Be an effective writer.

Well-versed and competent writers are essential to every industry. At Trinity, you will learn about the history of language and literature, contemporary critical theories, and how to master the discipline of the pen. Be prepared to creatively and effectively express your unique voice in any context you choose.



Our English major presents a traditional approach to literature, with a focus on British literature and additional coverage of American and World literatures. Students begin with a solid grounding in three central literary genres: Studies in Poetry, Fiction, and Drama (ENG 220, 222, 224). Building on this basis of the genres, students take a three-semester sequence of courses in British literature. Renaissance Literature (ENG 306) covers literature of the 16th and 17th centuries such as John Donne and John Milton, and Romantic Literature (ENG 310) includes the 18th and early 19th centuries, focusing on Wordsworth, Keats, and Shelley. Modern British Literature (ENG 315) continues the historical trajectory to the present, covering authors such as W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot.

To complement the study of British literature, we offer a two-semester sequence in American Literature. The first American literature survey ends at the Civil War (ENG 318: antebellum), studying authors such as Hawthorne and Melville, while the second survey covers American literature after it (ENG 320: post-bellum), including Twain and Hemingway.

Two courses feature literature in translation. Classical literature (ENG 302) focuses on Homer and Virgil, while Russian literature (ENG 317) features Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. The course in literary theory (ENG 230) engages the literary thought of several traditions, including structuralism, post-structuralism, and Russian Formalism.

Two final courses offer in-depth analysis of a particular sub-section of English. Shakespeare (ENG 406) studies great plays such as Hamlet, Othello, and Twelfth Night, while British Novel (ENG 420) tracks the development of the novel from Daniel Defoe to James Joyce.

See Required Courses



Students with English degrees from Trinity have continued into several kinds of successful careers, including public relations, business, editing, and teaching:

Public Relations

  • Brynne Krispin (BA ‘12), Social Media Marketing Manager, International Justice Mission
  • Lydia Leggett (BA ‘08), Seminar Coordinator for see Jesus: A Global Discipling Mission
  • Lisa Anderson (BA ‘93), Director of Young Adults & Host of The Boundless Show, Focus on the Family


  • Jenna Connour (BA ‘09), Senior Communications Coordinator, Waterstone Mortgage Corp. (Pewaukee, WI)
  • Justin Swanson (BA ‘07), Director of Development, College of Business Administration, University of Nebraska Foundation


  • David Eisinger (BA ‘12), Lead Design Representative, Herff Jones (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Hannah Mueller (BA ‘10), Publishing Director, Cambridge Educational Services

Secondary Education

  • Ryan Ebling (BA ‘10; MAT ‘13), English Teacher, Libertyville High School (Illinois)
  • Caleb Parnin (BA ‘08), English Teacher, Rolling Meadows High School (Illinois)

Higher Education

  • Mary Lindsey (BA ‘99), Senior Instructor, Department of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Larry Eskridge (BA ‘82), (former) Associate Director, Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, Wheaton College; author of God’s Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America (Oxford University Press, 2013), Christianity Today Book of the Year (2014).

Recent Graduate Programs

  • Andrew Koenig (BA ‘14), MFA program in English, Seattle Pacific University
  • Lyle Enright (BA ‘12), PhD program in English, Loyola University
  • Kimberly Clough (BA ‘11), PhD program in English, Texas A&M University

Graduates from Trinity’s English and English/Communication B.A. programs have also done graduate work at such places as Northwestern University, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois, University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, Northern Illinois University, University of Stirling (Scotland), and University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Career Objectives Include:

Course Title Credits
Theory Course
ENG 230 Survey of Contemporary Critical Theory 3 hours
Genre Courses
ENG 220 Studies in Poetry 3 hours
ENG 222 Studies in Fiction 3 hours
ENG 224 Studies in Drama 3 hours
Required Period Courses
ENG 306 Renaissance Literature 3 hours
ENG 310 Romantic Literature 3 hours
Period and Author Courses
Select one of the American literature courses, plus 15 additional hours 18 hours
    ENG 302 Classical Literature
    ENG 315 Modern British Literature
    ENG 317 Russian Literature
    ENG 318 American Literature I: Puritanism Through Transcendentalism
    ENG 320 American Literature II: Civil War Through Depression
    ENG 350 Topics in Literature
    ENG 406 Shakespeare
Advanced Major Course
ENG 420 Capstone Seminar in the British Novel 3 hours
Skill Course
Select one of the following 3 hours
    ENG 210X Business Communication
    ENG 240X Writing for the Media I
    ENG 336 Creative Writing
Professional Experience
ENG 444 Professional Experience * 1-4 hours
Total Hours 43-46 hours
* 1 hr minimum