Program Overview

The English program at Canisius offers an array of literary experiences in both reading and writing. English majors study the whole range of literature, both fiction and non-fiction, from medieval epic and romance to contemporary novels, poems, and plays. In addition to critical analysis of literature, students may take courses in creative writing, writing theory, and business writing (see Writing Minors below).  We also offer a creative writing major and honors seminars that lead to graduation with English honors.


  • Theater Arts – a five-course sequence that includes course work in acting and production, as well as in dramatic literature.
  • Writing – a five-course program that includes writing theory and practice in various contexts and workshops with experienced writers.
  • Creative writing – a five-course program that gives students the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of writing stories, poems, essays and plays, and to hone their technique in a small workshop setting.
  • Literature – a six-course program that includes the study of American and British Literature, Shakespeare and writing.

Dual Majors

Students may also complete a dual major with English and another discipline, such as communications, history, political science, modern languages, psychology, art history or music, or a dual major in creative writing and English.

English 101: Writing about Literature – Freshman Core Curriculum requirement

The English Department strives to create a community of readers and writers able to think and to act in responsible, enlightened, and informed ways. Through the study of a range of texts and literatures, students engage in the ongoing debates central to an understanding of society and the self.  We are committed to making English 101 a valuable part of each student’s experience at Canisius.

English Honors

English Honors is a flexible program designed to offer interested and motivated English majors the chance to earn the English honors designation by participating in innovative seminars and working with a faculty mentor in the writing of an original thesis.

The program requires three courses: two seminars and a thesis. The seminars are unique courses, limited in enrollment, designed by faculty around especially engaging questions, topics, and texts. Some are interdisciplinary; some involve both critical and creative writing; others are organized around a particular period, theme, critical approach, or major writer. Visit the English Honors page to read more about English honors and to see a list of previous seminars and student theses.