English literature


Reading inspired works.

It’s the excitement of every page turned. It’s the passion you find with the development of each character throughout a novel. It’s this feeling that you want to replicate through a future career, especially through earning your degree in Marian’s English program.

Program Information

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission .


The English Program of Marian University provides opportunities for students to become critical readers, writers, and thinkers by asking them to write in a variety of genres and to analyze literature from a diversity of cultures, contexts, and perspectives.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Effective Communication: Writer effectively organizes discussion, supports the ideas, and uses standard conventions in all learning contexts to express self clearly in writing.
    • Organization: Ideas are expressed in a well organized manner, and paper exhibits sophistication in structure, such as the capacity for making choices about organization that are informed in part by the content.
    • Support: Ideas are very well supported. (through examples, quotes, statistics, etc.)
    • Grammatical Conventions: Writing observes the grammatical conventions of standard written English and exhibits sophistication in diction and sentence structure (e.g. exhibits effective sentence variety). Paper is free from distracting mechanical errors.
  • Critical Thinking: Develop logical, well-supported conclusions.
    • Link between evidence (support, data, information) and conclusion (inference) is clear, present, and follows logically. [If appropriate, evidence shows detailed understanding of material presented in course.

The Program
Through Marian’s English program, you’ll read literature from a diversity of cultures, contexts and perspectives, as well as investigate literature’s role as an expression of or challenge to a society’s values. You will also embrace a strong foundation in critical thinking while evaluating theories and practices of literary criticism. In addition, you’ll enhance your skills in analytical and research writing, and be given the opportunity to write individual creative works.

General Education Program: 46–49 University requirements, including COM 232.

42 credits as follows:
12 credits:

ENG 205 Introduction to Literary Studies and the English Professions, 3 cr.
ENG 302 Shakespeare, 3 cr.
ENG 375 Advanced Study of Language, Grammar, and Rhetoric, 3 cr.
ENG 495 English Research Capstone, 3 cr.

3 credits of Genre Studies from the following:
ENG 112 Introduction to Literary Genres, 3 cr.
ENG 121 Introduction to Poetry, 3 cr.
ENG 122 Introduction to Fiction, 3 cr.
ENG 123 Introduction to Drama, 3 cr.

3 credits of World Literature from the following:

ENG 220 World Literature I, 3 cr.
ENG 221 World Literature II, 3 cr.
ENG 225 Mythology, 3 cr.

3 credits of British Literature from the following:
ENG 201 British Literature I, 3 cr.
ENG 202 British Literature II, 3 cr.

3 credits of American Literature from the following:

ENG 211 American Literature I, 3 cr.
ENG 212 American Literature II, 3 cr.

3 credits of Minority Literature from the following:
ENG 216 Contemporary Women’s Literature: Emerging Voices, 3 cr.
ENG 217 Evolution of Women’s Literature, 3 cr.
ENG 250 Ethnic Minority Literature, 3 cr.
ENG 310 African-American Literature, 3 cr.

15 credits of English electives:
ENG Electives (at least 9 credits at the 15 credits must be at the 300 level or above; only 3 of the remaining 6 credits can be at the 100 level)

Foreign Language requirement
12 credits or equivalent:

Language requirement for BA

17-20 credits:
University electives

For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

As part of the English literature program, you will find personal, one-on-one support from faculty, who are eager to share their knowledge and passion for writing and literature. In addition to challenging coursework, you’ll engage in hands-on learning experiences, including internships and a capstone project. To enhance your classroom learning experience, English majors can become a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English International Honor Society.

For more information, please contact:

Office of Admission

Justin Ponder, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor & Chair
English Department

You might also be interested in these programs:

At Marian University, you’ll find committed faculty and staff aiming to help you reach your fullest potential. Through an applied learning approach, you’ll find Marian’s English literature program prepares you to share your passion for creativity and expression through literature.

Admission to university per university standards. For more details regarding this, view Marian's Academic Bulletin.

Graduates of the English literature program stay one step ahead of the competition, and are equipped with the essential skills that ensure success in the working world. An English literature degree from Marian University prepares you for a variety of career possibilities, including positions in advertising, business, education, law, ministry, public relations, publishing, writing and social justice work. Many graduates also go on to graduate school.

To help students become critical readers, writers, and thinkers, the English Program assesses knowledge acquisition, effective communication, and critical thinking in ways that are essential to the broader liberal arts education Marian University provides. The English Program demonstrates its effectiveness in the areas of learning outcomes, quality assurance, capstone assessments, employment, graduate education, academic rigor, and teaching excellence.

1. Learning Outcomes: In 2014-2015, students in courses offered in the English Program demonstrated the following learning outcomes:
a. Knowledge Acquisition: 93% students met or exceeded expectations
b. Effective Communication: 83% students met or exceeded expectations
c. Critical Thinking: 86% of students met or exceeded expectations
2. Quality Assurance: The English Program ensures common standards across multiple courses by establishing shared criteria between instructors through normed assessment.
3. Capstone Assessments: To help students transition into their profession the English Program is developing and assessing major courses like Introduction to Literary Study, Advanced Study of Grammar, Internship, and the English Research Capstone.
4. Employment: 100% of graduates are employed within six months of graduation from the English Program.
5. Graduate Education: 100% of graduates who elected to pursue an advanced degree were accepted into a graduate school within six months of graduation from the English Program.

English program video

Hear what students and faculty have to say about the opportunities awaiting you in our English program!

“As a high school teacher and Forensics coach, I put my Marian University English degree to use each and every day! The guidance, support, and motivation offered by staff members at Marian has given me the confidence and knowledge to make a positive impact on today's youth. Aside from the language and literature content that they taught, my professors also utilized teaching strategies that helped students with a variety of abilities and interests learn and show their knowledge. I am very thankful to these professors, as I use many of these same techniques in my own teaching. The skills I obtained, the lessons I learned, and the personal growth that I attained while at Marian University has helped me make a difference, and I look forward to continuing in my pursuit of success for all students.” – Geoffrey Baumann, 2014 Marian graduate, English teacher at Durand High School

“After graduation, I used my English degree to get a job as the director of a small public library. The literary analysis we did in English courses helped me as I led book discussions, recommended books to patrons, and decided which materials to purchase for the library. I used my writing skills in newsletters, emails, and other correspondence. I also believe my degree helped me develop the critical thinking skills I needed to deal with issues as they arose, make good decisions, and come up with ideas for new programs and library events. . . . I've been able to share my love of reading with my daughter, and we often get compliments about her extensive vocabulary at just a year and a half. All along I've also been writing poetry and short stories, and in the near future I plan to go on to grad school, which I know my English degree has prepared me well for.” Tiffany (Erdmann) Brault (‘12)

"In the last year and a half, I have been working towards my Masters in Library and Information Science from UW-Milwaukee. I’m certain I do not have to explain to you how beneficial an English degree is when one has to compose several professional e-mails during the day and write lengthy papers in APA and MLA formatting. My English degree taught me how to enjoy reading. The degree gave me the ability to hold a work of fiction up to the light and see the brilliance the author possessed (or lacked). I wanted my degree in English because I wanted what I have now: an affinity with the creative spirits who choose to make their music through words.” Sarah Londo (‘10)

“I feel that Marian's English Department fully prepared me for my career, and I could not have asked for a better liberal-arts education. . . . “I am a better human being because of my English major from Marian.” Susan Lundin (‘12), teaching in Beaver Dam

“I am incredibly grateful to my Marian English professors for providing me with a penchant for inquiry, an eye for social justice, and a willingness to engage with my students as people. First, my college classes were all stimulating in the sense that I was able encounter different views of an idea or piece of literature and weigh those ideas along with my own views to develop a more broadened perspective. Second, I always felt a passion for justice emanating from my professors, and I am so grateful to still see teaching and the literature I use in my classroom through that lens. Finally, the comfort with and rapport for my professors allowed me to feel comfortable enough to take risks and enjoy learning with them. I hope that I am employing those sensibilities into my own teaching practices to encourage my students to find a study of English to be both interesting and fulfilling. I learned so much in my four years at Marian, and definitely count my experience with the English department as one of my greatest "takeaways" from my Marian experience.” – Maria Archie, Muskego High School (‘10)

“After graduating, I was very fortunate to obtain a full-time teaching position. None of the accomplishments and choices I have made would have been possible without the support of Marian faculty. I needed the smaller classrooms and the accountability those smaller classrooms placed on student performance.” Samantha Thomas, Omro High School (‘09)
I’m working in the fraud department in the headquarters of a large company. “It really requires a lot of linguistic skills; you have to be persuasive with your writing on a regular basis.” Andrea Klitzke (‘11)

“I am a tracker at Quad Graphics. When others in the office don't know how to word something, they come to me. And as an alumni, I wouldn't trade any part of my Marian experience for the world. – Sarah Arnold (‘08)

“My English degree contributes to my current career as the Vice President of a digital marketing agency as it gave me a foundation in copy / content writing, blogging, PR, SEO, and branding which are all needed in my industry. Plus I wrote a novel under a nom de plume, and just released it under my own publishing company. – Desiree Hopesky (‘93)

Ponder, Justin

Justin Ponder, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor & Chair
English Department

Jerry Burns

Jerry Burns, Ph.D.
English Department

Walser, John

John Walser, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
English Department

Jodi Wagner-Angell

Jodi Wagner-Angell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
English Department

Christina Kubasta

Christina Kubasta, M.F.A.
Assistant Professor
English Department

Jennifer Escher, M.A.
Part-time per Course Faculty
English Department

Terena Kleckner, M.Ed.
Part-time per Course Faculty
English Department

Lisa Marchetta, M.A.
Part-time per Course Faculty
English Department

Merle Alix, M.A.
Part-Time per Course Faculty
English Department


Fun Fact

Marian University is led by a Board of Trustees, consisting of more than 20 individuals who are passionate about furthering the future of Marian University (Source: Academic Bulletin, 2013-2014).

Campus Info

Marian University
45 S. National Ave.
Fond du Lac, WI 54935-4699


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