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About English

English chair Krista Ratcliffe / Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Welcome to the Department of English at ASU, where you may pursue creative writingEnglish educationfilm and media studieslinguistics and applied linguisticsliterature; and writing, rhetorics and literacies.

We also house the university’s Writing Programs, whose composition courses are taken by almost every first-year ASU student.

We’re glad you’re here. When you study in the Department of English, you’re supported by nearly 700 faculty and graduate students who are rigorously trained in the latest teaching and research methods exploring not just local, but global expressions of the English language in all media. You’re surrounded by experts in everything from videogame studies to medieval studies, from health humanities to desert humanities, from young adult literature to Shakespeare, from classical rhetoric to data literacy.

Our motto―start here; go anywhere―captures the unique values of an English major or a film and media studies major. With these majors, you learn the imaginative, analytical, and interpretive skills necessary for living an engaged life and pursuing a rewarding career. Our degrees open doors to careers in publishing, media, management, teaching, governmental or non-profit work, and they can be springboards for professional study, such as in law and medicine.

One of the largest English departments nationally, we believe our mission befits our scale. Our aim is to prepare citizens who can think, read, and write critically, pose and solve problems, and communicate effectively in their academic, personal, professional, and public lives. These skills are necessary, now more than ever. In a global economy where professionals change jobs on average twelve times during their lives, humanities degrees, like those in English or film and media studies, prepare graduates to remain agile in the marketplace of ideas.

For these reasons, ASU and the Department of English are committed to excellence and access. Of the more than 2,000 students pursuing undergraduate degrees in the Department of English, 32% are students of color, 46% are Pell grant eligible, and 33% are the first in their families to attend a university. In the Department of English, people are willing to try new things, and we imagine failure as simply a step toward success.

What can you do with an English degree?

Our answer is: whatever you can imagine! And we will be there to help you.

Krista Ratcliffe
Professor and Chair
Department of English


The humanities well-equip us to tell better stories about both history and the present and are integral in shaping more humane communities to come.

—Jeffrey Cohen, ASU humanities dean and English professor