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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 Child, Linda Cook, Lee Courtney, Michael Demson, Robert Donahoo, Diane Dowdey, Julie Hall, Darci Hill, Scott Kaukonen, Douglas Krienke, Andrew Lopenzina, Melissa Morphew, Carroll Nardone, Ralph Pease, Deborah Phelps, Paul Ruffin, April Shemak, Kandi Tayebi, Gene Young

The Department of English strives to provide students with opportunities to grow as learners and as individuals. Students in the English Program may, through study of literature, gain an awareness and knowledge of themselves and their contemporary world. Other English students combine their cultural interests with specific vocational objectives, such as professional writing, teaching, or pre-professional training for law, business, or medicine.

Contact Information
Evans Building 458


Academic Programs

Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing, MFA

English, MA


  • 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 of scholarly journals.

  • 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 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. Numerous students have published works in regional and national journals.

  • Academy of American Poets Prize - Students compete for a poetry writing prize judged by a nationally recognized poet.

  • Students have the opportunity to write technical documents for non-profit and other community groups.

Career Opportunities

When graduates leave SHSU with a degree in English, they are prepared for career opportunities or advanced study in teaching, technical and professional communication, journalism, government service, editing, scholarly and trade publishing, law, and business.

Student Organizations and Activities

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

  • Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, invites junior and senior English majors and minors to become members of this prestigious national organization, with membership in the society recorded on the student's transcript. Sigma Tau Delta is an active student organization, sponsoring an annual food drive and readings throughout the school year. Applications for Sigma Tau Delta are available in the English office.

  • The Writer's Forum provides opportunities for all SHSU students to publish their writing.

  • The Sam Houston State Review is a literary magazine that publishes the writing of SHSU students. The Review staff consists of SHSU students working closely with a faculty advisor.

  • 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. Texas Review Press sponsors the publication of twelve to fifteen books a year, including works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction prose. Students have the opportunity to serve as interns while working as members of the Review and Press staff.

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.

  • Internships in business and industry may be available for qualified students enrolled in the Writing Option.

  • A student 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 graduate coursework toward their SHSU degree.


  • Donald L. Stalling Graduate Scholarship in English
  • Texas Review Press Creative Writing Scholarship (Open to undergraduate and graduate students)

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 www.shsu.edu/scholarships or telephone 936.294.1672.


English (ENGL)

English Course Blocks

The English graduate curriculum is organized into five blocks, each comprising courses with shared topics or historical kinship; the student takes at least one class from each block.

Block 1
English Language and Linguistics; Early and Middle English Literature:
ENG 577 <ENGL 5377> Studies in Early and Middle English Literature
ENG 583 <ENGL 5383> Studies in English Linguistics
ENG 589 <ENGL 5389> History and Development of the English Language
Block 2
Literary Criticism and Theory; Rhetoric and Composition; Pedagogy; Creative Writing; Technical and Professional Writing:
ENG 531 <ENGL 5331> Creative Writing: Fiction
ENG 532 <ENGL 5332> Creative Writing: Poetry
ENG 533 <ENGL 5333> Practicum: Editing and Publishing
ENG 535 <ENGL 5335> Workshop in Teaching Writing
ENG 567 <ENGL 5367> Practicum in Teaching College Composition
ENG 568 <ENGL 5368> Literary Criticism and Theory
ENG 584 <ENGL 5384> Studies in Rhetoric and Composition Theory
ENG 590 <ENGL 5390> Studies in Technical and Professional Writing
Block 3
The Classical Tradition; Renaissance and Seventeenth-Century British Literature; Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature; American Literature before 1800:
ENG 572 <ENGL 5372> Early American Literature
ENG 575 <ENGL 5375> Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature
ENG 576 <ENGL 5376> The Classical Tradition
ENG 578 <ENGL 5378> Studies in Renaissance and Seventeenth-Century Literature
Block 4
Nineteenth-Century British and American Literature:
ENG 579 <ENGL 5379> Studies in Romantic Literature
ENG 580 <ENGL 5380> Studies in Victorian Literature
ENG 585 <ENGL 5385> Studies in American Literature, 1800-1860
ENG 586 <ENGL 5386> Studies in American Literature, 1860-1920
Block 5
Twentieth- and Twenty-first-Century Literature in English:
ENG 571 <ENGL 5371> Studies in Modern World Literature
ENG 581 <ENGL 5381> Studies in Twentieth-Century English Literature
ENG 587 <ENGL 5387> Studies in American Literature, 1920-the Present

Note: Some English courses may be distributed into various blocks, depending upon the choice of topics and a professor’s emphasis during a given term. These include ENG 569 <ENGL 5369> Studies in the Novel (Blocks 3, 4, and 5), ENG 570 <ENGL 5370> Studies in Multicultural Literature (Blocks 4 and 5), ENG 574 <ENGL 5374> Studies in Women's Literature (Blocks 4 and 5), and ENG 588 <ENGL 5388> The Study of Major Figures in American Poetry (Blocks 4 and 5).

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