Language and Literature Department

The Language and Literature Department helps students develop a mastery of the English language and an understanding of the aesthetic and moral value of literature. Through literature, one has the opportunity to plumb the variety of human experience, to be transported to worlds yet unknown, and to reflect on those dimensions of life that provide portals of insight into our shared humanity.

The mission of the English Department is to provide students at the University of Dubuque writing and reading competencies, critical and analytical thinking skills, and literature-based insights and examination of values. 


The Language and Literature Department's objectives are that students will: 

  • Write prose that is structurally and logically coherent.
  • Communicate in a rhetorically effective manner.
  • Read varied texts with a high level of comprehension.
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in critical and analytical thinking.
  • Develop and demonstrate an understanding of literature’s aesthetic value.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the formal features of works of literature contribute to their meaning and aesthetic impact.
  • Use literature to gain insight into the human condition.
  • Understand the conventions of English grammar and use them effectively.

Graduates with an English major may find careers in education (certification required), technical writing, publishing, or journalism; continue their study at the graduate level in English, communications specialties, library or information science, or law; or seek out positions not directly related to the field of English, but which utilize many of the skills fostered by the English curriculum. For students who intend careers in administration, government, law, education, and consumer public-contact roles, a background in English is particularly helpful.

For all students, the study of communication and literature provides insights into the human condition-- past, present, and future. Furthermore, such study develops analytical thinking and writing skills along with creativity and aesthetic sensibility, all of which are necessary in professional and personal life. Many students choose to combine an English major with another major.