College of Arts and Sciences

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English Department Minors

Creative Writing 

The creative writing minor at Western rivals the major in many universities, with a workshop-heavy track, and a strong secondary emphasis on literature courses, aiding you in your writing goals, whether that is to become a professional writer, to apply for an MFA—or simply to improve your writing skills. It can also prepare you for many writing-centric jobs, such as technical writer, journalist, reviewer, content writer, or copywriter. Many of our students have gone on to such careers, and an impressive number to publish as successful authors, most recently, one of our grads even garnering a two-book deal with a major press. Additionally, we can offer what many big private and state universities often can’t: a thriving reading series with well-known authors—one that in the past, has hosted writers such as Edwidge Danticat, Benjamin Percy, and Layli Long Soldier—just to name a few. Additionally, our creative writing magazine, Elements, now online—has been in publication for over 50 years. 


The interdisciplinary film minor at Western offers a wide range of film classes in American Cinema, documentary films, World Cinemas, Film and Literature, Women in Film and Television, and much more!  Students will be taught by experienced faculty who are members of the Society for Media and Cinema Studies , have participated in national film festivals and conferences and have widely published in the field of film studies. Film minors come from majors all across campus. Students minoring in film work in advertising writing, television and radio, screenwriting, journalism, social activism, human resources, management, fundraising, and more. Minors take three core courses in film and three elective courses from a wide range of courses offered across the university including departments such as English, Broadcasting and Journalism, Theatre, Foreign Languages, and Political Science. Film minors have created documentary films while at Western and have had the opportunity to show their work at campus events.

Literature and Language

In the New Economy, people trained to read critically and write clearly are in demand everywhere! English is an invaluable preparation for those planning to further their education in areas such as law, medicine, library science, student affairs, or business.

See  English Literature and Language Major for more detailed information on our English program.

Professional Writing

The professional writing minor at Western prepares students for careers in professional writing: technical writers, content editors, blog and website designers, and grant writers among others. The writing and rhetorical theory emphasized in the minor also complements writing learned in the major, helping students better understand and master how writing organizes the work of their discipline.

The minor also teaches forms of writing applicable to a wide variety of professional writing contexts, such as instructional sets, technical reports, websites, and grants. Students who will find the professional writing minor especially suited to assisting them in achieving their professional goals are those majoring in business, LEJA, pre-professional fields, merchandising and management, education, public administration and public health, and social work.

Queer Studies 

The interdisciplinary queer studies minor at Western provides a broad investigation of sexuality as a crucial aspect of human experience, integrating the study of sexuality and gender identity and expression into such fields as art, literature, film, psychology, sociology, biology, and education. The minor encourages students to question the meaning of sexual norms in a wide variety of cultural contexts. It fosters understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual sexualities. Courses focus on the ways that sexuality shapes social traditions and identities, as well as how such factors as race, class, and gender intersect with sexuality. These courses also challenge the privileging of certain categories over others, examining how such social hierarchies function. The minor stresses the importance of sexuality in all aspects of human activity and problematizes such terms as “natural” and “normal,” which are used to consecrate certain sexual expressions and vilify others. The interdisciplinary minor in queer studies offers students not only the opportunity to analyze the world in which they live, but also the chance to create the means to re-envision society and enact social change.

For More Info

The undergraduate catalog provides more detail, including a full list of courses offered by the department.

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