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English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies

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Welcome to the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies!

We are a dynamic faculty and passionate about our subjects. Please contact us with any questions that you may have about the information presented on this website. Student success is our No. 1 priority.

Undergraduate Degrees

As a field of inquiry, English Studies is the study of texts, both written and spoken. These texts may originate in English culture or any other world culture. Critical analysis of a text leads to the discovery of important perspectives concerning human life and behavior, and methods for applying those ideas to everyday life can then be devised. Understanding this, English Studies as a field of inquiry is useful for the development of skills in reading and writing, critical thinking, and data analysis. These skills and abilities are highly valued in a wide variety of jobs and career fields.

The English Studies Major: Areas of Concentration

Literature

The study of literature is designed to understand the message and meaning of a text. This concentration studies fiction and non-fiction oral texts employed in TV, theatre, and film, as well as novels, short stories, poems, and other written genres designed for reading. Texts can be studied individually or as a group, and also comparatively, using texts from two or more genres, cultures or languages.

Professional Writing

This area is designed to prepare students for writing texts suitable for a job, career, or vocation. Professional writing is intended for publication – public or private use – in print/electronic form or in the audio/visual modes of communication. Students in this area can study and practice a wide variety of written and spoken text genres, including creative writing, technical writing for scientific and business fields, and film and television writing.

Folklife/Southern Culture

The concentration covers texts of all types that focus on the history, culture, and literature of the U.S. South, as well as the study of folklore in the South and other regions of the world. Texts studied in this area include all types created by U.S. Southern and folklore authors, including fairy tales and film. Related: Louisiana Folklife Center.

Film Studies

This area studies all types of texts related to the film as a medium of communication. Students will learn to critically analyze a film text for its message and meaning, as well as learn to write specific types of texts, including those designed for professional use, such as screenplays. Opportunities for students to develop and produce their own films are also provided.

Job Readiness
Undergraduate degrees in the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies prepare our students for a wide range of careers, as you can see by the achievements of our graduates. In addition to continuing their education in a variety of graduate and professional schools, our alumni have gone on to work in training and communications at multinational corporations, work as editors at major publishing houses, become directors of legal associations, and teach at the college level. Our graduates have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for poetry and won such esteemed awards as the James Beard Foundation Awards for cookbooks.

Catalog Entry for this degree

English Bachelor’s Degree Checklist

Available to any NSU major. Employers value language skills! Students pursuing an English minor complete 24 hours of course work in English, with the following specific requirements:

  • English 1010: Composition and Rhetoric I
  • English 1020: Composition and Rhetoric II
  • 6 hours of English at the 2000-level.
  • 3 semester hours of 3000- or 4000-level English courses

English Minor Checklist

Students can earn a minor in foreign language by completing 21 semester hours in one language. Language options include French and Spanish.

Foreign Language Minor Checklist
Spanish Minor Checklist

Master of Arts in English

To view the application requirements for graduate study, please refer to our Graduate Admission Policy.

Catalog Entry for this degree

Designed for students who desire a broad range of knowledge in English Studies. Students enrolled in the Generalist concentration must complete:

  • English 5800;
  • 6 hours from Literature courses;
  • 6 hours from Writing or Linguistics courses;
  • 6 hours of Folklife/Southern culture courses;
  • 6 additional hours of any graduate level ENGL course (including 5280 if on assistantship).

Degree Checklist

The concentration covers texts of all types that focus on the history, culture, and literature of the U.S. South, as well as the study of folklore in the South and other regions of the world. Texts studied in this area include all types created by U.S. Southern and folklore authors, including fairy tales and film. Students in the Folklife/Southern Culture concentration must complete:

  • ENGL 5800;
  • ENGL 6310 or 5590 and 6480 or 5580;
  • at least 12 additional hours in the areas of Folklife and Southern literature, or other English courses with approval by advisor and department head. Students may choose to take their remaining courses in the areas of literature (particularly American literature), folklore, grant writing or linguistics.  Courses that can be used to fulfill the 12 hours include ENGL 6890, 6600, 6590, 6580, 6480, 6470, 6373, 6310, 6290, 6200, 6030, 5900, 5721, 5720, 5710, 5600, 5590, 5580, 5570, 5560, 5450, 5400, 5350, 5320, 5290;
  • 3 or 6 additional hours of any graduate level ENGL course (including 5280 if on assistantship).

Degree Checklist

The study of literature is designed to understand the message and meaning of a text. This concentration studies fiction and non-fiction oral texts employed in TV, theatre, and film, as well as novels, short stories, poems, and other written genres designed for reading. Texts can be studied individually or as a group, and also comparatively, using texts from two or more genres, cultures or languages. Students in the Literature concentration must complete:

  • ENGL 5800;
  • one 3-hour seminar in a major literary figure;
  • at least 15 hours in literature or related courses (includes the following: ENGL 5010, 5020, 5030, 5090, 5210, 5250, 5300, 5350, 5400, 5450, 5500, 5560, 5570, 5590, 5710, 6010, 6030, 6100, 6110, 6120, 6200, 6210, 6230, 6310, 6373, 6580, 6590, 6630);
  • 3 or 6 additional hours of any graduate level ENGL course (including 5280 if on assistantship).

Degree Checklist

The fully-online graduate academic program in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Northwestern State University is intended to equip the student with the knowledge and training necessary to teach, both in the U.S. and overseas, the English language to children and adults whose first (native) language is not English. To be eligible for the TESOL Program, the student must possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited post-secondary institution and must be admitted to the NSU Graduate School.

The program is designed for students who do not plan to pursue state teacher certification and wish to teach English in an educational organization other than the U.S. public school system. These organizations include private schools, businesses, government agencies, and community-based programs in the U.S., and a wide variety of institutions in foreign countries. There is a growing need in Louisiana, the U.S., and in many countries around the world for English teachers to serve in these educational settings.

Students in the TESOL concentration must complete:

  • ENGL 5800;
  • ENGL 5240, 6610, 6640, and two electives courses from the approved list (a total of 15 hours, required for the graduate certificate in TESOL);
  • 6 additional hours of any graduate level ENGL course (including 5280 if on assistantship).

Degree Checklist

This area is designed to prepare students for writing texts suitable for a job, career, or vocation. Professional writing is intended for publication – public or private use – in print/electronic form or in the audio/visual modes of communication. Students in this area can study and practice a wide variety of written and spoken text genres, including creative writing, technical writing for scientific and business fields, and film and television writing.

Students in the Writing and Linguistics concentration must complete:

  • ENGL 5800;
  • 15 hours of linguistics, rhetoric, composition, or writing courses (includes the following courses: ENGL 5010, 5030, 5040, 5090, 5230, 5240, 5260, 5270, 5290, 5540, 5700, 5920, 6210, 6540, 6580, 6590, 6600, 6610, 6620, 6640, 6650, 6890)
  • 3 or 6 additional hours of any graduate level ENGL course (including 5280 if on assistantship).

Degree Checklist

Graduate degrees in the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies prepare students for a wide range of careers, as you can see by the achievements of our graduates. In addition to continuing their education in a variety of graduate and professional schools, our alumni have gone on to work in training and communications at multinational corporations, work as editors at major publishing houses, become lawyers and directors of legal associations, and teach at the college level. Our MA in English graduates have been accepted into a wide variety of advanced professional and doctoral programs; recent Ph.D. program acceptances include Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, Oklahoma State, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

Graduate assistantships provide professional development opportunities for qualified students. The student works with a department faculty mentor and contributes to the department’s educational mission in a variety of ways: classroom assistant, research assistant, student tutor, lesson planner, student club assistant, and other department projects and tasks. The training and experience gained as a G.A. is invaluable for the student’s development in their chosen academic and career field, as well as providing funding for the student’s MA program.

Internships for credit are available. Students apply the principles learned in the graduate program to the real-world workplace. The student chooses the career field and organization for the internship, and our department assists with placement, pre-internship orientation, and on-campus supervision of the internship experience. Students who complete successfully a supervised internship receive many benefits, including advanced training and experience, professional connections and work recommendations useful for future jobs, and a great entry for your resume!

Certificate Programs

The Graduate Certificate program consists of 15 credit hours–five courses; three semester hours each–and can be completed in one academic year (consecutive fall and spring semesters). The Certificate courses also serve as the foundation for the Concentration in TESOL in the Master of Arts in English degree program. Please note that all of the courses listed are offered online. Admission into the certificate program requires an application through the Graduate School and receipt of official transcripts.

Graduate Certificate in TESOL

Required Courses

The required courses comprise nine of the 15 credit hours needed to earn the TESOL certificate.

  • ENGL 5240       Principles of Second Language Learning, Instruction and Methodology
  • ENGL 6610       Fundamentals of Linguistics
  • ENGL 6640       Syntactic Theories and Applications

Certificate Checklist

For more information
Jim Mischler, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Graduate Program in TESOL
Dept. of English, Foreign Languages,
and Cultural Studies
Northwestern State University of Louisiana, USA
318-357-6272
mischlerj@nsula.edu

This online-only program equips students with the knowledge and training necessary to work in the fields of technical communication, technical writing, and technical editing. Admission into the certificate program requires an application through the Graduate School and receipt of official transcripts.

The program is designed for students who wish to communicate technical information effectively in the workplace, either as professional development for those already working in technical fields or as training for a new career. Career prospects include working as writers, editors, and communication specialists for private businesses, government agencies, and community-based programs. There is a growing need in Louisiana as well as nationally for technical writers and editors, and the Graduate Certificate in Writing for Business, Industry, and Technology is designed to help meet that need.

Students must possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited university to be eligible for the program. The certificate program consists of 18 hours–six courses of three semester hours each–which can be completed in one calendar year. All of the courses in the Writing for Business, Industry, and Technology graduate certificate program may be applied to the coursework requirements for the M.A. in English concentration in Writing and Linguistics at Northwestern State University.

Checklist

For more information on the program email languages@nsula.edu or call 318-357-6272.

Current Students

To determine who your academic advisor is:

Log on to myNSU (https://my.nsula.edu).
Click on the NSU Connect icon (the purple icon with the white puzzle piece).
Click on the “Student” link.
Click on the “Student Records” link.
Click on the “View Student Information” link.
Select a term and then click submit. The name of your academic advisor should be listed as your “Primary Advisor”.

Once you have identified your advisor, you can find his/her contact information here.

If your advisor is not listed, please contact Dr. Jim Mischler, 318-357-6272, mischlerj@nsula.edu.

Argus is NSU’s award winning art and literary magazine. Each year, a staff of students produces a magazine showcasing the best of NSU students’ art and creative writing. Among the awards Argus has captured are national recognitions from the Associated Collegiate Press ‘Best of Show – Literary Magazines’ competition and a Best of the South award for college magazines from the Southeastern Journalism Conference. Writers who have contributed to Argus during their student days in Natchitoches include screenwriter Juliet Snowden (Knowing, Bogeyman) and novelist Clarence Nero (Too Much of a Good Thing Ain’t Bad, Three Sides to Every Story).

The Argus staff works with qualified judges to host a contest for pieces submitted for consideration in the magazine.

For more information about Argus and the submission process or to submit a piece for consideration, email the editor at argusnsu@gmail.com or stop by 316G Kyser Hall during staff office hours.

Submission Page:http://argusnsu.submittable.com/submit
Follow us: Argus Facebook Page
Contact: brisenoj@nsula.edu

BACK ISSUES OF ARGUS:
Click here for online copies of all of the back issues of Argus, from 1976 to the present!

Brainy Acts Poetry Society

BAPS meets each Monday at 5 p.m. in Kyser Hall Room 341. The group welcomes members interested in writing and performing poetry, slam poetry, and song.

For more information, contact advisor Dr. J. Andrew Briseño at brisenoj@nsula.edu

The goal of the Demon Creative Writing Society is to be able to create an app and web-based literary magazine where writers from both in- and outside of the NSU community can make submissions.

Contact: brisenoj@nsula.edu.

The NSU Demon Quidditch team meets on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Union, room 320. Practices are every Friday, 12:30-2:30 on the President’s field (weather permitting). They are always accepting new members, and not every member plays Quidditch. Some are involved in the other Harry Potter-related activities.

Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/NSUDemonQuidditch/
Contact: Dr. Allison Rittmayer at rittmayera@nsula.edu

This is a weekly opportunity for students and staff to gather together to celebrate and learn more about the French language and culture. Aside from their own variety of events (movie nights, food tastings, and masquerades, to name a few), the club participates in university events such as Homecoming and International Nights

Contact: forknerb@nsula.edu.

Feminism is the belief in political, social, and economic equality for all people. The NSU chapter of FMLA is an organization focused on bringing feminist issues to the forefront on our campus. Come be a part of the young feminist movement!

Follow us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/128712513943446/
Contact: rittmayera@nsula.edu.

Sigma Tau Delta is an international English honor society that encourages excellence in all aspects of English studies at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. Membership in NSU’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, Nu Iota, is open to any student who meets the society and chapter requirements. (http://www.english.org/sigmatd/ )

Sigma Tau Delta hosts fundraisers to provide money for group activities and the monetary prizes for the annual freshman essay contest. The graduate students of Sigma Tau Delta peer review and electronically publish the university’s academic journal, Indite, which showcases undergraduate scholarly essays.

For a membership application, click here. For more information about the Nu Iota chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, contact the chapter officer, Dr. Sarah McFarland, at mcfarlands@nsula.edu.

This is a weekly opportunity for both students and staff to gather together informally to celebrate Spanish events and learn more about the Spanish language and culture. It is the ideal complement for the classes, because the students have the opportunity to interact with the Spanish-speaking community. The students taste real Spanish dishes and learn some recipes. They play games, have contests and picnics, learn various dances, celebrate festivities pertaining to the Hispanic world, do community work, raise funds to help students participating in NSU in Spain, and send donations to the needy. The Club also participates in University events such as Homecoming Parades and International Nights.

The activities are meaningful and memorable, and the students have a lot of fun. The meetings provide a wonderful setting for learning in a relaxed atmosphere and the curiosity and enthusiasm necessary for foreign language learning.

Club meetings are held from 3-4 pm on Wednesdays in Kyser room 341.

Contact: crawfordj@nsula.edu

The NSU Student Film Society was founded as a means to bridge the gap between the English, Communications and Theatre departments, to learn about film and its art, and to collaborate on film productions of our own.

Follow us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NSULAStudentFilmSociety/
Contact: rittmayera@nsula.edu

Immerse yourself in a different culture while pursuing your degree at NSU. Study abroad with us at the University of Angers in France! All coursework is in English, so while knowledge of French is certainly helpful, it is not required. All NSU financial aid carries over to any study abroad program, and you can continue to take NSU courses online. You can study abroad for a semester, a year, or join our month-long program during the summer.