English Major

The English major at Simpson College, based in a combination of literature and writing courses, is one of the most empowering of liberal arts majors, offering you the flexibility to prepare for a wide range of careers and graduate programs, including business, journalism, and law school.


  • As an English major at Simpson you will become acquainted with the great variety of entertaining and engaging writing that makes up our literary heritage. Works covered in our course offerings range from the Greek and Roman classics to texts from the major periods of English and American literature to the most influential recent graphic novels.
  • In class, you will explore writing by people representing the rich diversity of culture and identity of our country and our world. You will  learn about the political and social backgrounds that influence literature; study the ideas that have shaped humanity. You will use what you read and write as tools to forge your own ideas and values.
  • You will benefit from the instruction of published, award-winning scholars and creative writers. Numerous guest authors and lecturers visit campus each year to share their work and insights.

I would say the Simpson College English Department can take you further than you could have dreamed of going. It’s a great place to learn more about your passion from professors who are so passionate about it as well.

Kyle McKim

Jobs and Internships

  • College instructors
  • The Des Moines Register
  • Farm Bureau
  • Fulbright Fellows
  • High school teachers
  • Meredith Publishing Corporation
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Wells Fargo

Graduate Schools

  • Butler University
  • Drake University
  • City University London
  • Iowa State University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Colorado - Boulder
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Memphis
  • University of Minnesota at Mankato
  • University of Missouri - St. Louis
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Nebraska - Omaha
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • University of Oregon
  • Virginia Commonwealth

Course Requirements

One course from the following:
  • Eng 202 Fiction Writing
  • Eng 203 Poetry Writing
  • Eng 204 Nonfiction Writing
One course from the following:
  • Eng 209 British Literature I
  • Eng 210 British Literature II
One course from the following:
  • Eng 212 U.S. Literature I
  • Eng 213 U.S. Literature II
One pre-1800 course (if a student has already taken an early British or U.S. survey, he or she must choose an additional pre-1800 course; also, English 116 will not fulfill credit toward the pre-1800 requirement)
One ethnic U.S./global literature course
Four additional courses (two of which must be at the 300-level)
Senior Project Capstone