Why study English?

Those who study English become better writers, editors and critical thinkers who are not only prepared for editorial or academic careers, but also for work in law, business and government — because the curiosity and critical thinking skills of an English major are in high demand for a wide range of careers.

  • Seminars and writing workshops in poetry, fiction, drama and creative nonfiction emphasize small group work, feedback and the writing process.
  • Classroom seminars are creative, whether that means participating in a mock trial of Hamlet, throwing a birthday party for John Milton or examining Civil War artifacts while reading the poetry of Walt Whitman.
  • In-class workshops host guest writers like Tim O’Brien, Brian Turner and Linda Hasselstrom.
English major reading

English & Journalism at AU

Course Descriptions

Major Map


Related Program of Study




Latest News

Augustana University has added a gender, sexuality & women’s studies (GSWS) minor as of Aug. 30. The minor is another offering within the university’s list of interdisciplinary academic programs developed as part of Augustana’s strategic plan Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030.

The Augustana Student Association (ASA) asks fellow students to nominate their favorite AU faculty member for the ASA Faculty of the Year Award — given for excellence in teaching and distinguished service to the students of Augustana University. This year, ASA’s Curriculum Committee honored three faculty members.

Augustana’s Arthur Olsen Student Research Symposium is an annual gathering that fosters and celebrates student research at the university. This year, for the first time, the symposium — set to take place on Saturday, April 15 — will showcase the research and writing produced in AU’s First-Year Seminar (FYS) Program.


Dan Gerling Teaching


Career opportunities include becoming a creative writer, journalist, librarian, lawyer, technical writer and editor and public relations coordinator. Graduates also pursue publishing, advertising and business.

Hands-On Learning

Internship opportunities include:

  • Avera or Sanford Health
  • 605 Magazine
  • Dakota News Now or KELO News
  • South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks’ Outdoor Campus
  • South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB)

Sioux Falls has many opportunities to participate in readings and other literary activities off campus, as well as field trips to nearby sites that are prominent in national and regional literature, including South Dakota’s Native American reservations.

English students study away in:

  • Barcelona, Spain — focusing on colonialism, identity and modernism with AU faculty
  • Scotland — focusing on its stories and scenes with AU faculty
  • England — focusing on Londinium and Brexit with AU faculty
  • New Zealand — focusing on cultural identity with AU faculty
  • Cuba — focusing on race, gender and revolution with AU faculty
  • Northern Ireland — focusing on the United Kingdom and reconciliation with AU faculty

Courses & Organizations

Students can choose to study these emphases:

  • Literature & critical thinking
  • Creative & professional writing

Students are encouraged to consider a double major in English and journalism because the department works as a unit with many overlapping requirements.

Professors teach diversity in writing, including:

  • Traditional British and American literature
  • Emerging voices of women and people of color
  • Classic and contemporary literary talents of India, China, Japan, Russia, Ireland and the Middle East

English students often participate in: