English Department


Mission Statement

The English Department serves all students at the university through extensive general education offerings designed to improve writing skills, expand liberal learning, and focus critical and analytic thinking.  In addition, its three-track major supports the university’s areas of emphasis in teacher education (English-Secondary Education Concentration), public and private sector development and service (Writing Track), and liberal education (Literature Track).  The department’s graduate program in Professional Writing, unique in Maryland and paralleled by only six other programs nationwide, graduates expert writers who meet the needs of government, social, and commercial organizations which rely on expert and efficient writing.

Dr. George Hahn, ChairTeacher-scholars of the department pursue not only scholarship in literature but also in new pedagogies for teaching and in evaluating and improving writing.  In addition, the faculty plays key roles in shaping and sustaining university programs in Women’s Studies, American Studies, Afro-American Studies, Multicultural Studies, English Education, Law and American Civilizations, Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and the M.A. in Humanities. It also actively serves the needs of the region, the state, and the nation through consultations, contracted research and instruction, conferences, publications, and presentations concerning writing improvement and educational reform.

Learning Outcomes of the Towson University Bachelor of English

The undergraduate program in English at Towson University is designed to achieve a number of learning outcomes. Upon graduation, the successful degree candidate will have developed qualities and skills listed below with knowledge and abilities specific to the discipline.


What you’ll be taught as an English major . . .


                  How to write powerful prose with the sparkle of poetry

                  How to be an architect in building a paper and an interior designer in styling it

                  How to read with a jeweler’s eye

                  How to see meanings the casual reader can’t

                  How to understand literary characters with different points of view

                  How to understand texts in relation to their contexts

                  How to engage in magical dialogues with wise authors long dead

                  How to experience the excitement of visiting other times and places in books.

Did you know that . . .


                  350 million people use English as their first language?

                  750 million people speak English as their second language?

                  Three quarters of the world’s mail is in English?

                  English is the official language of the European Union?

                  English is the official language of the World Council of Churches?

                  English is the official language of 31 states in the U.S.A.?

                  English is the official language of 75 countries?

So what?


                  “Where there is English there are good jobs for an English major.”

Such as?


                  Law—interpreting contracts and statutes means “reading between the lines” and  winning

                       a case often turns on persuasive writing

                  Book publishing—acquisitions editing, copyediting, developmental editing, designing


                  Military, government, and industrial intelligence—Interpreting images and words for high                       stakes

                  Corporations, government, non-profits—Speechwriting, editing, conducting writing                     workshops

                  Advertising—a daytime job for poets and forgers of bright phrases

                  Public relations—representing a product to the general public

                  Public affairs—representing an agency to the general public to effect social, political, or                       legislative change

                  Journalism—everyday reporting, reviewing, stringing

                  Politics—Speechwriting and newslettering

                  Teaching—giving your love of literature and language to others

                  Literary agencies—recognizing and selling manuscripts to publishers

                  Radio and TV—preparing and editing news and scripts

                  Every business—copywriting, editing, newslettering.




Liberal Arts Building, Room 4210

Phone: 410-704-2871

Fax: 410-704-3999


This document is largely the result of a QUE (Quality in University Education) workshop, a collaborative project to establish standard learning outcomes for American universities. Sponsored by the Exxon Corporation and held at the University of Nevada in July 1999, the workshop was attended by professors from Towson as well as other institutions.


  Towson Prize for Literature: Deadline June 15
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