Imaginative forms of expression change constantly.

Innovative, skills-based, and imagination friendly, McMurry University’s major in English and writing teaches students how people have used imaginative writing to form and transform identities and anchor and change cultures. English studies focuses on three fundamental ways people have used the written word: to struggle for recognition and freedom, imagine how we should relate to ourselves and the rest of nature, and ask big questions about where humans fit in the universe. English majors further diversify their skills and explore their interests by choosing a concentration in film studies or writing. 

Every so often we hear someone exclaim that politics has no place in an English course. Such a viewpoint is perhaps understandable but incorrect. We construct our identities and make sense of our societies through language. All phases of literature and composition studies inescapably involve meanings, contexts and issues that people have struggled through or fought about. Since, in many cases, we are still working our way through serious conflicts, the McMurry English Studies program fosters conversations regarding how traditional literary topics intersect with race and racism, immigration, gender, sexuality, class, indigeneity, and colonialisms. The English studies faculty are committed to a culture in which faculty and students can examine evidence, consider how values shape the human experience, and hone their abilities to demonstrate their qualitative-reasoning skills in imaginative and analytic writing about subjects that matter.

As an English student, you’ll develop fulfilling and marketable skills by thinking critically and creatively about how literature and other imaginative uses of media reflect and influence the human experience. The McMurry Department of English challenges students not only to think deeply and creatively about literature, film, language or writing, but to imagine new possibilities for these forms of expression. Our degree program reimagines a liberal arts education.



Areas of Study

Our English studies department offers courses that develop excellent thinking skills and imaginative abilities by studying invigorating and challenging works from an expansive range of writing in English.

English Studies

English Studies majors develop lifelong critical-thinking and qualitative-reasoning skills. Authentic experiences with powerful thinking and writing enable students to discover and use the power inherent in well-expressed words to shape ideas and events. Theory-informed analysis provides students with the conceptual tools necessary to think critically and imaginatively about how literary media reflect and influence the human experience. An English studies major develops skills and habits that support success in a wide range of careers. McMurry offers students the chance to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English studies, a minor in English studies and a concentration in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program. English Studies

English Language Arts and Reading Grades 4-8

If you dream of sparking the passion for language and literature in young readers, you’ll find a career you love in education. By studying English language arts and reading with an emphasis in grades 4-8, you’ll gain a deep understanding of English structure, grammar and usage. You’ll develop the skills to provide developmentally appropriate and differentiated instruction that meet the needs of all students. Through teaching with literature, you’ll learn how to make stories come alive for young learners by helping them build a rich vocabulary and develop an aptitude for thinking critically and creatively. You can earn a Bachelor of Arts in English language arts and reading grades 4-8. You’ll also earn a minor in curriculum and instruction as part of this program. English Language Arts and Reading Grades 4-8

English Language Arts and Reading
Grades 7-12

If your passion lies in supporting middle and high school students in their growth and development through language, you’ll find a fulfilling career as an English teacher. Studying English language arts and reading prepares you to design and implement instruction for secondary school students. Through your understanding of literature and instructional methods, you’ll introduce students to a variety of texts, help them build their understanding of the English language and foster a lifelong love of reading. At McMurry, your studies will earn you a Bachelor of Arts in English language arts and reading grades 7-12. You’ll combine your studies with a minor in curriculum and instruction to prepare you for a career in education. English Language Arts and Reading Grades 7-12

Film Studies (Minor)

In the film concentration, we approach cinema through the academic study of all its aspects — from film theory, history and criticism to the creation of films. Courses in this program explore scholarly analysis through interpretive techniques and give students the opportunity to explore fundamentals of filmmaking through study in screenplay writing, directing, and camera work. At McMurry, you can earn a minor in film studies. Film Studies

Writing Certificate

The writing certificate provides students with valuable experiences and opportunities for growth and self-discovery. Intensive workshop classes in poetry and fiction prepare students to be careful writers and thoughtful readers, while classes in writing for radio and television and writing for newspapers and magazines expose students to the conventions and methods of contemporary journalism. Finally, courses in film writing, writing and shooting a short film, and playwriting enable students to translate their words into action. Writing Certificate

Student Opportunities

The Galleon

Students can get involved with The Galleon, the literary magazine of McMurry. Showcasing the talent and creativity of students, The Galleon publishes original works of poetry, short stories, plays and art.

English and Film Club

Students interested in writing, reading and film can join the English and Film Club, which meets regularly throughout the year and hosts a popular movie series.

Honor Society

McMurry is home to the Phi Epsilon chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta, the international honor society for students of literature and language. The mission of Sigma Tau Delta is to recognize outstanding performance in the language, literature and writing disciplines. Sigma Tau Delta

Departmental Honors and Awards

Each year, the English department recognizes outstanding students in general education courses. We also present the Stanley P. and Claudie Park Wilson Scholarship to an outstanding junior English major and the Velma Shulz Poet Scholarship to an outstanding poetry or other creative writing student.

Honors Program

In addition to individual honors courses and beyond the capstone projects available to all majors, motivated students can complete departmental honors in English by completing an honors research project and writing an honors thesis. Honors Program

Global Learning Endorsement

The Global Learning Endorsement provides an opportunity for students to highlight academic achievement in global/international studies on their transcript. This endorsement will provide helpful documentation of the student’s expertise for employment in an increasingly globalized world. Learn More
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Beyond McMurry


A foundation in English at McMurry is a perfect launching point for further study and for careers in writing, editing, publishing, librarianship, journalism and law.
  • Advertising
  • Business
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Finance
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Nonprofit
  • Public policy
  • Public relations
  • Publishing
  • Teaching
  • Video game design
  • Writing

Join the Ranks of Accomplished Alumni

McMurry English graduates have also gone on to:
  • Graduate school
  • Law school
  • Medical school
  • Pharmacy school

English Department

Richard McLamore Department Chair / Professor of English
Lawrence Bonds Professor of English
Beth Laurence Instructor of Developmental English / Academic Enrichment Center Writing Coordinator
Academic Enrichment Center
Ann-Marie Lopez-Esquivel Professor of English
Cole Thompson Professor of English
Annette Wren Assistant Professor of English

Mission and Goals

  • Write essays and media projects using appropriate conceptual methods and researched information.
  • Respond with emotional complexity, intellectual sophistication and imaginative engagement to works from diverse literary cultures.
  • Understand and apply theories of literature and composition and rhetoric to develop new ways of thinking about traditional and emerging media.
  • Participate in the English and Film Club, Sigma Tau Delta, internships and conferences.
  • Pursue further graduate, professional or legal education or careers in fields requiring skilled critical thinking and written communication.