Stephen F. Austin State University


The Department of English has the responsibility of providing all SFA students courses in English that develop effective, appropriate use of English, present the literary heritage of English-speaking and other peoples, and improve the understanding of practical and literary discourse. The department also provides undergraduate and graduate programs for students in literature and the English language, which develop their critical thinking skills and ability to conduct close textual analysis. Students also work to achieve an understanding of World, British, and American literatures, including literary criticism and history, effective skills in spoken and written English, and knowledge of linguistics. Further, the department offers an undergraduate program in Creative Writing, allowing students to pursue the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Majors & Minors

Undergraduates may pursue a first major in English or major in English as a first teaching field. In addition, the department offers a program that allows students to earn secondary teacher certification for English as a second teaching field. For those who would like a second major in English, a 24-semester-hour sequence of courses fulfills that requirement. The department offers several undergraduate minors: English, Writing, Creative Writing, Children's Literature, Religious Studies, and Classical Literary Studies. These minors, which require 18-21 hours of coursework, demonstrate the department's diversity, the range of specialities and interests among faculty, and the commitment of these scholar-teachers to offer students an innovative and vital curriculum.

Candidates for a Master of Arts degree with a major in English pursue programs of study in english, literature, and creative writing.

Student Organizations

English majors and minors who have completed six hours of English literature at SFA (in addition to the freshman English requirement) and who have a grade point average of 3.00 and an overall grade point average in English of 3.00 are eligible for membership in Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society. Members meet regularly and are involved in a variety of activities, which include sponsoring scholarly talks, organizing social events, and hosting literary readings as well as career workshops for the enrichment of the department's majors and minors.

Additional Information

Faculty members advsise majors and minors individually in the Department of English. Students may choose their academic adviser-as helping students plan a fall or spring schedule is only the beginning of the academic support and mentorship the department believes it should provide. Faculty members seek to give students sound academic and career advice as they understand that college not only cultivates the "life of the mind" but also prepares undergraduates to enter professional programs such as the law, graduate school in literary studies or another discipline, and/or the workforce.

The department not only teaches but also practices Creative Writing. The Creative Writing faculty members are published authors of poetry, short stories, novels, screenplays, and creative non-fiction. What's more, the department publishes the literary journal Real which attracts poets and writers nationally. Under the direction of the magazine's editor-in-chief, undergraduate and graduate students participate in publishing the journal.

Students in the writing programs have the opportunity to select courses taught in the Laz Corley Technical Writing Classroom, a fully equipped computer-based instructional writing facility. The classroom is equipped with 28 student computers connected to a server that runs to a second "electronic" classroom, equipped for 28 students as well. These computers act as a local area network (LAN) using the most recent group and system management software.

The department has more than 200 majors and 120 minors as well as 30 graduate students.

Each year, the department awards four scholarships for English majors that are administered through the SFA Alumni Association. In addition to many successful and influential public school and community college teachers and university professors, the alumni of this department include a university president, several administrators in higher education, physicians, lawyers, business persons, computer systems specialists, technical writers, writers of fiction, public relations practicioners, and the owner of an antique book store.

For more information, contact the Department of English & Philosophy at or 936.468.2101.