English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies

Welcome to the UMD Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies

Artistic image of frosted berries

The Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies is the largest department in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and its programs are at the center of the liberal arts tradition. We are the home of Shakespeare and Toni Morrison, of contemporary and classical rhetoric, the deep study of language and linguistics, and we fulfill a central part of UMD’s academic mission.

Our English faculty have strengths in fiction and poetry, drama, creative writing, film studies, and the entire range of literature written in English, from Beowulf to Harry Potter. Our linguists specialize in the structure and use of language, from Asia to the Caribbean to the Iron Range of Minnesota, and they explore the science of language in both theoretical and computational approaches. Our rhetoricians have strengths in the history, theory, and pedagogy of rhetoric, and our writing program serves almost every student that comes to UMD.

We train our students to be strong writers and critical thinkers and also storytellers with a fine-tuned ear for language. Our students learn to express and defend ideas and to appreciate the ideas of others even when different from their own. Students leave our programs having grappled with some of the deepest questions of the human condition and prepared to thrive in the ever-changing world they inhabit. They have gone on to top-tier graduate schools, to a wide range of careers in private industry and non-profits, and have started their own businesses.

Our department programs have long histories at UMD and strong ties to our former students and the surrounding community. As you pursue your education, we invite you to consider the Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies.

Our Programs

English Program

Linguistics Program

Writing Studies Program

College and Advanced Writing Program