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.  As an English major, you’ll 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 you 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 you to select the books you’ll explore in certain classes through a student-created syllabus. Doing so helps drive the inclusion of diverse voices. The English degree culminates in a Senior Capstone that focuses on a subject area of your choosing.

Featured Minor Offering – Creative Writing

The study of literature and creative writing are intimately and inextricably linked, but the creative writing minor will provide an avenue for those interested in this form of original expression to develop their passion and skills with the goal of developing as artists and communicators. Creative writers learn to recognize the technical features of literature and replicate or modify them in their own writing.

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.

“Finlandia prepared me for my career by helping me form the kernel of interest that would eventually become my Creative Writing focus, and by providing me with mentors who took a truly active approach toward my studies by always encouraging me to read more, write more, and learn more whenever possible.”

Max Malone ('14)

The Degree

Progress Sheet

The Classes

Course Descriptions


2022 Campus Read Writing Contest winners to be named at community event April 19

April 06, 2022

Finlandia University Campus Read and Helsinki Slang present: A Common Place: Remembering, Imagining, Healing

Finlandia’s Campus Read and Helsinki Slang communities invite all to attend A Common Place: Remembering, Imagining, Healing on Tuesday, April 19. The free event will start at 4 p.m. at the Chapel of St. Matthew where the winners of the 2022 Campus Read Writing Contest will be announced. For anyone interested in sharing their work, an open mic will be provided.

“This is a great opportunity for people […] Read More

Campus Read Artwork
2022 Campus Read Writing Contest now open, deadline March 11

February 15, 2022

In conjunction with our Campus Read author and text (Joy Harjo, An American Sunrise), we offer the 2022 Campus Read Writing Contest.

Joy Harjo is the incumbent Poet Laureate of the United States. A member of the Muscogee Nation, Harjo’s work often recalls the legacy of forced removal, and the “Trail of Tears” which saw her people driven from the Southeast U.S. to Oklahoma. In keeping with this topic, the theme of the Writing Contest is “displacement,” broadly understood. Works […] Read More

Dr. Dekker gives insight into upcoming “Organizing with Dr. King” open classroom seminar

March 10, 2021

As part of the Spring 2021 Campus Read Anti-Racist Open Classroom Series, Assistant Professor of English Dr. Carolyn Dekker will be opening up her African American Literature class to the public. The topic of Dr. Dekker’s class will focus on “Organizing with Dr. King“. Students have been reading excerpts from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s book, Why We Can’t Wait. They looked at “Bull Connor’s Birmingham,” “A New Day in Birmingham,” and the famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

“The format […] 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.



Fill out the form below and our staff will be in touch with you shortly to help you schedule a visit, start your application process or answer questions!

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Faculty and Staff

Carolyn Dekker

Associate Professor, English


Cassandra Hill, Ph.D.

Dean & Associate Professor of Communication


Mark Lounibos

Associate Professor, English


Mariana Nakashima

Administrative Assistant ISB - SCAS