The English/Writing program at EOU offers a low-residency Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, online and on-campus BA and BS degrees in English/Writing, and two undergraduate minors, one in English/Writing and one in Professional and Public Writing, both of which are available on campus and online.
The BA or BS in English/Writing provides a solid background in writing, rhetoric, and literature/film. Courses stress analysis, confident and original writing for diversity of thought. Students are encouraged to select appropriate minors, engage in interdisciplinary studies, and complete advanced studies in modern languages, computer applications, allied arts, or second majors.
English/Writing majors are strongly advised to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree because learning a second language is key to understanding the English language. A second language is often also required at the graduate level for the same reason, so the preparation at the undergraduate level saves time and effort later. All students should carefully consult with and follow recommendations of their major advisers for timely completion of general education and degree requirements.
English/Writing graduates possess excellent communication and critical thinking skills. Many EOU English/Writing majors Graduates continue on to graduate to advanced study in literature, creative writing, and rhetoric, master’s work in education, and law school, among other fields. Graduates pursue careers in journalism, politics, freelance writing, teaching, arts administration, editing and publishing, screen writing, film production, and tribal education and administration. Other postgraduate areas of career opportunity include business venues and NGOs that value clear-minded critical and creative thinking as well as strong writing and communication skills.
Graduates with a degree in English/Writing will have demonstrated their mastery of textual analysis, interdisciplinary approaches to literacy, and creative expression. In each, students must demonstrate:
- Content Knowledge: Mastery of discipline-based content knowledge through the effective use of key terms, concepts, and approaches from the field of English Studies.
- Inquiry: Enhanced use of discipline-based inquiry through the investigation of a problem determined by the student’s interest and often pursued through multiple disciplinary approaches.
- Communication: Enhanced use of discipline-based communication in writing clearly, editing carefully, developing ideas fully, and taking into consideration subject, audience, occasion, purpose, and genre.
- Critical Thinking: Enhanced use of discipline-based critical thinking in identifying discipline-based conceptions of issues, contexts, and genres, often employing multiple perspectives as defined in English Studies, while evaluating and marshaling evidence, as defined by our discipline, and synthesizing prior knowledge and research, to draw insights and inferences for a fruitful conclusion and simultaneously acknowledging the disciplinary limits of the project.
- Aesthetic Analysis: Enhanced discipline-based appreciation of aesthetics and humanities, through textual analysis, interdisciplinary approaches to literacy, and creative expression.
- Civic Engagement: Discipline-based civic engagement by applying their English Studies to a larger civic and ethical context by means of practica, internships, service learning, or community based research.
- Integrated Learning: Mastery of integrative learning in English Studies through a capstone that connects relevant experience and academic knowledge, making connections across disciplines, reflecting on these connections by means of confident, cogent, and original writing, intellectual agility, and tolerance for diversity.
Means of Assessment
Evaluation and self-assessment are integrated throughout our curriculum. To ensure that students meet program outcomes, we evaluate their proficiencies by various means including but not restricted to the following:
- Essays, research papers, examinations, and creative projects across the genres.
- Students present and defend their intellectual and creative efforts in public at conferences, symposia, readings, and in the capstone sequence.
- Students also are encouraged to be involved in the writing, editing, and performance of student publications and broadcasts.
Graduate Program Information
The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a low residency graduate program, which requires two weeks of residency every summer in Eastern Oregon and completion of online courses and individualized study with MFA faculty the rest of the two-year curriculum.
In addition, the Wilderness, Ecology, and Community track connects students to the Pacific Northwest’s rich tradition of writers and thinkers with a deep and abiding connection to the land. In cooperation with EOU’s Outdoor Program and our partners at the Summer Fishtrap gathering, writing residencies and wilderness retreats will include visits and guest lectures by biologists, native plants specialists, staff from the Greater Hells Canyon Council, Signal Fire, Tamastslikt Institute of the Confederated tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, Wallowology, and other local individuals and organizations.
The program provides students with meaningful, hands-on learning opportunities such as practica in professional editing and publishing with our award-winning literary magazines, basalt and Oregon East, as well as with our affiliated presses Lynx House and Lost Horse. In doing so, our graduates develop creative skills that allow them to live more meaningful, productive lives in more prosperous, resilient communities.
ProgramsMaster of Fine ArtsMajor(s)Minor(s)Four Year Plan(s)