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English

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English

An English degree that prepares you for the practical world.

Professional preparation that matters

Mount Mercy University’s Bachelor of Arts in English program prepares graduates with expert writing and communication skills urgently sought by today’s top employers. Learning how to analyze literature facilitates critical thinking, writing and communication — essential skills for most in-demand occupations.

Curriculum

Create a body of work fit for your portfolio.

Our faculty practice what they teach — routinely producing creative and scholarly works — and bring those real-world experiences and valuable lessons to the classroom. Faculty also work closely with students to set goals and hone skills. You’ll create a body of work fit for your portfolio, carefully vetted by instructors and class peers.

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My English major at Mount Mercy has prepared me for the real world. People ask me what I’ll do with an English major. Simply put, I can do anything I want!

Katarina Althoff ’15
Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Careers in English

Our graduates are in demand by many local employers.

The combination of critical problem solving and people skills you gain with an English degree is in high demand by employers who need flexible and creative workers, no matter the industry. Our program is specifically designed to ensure that Mount Mercy English majors are ready and able to acquire a job immediately after they graduate. Mount Mercy English majors have found work in a variety of fields, including politics, human resources, journalism, project management, marketing, sales, law, teaching, and more.

 

Prison Book Club at Anamosa State Penitentiary

In Fall 2008, Mount Mercy English professors Carol Tyx and Mary Vermillion started a service learning partnership with educators at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Every semester, Mount Mercy students plan and facilitate discussions of literary texts with prison inmates.

These book club sessions are integrated into a variety of classes that range from general education courses to Shakespeare to American literature surveys.

Book Club participants learn that how we respond to texts depends, in part, on who we are as readers. Reading a text with others who bring different assumptions and values to the reading enlarges participants’ understanding of the reading process. Book club also invites participants to reflect on the purposes of literature, including its power to promote empathy and social justice.

For Anamosa participants, book club provides the opportunity to read more widely and to connect with people outside the prison.

 

For Mount Mercy students, book club dispels prison stereotypes and demonstrates the relevance of literature outside the classroom.

All participants experience the ways in which literature enriches their ethical framework and connects readers from differing backgrounds. All participants build confidence in their abilities to communicate and take meaningful risks. As they learn to collaborate, improvise, and interact with diverse groups of people, participants develop skills that are highly valued by today’s employers.

Here's what book club participants say about their experience:

"Book club ... allows me to feel and stay connected to society."
—Michael, book club participant  

"MMU English majors go to maximum-security prison and collect rare literary insights not available anywhere else—on works from Shakespeare to Erdrich." 
—Billie Barker '16

"My students hone their discussion skills, deepen their love of literature, and open their minds—all while helping a group of men who are hungry to learn."
—Mary Vermillion, Professor of English

Visiting Writer Series

When you study at Mount Mercy, you learn not only from your fellow students and our faculty, but also from the many prestigious writers who visit campus and share their expertise and vision.

Every semester we host at least one visiting writer. During each visit, there's a Q&A—your time to ask the writers questions—and an evening reading where the writers share their most recent work with you. You'll also have the chance to chat with the visiting writers over dinner or while they are signing your book.

Past visiting writers include poet laureates, award-winning journalists, best-selling novelists, and Oprah-picks.

Forge your own path.

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