State Archivist Rodney Obien. I worked with him for three years while I was an undergraduate. My English internship class allowed me the chance to intern at the Dartmouth College Archives, which allowed me to gain more experience in the field.
Mylinda D. Gill ‘16

Contact Admissions

Admissions Office
☎ 603-358-2276
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435