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5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield, CT 06825

Department Chair

Jeffrey Patton Cain, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

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The English program at Sacred Heart University is concerned with the attempt to communicate, both orally and in writing. A variety of courses in literature, writing, speech/communications and drama is offered to develop skills for reading analytically, writing clearly and effectively, and expressing thoughts cogently, while providing a foundation experience in a broad spectrum of literature.

Selections from the wide range of courses within the major and its two concentrations - Literature and Writing - along with related studies in other areas, will prepare the English major for graduate school, the professions, business, industry and the arts. The department also offers a minor in English, a minor in Creative Writing, and an Associate's Degree.

The English faculty at Sacred Heart are dedicated to the ideal of providing a solid, well-balanced curriculum for our majors. Thus the curriculum balances theory and practice, oral and writing communication, and a common core with concentration in special areas of interest. We seek to share our love of the written and spoken word while at the same time preparing students for professional life upon graduation from the University. Our goals include:

  • Coordinating our curriculum with the University's mission
  • Continually developing our teaching ability
  • Remaining current in our discipline
  • Creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation
  • Focusing on each student as a unique human being

As the English faculty seek to meet its goals as educators, it emphasizes six learning outcomes for its majors:

  1. Students will recognize major British and American writers and their works.
  2. Students will understand the social and historical context of British and American Literature.
  3. Students will display an aesthetic appreciation of literature.
  4. Students will attain advanced critical reading, thinking, writing, and speaking  abilities.
  5. Students will demonstrate a basic understanding of literary and critical theory.
  6. Students will be well-prepared for graduate study in literature, and for careers that emphasize writing and oral communication skills.

While the majority of our graduates enter the world of teaching, writing, or graduate school, we believe that the English major provides one of the most flexible foundations for entering a wide variety of occupations, including: teaching, creative writing, law, acting, advertising, radio, television, corporate communication, journalism, editing, cinema, personnel relations, press relations, sales, and publishing.

Latest News

Nine Faculty Members Earn Tenure

July 13, 2016

Fairfield, Conn. - Sacred Heart University reaffirmed its commitment to academic excellence when the Board of Trustees awarded tenure to nine faculty members recently. The newly tenured faculty members, who all received promotions from assistant professor to associate professor, are Anita August, Pamela Buck, Grace Guo, Andrew Lazowski, Kerry Milner, Amanda Moras, Julianna Stockton, Barbara Tarasovich and David Taylor.

Professors to Participate in Tradition and Innovation Summer Institute

May 10, 2016

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Two Sacred Heart University Catholic studies professors will participate in the Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC) Tradition and Innovation summer institute, studying the works of writers and philosophers from ancient Greece to the present. Professors Joe Nagy and Marie Hulme will immerse themselves in core texts and examine works on morality, politics and the human condition this June. Both Hulme and Nagy will attend seminars at the University of Chicago for a week and then head to Columbia University for a week, learning about various ways to teach the texts.

Study Abroad Students Meet U.S. Ambassador to Ireland

February 15, 2016

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — After a semester of academics, adventures and exploration, Sacred Heart University freshmen studying in Dingle, Ireland, met with the U.S. ambassador to that country during one of their last weeks abroad. Several SHU students and faculty members participating in the Freshman Fall in Dingle program spent a few minutes with Ambassador Kevin O’Malley when he visited the thriving fishing port in County Kerry. O’Malley was in town for Ireland’s Edge, a conference focusing on the arts and business.