The First-Year English Program was awarded (with Duke University and Michigan State University) a Writing Program Certificate of Excellence from CCCC, the national organization of composition scholars. Designed to help students learn to communicate effectively, the FYE Program fulfills the university core of common studies rhetoric requirement by developing students' reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills via a two-course sequence:
Undergraduate students in sophomore surveys and upper-division English courses learn to engage literary traditions, to understand how language affects people and institutions within society, to employ various methods of research and analysis, and to communicate effectively.
Graduate students in English increase their knowledge of American and British literatures as well as develop abilities to analyze scholarship in English studies and to produce their own independent scholarship. In addition, graduate students who are awarded Teaching Assistantships are trained to teach their own courses within the FYE program. The degree programs offered are as follows:
English regularly contributes 15 courses to the University Core of Common Studies and 5 courses (sometimes more) to the University Honors Program.
The internationally-known Norman H. Ott Memorial Writing Center, located in Raynor Library, offers peer tutoring services for undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff.