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English at Boise State

Beginning in fall 2023, the department known as “English” at Boise State will expand into four new, distinct departments: English Literature, Linguistics, Writing Studies and Humanities and Cultural Studies.



English Literature

Visit the Department of English Literature website

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Visit the Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies website


Visit the Department of Linguistics website

Writing Studies

Visit the Department of Writing Studies website

Department Descriptions

English Literature

The English Literature department at Boise State University prepares students for a variety of futures by developing skills of critical inquiry, analytical reasoning, and oral and written communication, which are transferable to any profession. Faculty offer expertise in British, American, and other national literatures; interdisciplinary humanities; and a range of genres including fiction, poetry, drama, and film. Faculty are committed to innovative, student-centered teaching and learning in a variety of formats including online, hybrid, and face-to-face instruction; internships and experiential learning; and student-faculty collaborative research.

English Literature projects and programs:

  • Books in Every Home
  • Hemingway Literary Center
  • Literature for Lunch
  • Melville’s Marginalia Online
  • The Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series

Visit the English Literature website.

Humanities and Cultural Studies

The Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary program that combines the study of literature in global contexts, film, rhetoric, and culture with cutting edge theory and innovative pedagogy to prepare students for a life of inquiry and a meaningful career in the twenty-first century. HCS equips students with humanities skills like critical thinking and analysis, oral and written communication, empirical and qualitative reasoning to effectively participate in, contribute to, and creatively and collaboratively respond to the grand challenges of our time.

Humanities and Cultural Studies projects and programs:

  • Writing for Change Journal
  • The Third Cinema Research Group
  • The National Book Foundation Visiting Writers Series

Visit the Humanities and Cultural Studies website.


The linguistics major provides excellent preparation for a variety of careers demanding a nuanced understanding of language and its use, as well as strong critical thinking and communication skills. The major also prepares students for traditional graduate degrees in linguistics and related fields. Linguistics students gain practical, locally driven experience and a deeper understanding of the complexities inherent in a diverse world. Our graduates acquire the analytical tools and expertise needed to develop an open-minded, equity-focused orientation to language and use their expertise for collaboration with and in service of the wider community. The linguistics major provides the opportunity for close study of how language works and of the connections between linguistics and such related fields as anthropology, sociology, psychology, language teaching, and computer science.

Linguistics programs and projects:

  • Project SHINE
  • English Language Support Programs
  • Linguistic Society of Boise State
  • The Mary Ellen Ryder Linguistics Lab

Visit the Linguistics website.

Writing Studies

The Department of Writing Studies envisions a future where people are engaged, flexible, and ethical learners and writers who lead meaningful lives of connection and contribution. To work toward this vision, DWS supports, leads, and learns with writers in classrooms, careers, and communities.

The major degree programs in writing studies offer courses and opportunities for students to write and support, lead, and collaborate with other writers in a variety of contexts. The BA in English Teaching fulfills Idaho certification requirements and prepares students to teach in secondary schools around the country. The BA in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication prepares students to work in a number of professions and communities where effective and ethical writers are needed or to pursue graduate programs in related fields. DWS graduates are successful creators, creative thinkers, curious learners and workplace writers with the rhetorical expertise needed to continue learning and to collaborate with others in a range of careers that involve the analysis, production, editing and coordination of traditional, digital and multimedia texts.

Writing Studies projects and programs:

  • First-Year Writing Program
  • Boise State Writing Center
  • Boise State Writing Project

Visit the Writing Studies website.

Contact Information

Contact the College of Arts and Sciences office at (208) 426-3426 or with general questions.

Current students: Contact your advisor or the chair of your department with any additional questions. You can find your advisor in myBoiseState or Student Center.

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