“Language is not simply a reporting device for experience but a defining framework for it.”

—Benjamin Whorf

Reading, writing, and the study of literature and language lie at the heart of the department of English and Modern Languages. Since these skills are so widely applicable, a major in English will prepare you for any field that requires a disciplined imagination and a respect for language; the department offers specific emphases in literature, secondary teaching, and creative writing as well as minors in both literature and writing. Minors in Arabic, Italian, Spanish, French, and Portuguese are offered through the Adventist Colleges Abroad affiliate programs.

While the English major requires classes in literary analysis, writing, language, and American and English literature, you can structure elective classes around your special interests. Classes are small enough to invite a high level of discussion, and you will find teachers accessible both in and out of the classroom. The WWU English department offers an emphasis in literature or creative writing to help you position yourself for the professional world or graduate studies. Students in the English program have the opportunity to expand their educational experiences through a recommendation to study in Oxford, England, through two programs affiliated with Walla Walla University: The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Additionally, every other summer the department co-sponsors a history and literature study tour to the United Kingdom with the history department. The department also leads a tour to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.

Learn more about the UK Study Tour.

Internships for English majors

The department is working with local organizations and businesses to establish internships that can help English majors apply their writing and communication skills in the professional world.
Learn more about internship opportunities provided through the Student Development Center.


The department publishes the Gadfly, a literary and art journal, with submissions from students, faculty, staff, and alumni. English majors contribute to the journal as editors, assistant editors, and jurors.
Order a copy of the Gadfly.

Pegasus Club

The department sponsors the Pegasus Club for any student with an interest in literature, writing, or film.
Learn about the clubs you can join as a student at WWU.

Our students routinely obtain admittance into graduate school, law school, and medical school. They obtain jobs in fields such as teaching, law, medicine, library science, business, administration, communication and marketing, editing and publishing, technical and creative writing, counseling and social work, and the arts.