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From the Chair

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John Ernest

Welcome to the Department of English at the University of Delaware. If you are in a position to visit us in person, you will find us in Memorial Hall, one of the university's most beautiful and prominent buildings – located at the center of the Green, the centerpiece of the University of Delaware's historic campus. If you can visit us only online, then please explore our website, and let me know if I can answer any questions for you.

It's appropriate that the English Department is located at the center of the university's Green, for this is where everything comes together. In the English Department, you will be able to draw from a broad range of courses in creative and professional writing, literature, film, cultural studies, and journalism to design your own major – one suited to the goals you have set for yourself – and you will prepare yourself to adapt to and thrive in a changing world. When other professions come and go with changing trends and economic shifts, those with the ability to communicate effectively and read analytically, on the page or on the web, will continue to thrive.

In addition to the English Major, we offer a strong English Education Major that prepares students to be NCATE-certified secondary education teachers of English, and we offer as well a five-year program that leads to an M.A. degree in Teaching English as a Second Language, with great opportunities for teaching in the U.S.A. and abroad. 

The Graduate Program offers the Ph.D. in English. Admission is highly competitive and all of our graduate students receive full funding through teaching assistantships. If you are admitted into our program, you will receive extensive training in teaching and you will have opportunities to work with some of the most accomplished and prominent scholars in the field. Explore our website and you will find our graduate students' dissertation topics and excellent publication and job placement records.

As you can see, the English Department offers a number of different options for interested students – but when I said that everything comes together in the English Department, I didn't mean simply that we offer a variety of programs. Throughout your life, you will discover that those who enjoy the most influential and satisfying lives are those who understand how to read and interpret their worlds, those who can express themselves thoughtfully and purposefully in any situation they face, professional or personal. 

Once you have studied in the English Department, if you do your work appropriately and well, you will discover that you are never at a loss in life, thanks to the analytical and imaginative work you have done in your literature class, reading a novel that captures the complexity of social life; or in a professional writing class, guiding the operations of a complex business; or in a creative writing class, creating new ways of seeing and understanding that open up possibilities when everything seems closed; or in any of the many classes we offer. 

We live by stories, and we live expansive lives in direct proportion to the worlds we are prepared to interpret and articulate for ourselves and others. The stories you will live depend upon the stories you are prepared to read, tell, revise, and redirect over time. Here in the English Department, we can help you prepare to live a rich and satisfying life. Whether you are a potential student or a life-long friend of our department, we hope you will join us in our ongoing explorations of the expressive cultures that shape our lives and our worlds.

I welcome your interest in English at UD. Please let me know if I can be of any help.

John Ernest

jrernest@udel.edu 

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From the Chair
  • Department of English
  • 203 Memorial Hall
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2361
  • english@udel.edu