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Books in Leatherby LibraryBecause literature is one of the oldest and most human of activities, the Department of English encourages students to read with sensitivity and intellectual rigor, to write with clarity and creativity, and to find relevance to their own lives and the lives of others in humankind's literary record.

We offer a wide array of coursework in creative writing, journalism, literature, and rhetoric and composition. Creative writers take courses in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, as well as in literature. Journalists take courses in reporting and writing, new media, editing, and literature. Literary scholars study literature of different periods, different genres, and various topics and authors. All English students are encouraged to complete internships in their field of interest.

The conversation among English students and faculty extends beyond the classroom, too. The department supports an active chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (English Honors Society), Elephant Tree (student literary journal), The Panther (student newspaper,) and Prowl (student online magazine).

The John Fowles Center for Creative Writing and Tabula Poetica: The Center for Poetry at Chapman University host annual reading series that bring writers from around the world and around our neighborhood to the campus to interact with students. Recent visiting writers include Salman Rushdie, Rae Armantrout, Elizabeth George, Allison Joseph, Willis Barnstone, and many more. We invite you to explore the website to gain a better understanding of the opportunities we offer.

Graduates with degrees in English have gone onto a variety of careers including copyediting, advertising, software development, teaching, news reporting, and, of course, writing for publication. A degree in English has wide application, and faculty and advisors are happy to talk with students about graduate programs and future career options.

  • Undergraduate Degrees
  • Undergraduate Minors
  • Graduate Degrees
  • Professor Tom Zoellner lectures a group of students.
    Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English

    The B.A. degree is earned under the guidance of faculty advisors. BA students complete a program in one of two areas of study: literature or journalism. Each student is required to complete 15 credits of core classes in addition to 27 credits of elective courses.

    Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Creative Writing

    The B.F.A. degree combines literature courses and writing workshops to explore students’ talents as creative writers. It includes a focus on the study of important literary works.

    For further information, visit one of the links below:

  • Student works in the Student Union

    Minor in Digital Imaging & Design

    This minor requires a total of 24 credits in English and Art Department courses that explore the practice, history, and theory of design, photography, videography, editing, and journalism. At least 12 of these credits must be upper division. The minor is open to all students except those earning a B.A. or B.F.A in English, those minoring in Journalism, or those seeking a B.F.A. in Art or Graphic Design. To view a list of courses, visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

    Minor in English

    This minor requires a total of 18 credits in English courses above ENG 104, with at least 9 upper-division credits. It may be combined with any undergraduate major outside the Department of English. To view a list of courses, visit the Undergraduate Catalog.


    Minor in Journalism

    This minor requires a total of 21 credits in English courses above ENG 104, with at least 12 upper-division credits. It may be combined with any undergraduate major outside the Department of English. To view a list of courses, visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

    Minor in Writing & Rhetoric

    This minor requires a total of 21 credits in English, 15 of which must be upper division courses. Students will gain a foundational understanding of the field of rhetorical studies, and explore a variety of methodological approaches to the study of language and writing. To view a list of courses, visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

    Minor in a Particular Area of Study

    Students who wish to design a minor focused on a particular area of study must speak with an advisor in the English Department. For a referral to an appropriate advisor, contact the Department Office.

    For further information, visit one of the links below:

  • Wilkinson College currently offers three master’s level degrees in English: an MFA in creative writing, an MA in English, and a dual degree in English and creative writing.

    Master of Arts (M.A.) in English

    The M.A. degree is designed for students seeking continuing education, a foundation for doctoral work (Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D.), and/or a credential qualifying them to teach literature and composition courses at junior and community colleges.

    Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing 

    The M.F.A. is a terminal degree in creative writing. Many M.F.A. graduates teach at two- and four-year colleges, publish their work, or go on to professional careers in writing and editing. The M.F.A. program at Chapman fosters the growth of fiction writers and poets through workshops, techniques courses, literature courses, The John Fowles Reading SeriesTabula Poetica: Poetry Center at Chapman University, and the literary journal Elephant Tree.

    Dual M.A./M.F.A. Degree 

    The dual degree combines the M.F.A. and the M.A. The dual degree combines the practice and study of creative writing with literary scholarship. It is designed for students who intend to pursue a career in teaching English and creative writing at the university, community college or secondary-school level.

    Click here for more information about these degrees, including admission deadlines and requirements.

    Obtain your graduate degree with just ONE additional year of study! You’ll be able to complete both your bachelor’s and master’s degree in just five years, 4  years of undergrad study + 1 year of graduate work. 

    Programs offered:

    4+1 Integrated Undergraduate/Master of Arts in English

    4+1 Integrated Undergraduate/Dual MA in English and MFA in Creative Writing

    Requirements for the 4+1 programs are:

    Must be an undergraduate student with 90+ units of undergrad coursework completed, and a cumulative GPA of 3.0+

    Apply during your junior year or 1st semester of your senior year

    Submit an online application through Apply Yourself

    • 2 letters of rec
    • Resume
    • Statement of Intent
    • Supporting docs (English: Critical Essay, Creative Writing: Creative Portfolio, or Dual: both)

    A max of 12 units at the 500 level will be double counted as undergrad and grad coursework

    Contact Information:

    Program Coordinator: Mark Axelrod, Axelrod@chapman.edu, 714-997-6586
    Graduate Admission Counselor: Krystle Hobson, khobson@chapman.edu, 714-997-6711