Department of English

About | Academic Programs | Highlights | Career Opportunities | Student Organizations and Activities | Internships | Scholarships | Courses 


Helena Halmari

Robert Adams, Kimberly Bell, Tracy Bilsing, Brian Blackburne, Bill Bridges, Paul ChildLee Courtney, Michael Demson, Robert Donahoo, Diane Dowdey, Julie Hall, Darci Hill, Scott Kaukonen, Douglas Krienke, Nick Lantz, Melissa Morphew, Audrey Murfin, Carroll Nardone, Jason Payton, Deborah Phelps, Paul Ruffin, April Shemak, Kandi Tayebi, Gene Young, Linda Webster


English forms the cornerstone of the humanities. In a variety of courses in literature, writing, and the English language, English students find a source of personal enrichment, and they develop verbal, analytic, and cultural skills readily adaptable to a variety of careers. English students learn to write with grace and precision, to read and analyze texts with accuracy, to conduct research and organize a welter of materials, to speak and listen well--in short, to sharpen their critical thinking and critical inquiry skills. These skills are highly valued by prospective employers. When our graduates leave with a degree in English, they are prepared for career opportunities or advanced study in literature and language, technical and professional communication, teaching, and/or creative writing.

Contact Information
Evans Building 458


Academic Programs

English, MA
Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing, MFA


  • The English Department focuses on good teaching, featuring a Minnie Stevens Piper Teaching Award winner, a Distinguished Professor, and numerous Sam Houston State University Teaching Excellence Award winners.
  • Faculty actively publish in national and international journals, win national literary awards, and serve as editors and co-editors of scholarly journals such as The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review and The Journal of Finnish Studies.
  • Nationally recognized writers are brought to campus each year to read their works to students and discuss the writing and publishing process. Such writers have included Tim O'Brien, Larry McMurtry, Richard Bausch, George Garrett, X.J. Kennedy, Galway Kinnell, Allison Joseph, Maurice Kilwein, Marilyn Nelson, and Alex Lemon.
  • Students are provided opportunities to publish and present their writing and to enter writing contests (like the Academy of American Poets Prize). Numerous students have published works in regional and national journals.
  • Students have the opportunity to write technical documents for non-profit and other community groups.

Career Opportunities

Students who earn a Master's degree in English find themselves well-prepared for further graduate study, junior college teaching, and enriched secondary teaching as well as publishing, editing, and professional writing.

Student Organizations and Activities

Students in English may participate in many activities that will enrich their graduate experience and support the courses they take. These include the following:

  • Teaching Assistantships provide opportunities for students to teach college-level writing courses. A limited number of Research Assistantships are also offered.
  • Scholarly and Creative Writing Colloquia provide students with the opportunity to present their work.

Internships and Study Abroad

  • Texas Review Press - Students have the opportunity to serve as interns at Texas Review Press. Interns are involved in a variety of tasks, ranging from charting the development of a manuscript to evaluating submissions to the literary journal.
  • The Texas Review is a nationally recognized literary magazine that, twice a year, publishes fiction, poetry, nonfiction prose, and reviews by writers from around the world. Qualifying graduate students have the opportunity to serve as interns while working as members of the Review and Press staff.
  • A graduate exchange program with the English Department at the University of Turku, Finland, provides students with an opportunity to study abroad for either a semester or a full year and transfer coursework toward their SHSU degree.


  • Donald L. Stalling Graduate Scholarship in English
  • Texas Review Press Creative Writing Scholarship

Several scholarships are available for outstanding students. Please see the Department Chair and/or the Department's website for more information. Information on University scholarships may be obtained from the Office of Academic Scholarships website at or telephone 936.294.1672.


English (ENGL)

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