Arts & Sciences


Language is power with a Bachelor of Arts in English

The world needs storytellers and critical thinkers. The English major fills that need.


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Stories are a window into what is most important for people and studying literature will help carry you through your life and human relationships. English majors study literature from a range of periods and cultures in a variety of genres and forms, and also practice both creative and analytical writing.  Students develop sophisticated critical reading, writing and speaking skills, cross-cultural fluency, and a firm grounding in the humanistic traditions of moral, intellectual and artistic work. A critical thinker can go into any field, but students who go into English are responding to the opportunity to tell their stories and respond to those of others.  


The English major is built around a core of survey courses, but students have the opportunity to customize the electives to pursue the types of literature they are most interested in. Also unique to FinnU’s English program is the ability for students to select the books they’ll explore in certain classes through a student-created syllabus. Doing so helps drive the inclusion of diverse voices. The English major culminates in a Senior Capstone that focuses on a subject area of the student’s choosing.

English student

carolyn dekker english


The small student-to-faculty ratio provides strong opportunities for mentorship and honing communication skills that can lead to a variety of different career paths.

English majors work in writing, editing, print and digital publishing, as well as education, business, politics and social services.  The English major is also excellent preparation for graduate school in education, the humanities or law school.


There are a number of student groups and activities on campus that appeal directly to English majors and storytellers.


Every year, students, faculty, staff and the community come together around a single book.The author visits campus to give a reading and engage in dialogue with classes and student groups.


The Helsinki Slang Literary Magazine is written and edited by students. The students who work on the magazine enjoy creative writing and sharing their work.


Write-ins provide students and faculty a time to focus solely on writing and obtain feedback on their writing. Join the faculty and fellow students in the library every November as they participate in a write-in and celebrate the joys of writing as a community.

The Degree

Progress Sheet

The Classes

Course Descriptions


FinnU To Offer Creative Writing Minor Starting Fall 2020

December 12, 2019

Starting Fall 2020 students who are interested in creative writing will now be able to declare creative writing as a minor.

The creative writing minor is composed of five core classes that focus on fiction writing, poetry, creative non-fiction, a creative writing portfolio and contemporary literature.  Along with these core classes, students are asked to choose from one of three different elective courses. Students can choose from a creative writing internship, the Philosophy of Self course, where students will write […] Read More

Campus Read 2019 Tackles Climate Change with Author Katya Gordon

September 24, 2019

Katya Gordon of Sea Change Expeditions will be the featured author for the 2019 Finlandia University Campus Read.

“The committee was intrigued by Katya Gordon’s local approach to climate activism and the similarity of her Two Harbors community on the Minnesota shoreline of Lake Superior to ours,”  Assistant Professor of English Dr. Carolyn Dekker said. “We hope her visit can help energize campus and local conversations and actions around climate change and sustainability.” 

Gordon will be […] Read More

Suomi College of Arts & Sciences Invites All to Senior Capstone Presentations

April 22, 2019

The time of year has come for Finlandia University seniors to begin wrapping up their studies, and begin to think about the future. Suomi College of Arts & Sciences (SCAS) seniors will be presenting on their capstones Thursday, May 2 in Wargelin Hall in Classroom 303.

SCAS Capstones are projects theorized, researched, completed and presented upon by senior students here at FinnU. For the last few years, Finlandia has opened its doors and welcomed anyone to come for the presentations.

The college […] Read More


  • Global Perspective: Identify, summarize and classify significant works of literature and explain their importance within a global framework.
  • Analytic and Critical Thinking, Communication: Produce original, sophisticated, clear and revised judgments on a range of literary texts and topics.
  • Personal Perspective, Global Perspective, Analytic and Critical Thinking: Summarize and analyze the reception of various texts in both their own period and the present. Relate the texts and their reception to relevant issues and themes.
  • Creative Insight: Formulate and use interdisciplinary approaches to synthesize and produce sophisticated and novel arguments with scholarly potential.
  • Communication, Analytic and Critical Thinking: Construct and argue positions related to a range of topics in literature. Demonstrate ability to articulate the value of both the positions themselves AND the process of knowledge production and dissemination in the field of literature and writing.


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Faculty and Staff

Carolyn Dekker

Assistant Professor, English

Mark Lounibos

Associate Professor, English

Jason Oyadomari

Associate Professor of Biology & Dean of Suomi College of Arts and Sciences