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The Department of English and Creative Writing is distinguished for its excellence in teaching and research. Our faculty specialize in Anglophone literary and cultural traditions across a millennium, with interdisciplinary connections to film and media studies, philosophy, history, women’s and sexuality studies, fine arts, and other fields. We offer courses on everything from canonical figures in British and American literature to graphic literature, gaming, digital scholarship, medical humanities, ecocriticism, queer studies, and other innovative areas. English students and faculty at TU are a community of scholars and artists devoted to an expansive range of established and burgeoning approaches to literary studies.
Our undergraduate programs in English and Creative Writing feature seminar-style classes that provide students with many of the skills desired by employers in today’s economy. These include the ability to analyze complex ideas; to work in creative and collaborative settings across cultures, genres, and styles; and to communicate effectively and professionally. We pride ourselves on our small class sizes (usually 15-20 students), which allow us to complement lectures with discussion and close collaborations between students and faculty.
Some of our undergraduates have pursued graduate studies in not only English and creative writing, but also law, medicine, business, and media. Others have gone on to highly successful careers in public service as well as private industry, including teaching, writing, publishing, communications, and much more. The beauty of English studies is that it opens a student up to a multitude of career options.
Our graduate programs, leading to M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, are known especially for the close collaboration between students and faculty, for the depth of resources available to students in several areas of study, and for the many opportunities for training and development in teaching.
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Our undergraduate majors can specialize in literature or creative writing, or work with their advisors to design a stream of study that best reflects their interests. Creative writing students focus on literary technique, style, form, genre, and the Anglo-American literary tradition while developing as poets, writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and performance-based work. Literature students, likewise, have opportunities for coursework in creative writing as a complement to their work across literary periods.
There are many more opportunities beyond the classroom. Two renowned scholarly journals, James Joyce Quarterly and Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, are based in the department, providing many of our graduate students with editorial experience. The Modernist Journals Project, a digital archive of early-twentieth-century literary magazines, is a flagship resource in modernism that offers assistantship opportunities for graduate students and internships for undergraduates. Our department is also home to Nimrod, an international journal of new poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and Stylus, a literary and fine arts journal run by our undergraduates. We enjoy close ties to programs in theatre and music, as well as art, media studies, foreign languages, and history. Every year we host prominent visiting artists, authors, and guest lecturers, and our faculty members regularly organize conferences both on campus and in the city.
Our students have access to numerous mentorship and internship programs. These provide valuable exposure to many facets of the professional world. The Tulsa Artist Fellowship mentorship program, a collaboration between TAF and the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, matches TU students with TAF writers for one-on-one work that offers both artistic feedback and professional guidance into the writing and publishing industry. In addition to the MJP, our scholarly journals offer several undergraduate internships, as does the Office of Strategic Marketing & Communication.
With the writing and thinking skills they develop during their time with us, English and Creative Writing alumni typically find rewarding jobs in a wide range of occupations, many of them beyond what is traditionally considered the career path of English or creative writing. More broadly, college graduates with degrees in English have been shown to be among the most successful professionals in the business world across the duration of their careers.