Student studying outside on campus

College of Arts & Sciences



Amy Sneegas

Assistant, Department of Humanities & University Ministry

What is an English degree?


The study of English takes an in-depth approach to reading and writing to help you develop critical thinking and analytical skills. But at its heart, a degree in English is about the art of communication as you explore the power of language across time periods, genres, and cultures.

Whether you’re interested in classic literature, cultural studies, or creative writing, as an English major, you’ll build real-world skills like clear and concise writing, understanding nuance, and communicating effectively with well-thought-out ideas. All these easily translate to the jobs of the future.

Why study English at Baker University?

As an English major at Baker, you’ll choose from three concentrations: creative writing, literature, or certification to be an English teacher at the middle or secondary level. Each concentration shares the common goal of developing confidence in your ability to read and interpret a variety of genres, as well as write cohesively and concisely in a way that appeals to your intended audience.

From memoirs and poetry to fiction and film studies, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from published writers and award-winning faculty. Students also have the chance to submit their own work to Baker’s annual arts and literature journal, Watershed.

A minor in English pairs well with just about any major. Students who minor come from a range of disciplines: psychology, history, and sociology. And it provides strong communication skills that enhance in a career in business, science, or health care.

Female teacher working at desk

Jobs for English majors

The ability to communicate effectively is a highly marketable skill and will open you up to a variety of exciting and rewarding jobs:

  • Journalist
  • English teacher
  • Copy editor
  • Social media manager
  • Production assistant
  • Paralegal
  • Public relations manager
  • Grant writer
  • Technical writer
  • Content manager

English Course Descriptions


English Majors

The Department of Humanities gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following years tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Humanities
  • Dr. Irene Murphy Memorial Scholarship
  • Etta and Orin Murphy Scholarship
  • Kahle Endowed Scholarship
  • The Moorman Prize for Prose Writing
  • The Moorman Prize for Poetry Writing
  • Jefferson-Greiner Scholarship

Creative Writing Scholarship

Baker University offers talent-based scholarships to students who plan to be involved in the Department of English and contribute to  Watershed, our creative writing journal. Writing samples are required in addition to the scholarship application.

Creative Writing Scholarship Application

Meet the English Faculty


Marti Mihalyi

Assistant Professor of English, Writer-in-Residence

B.A. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, M.F.A. Bowling Green State University

Expertise: poetry, creative nonfiction, contemporary American poetry, teacher education (K-university) for sites of the National Writing Project

Office: Case 308

Dr. Joanne Nystrom Janssen

Professor of English

B.A. Bethel University, M.A. Ball State University, Ph.D. University of Iowa

Expertise: British literature, 19th century literature and culture, periodical culture, postcolonial and world literature

Office: Case 305C


Dr. Tamara Slankard

Professor of English

B.A. Belmont University, M.A. University of Tulsa, Ph.D. and Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Expertise: American literature, modernism, women’s and gender studies, cultural studies

Office: Case 305E