Department of English

Student Publications


Fresh Voices: Composition At Cal Poly


Byzantium: A Literary Annual



Building 47, Room 32

Welcome to the Department of English

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The English Department at Cal Poly awards a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree. At the undergraduate level, the department offers classes in American, British, and world literature, creative writing, film, linguistics and TESL, and composition/rhetoric. At the graduate level, the department offers classes in American and British literature, historical and contemporary literary theory, composition theory/practice, and linguistics. The department also offers a post-baccalaureate English credential program for aspiring secondary teachers. Outstanding students and award-winning faculty make Cal Poly's English Department one of the best in the state.

Are you interested in getting more information about attending Cal Poly? Please visit our admissions page to request info that is modeled to your interests.

2014 Academy of American Poets Contest Accepting Submissions

APRIL 11, 2014

The Academy of American Poets sponsored through the Cal Poly English Department has begun accepting poetry submissions from students enrolled during spring quarter. All Cal Poly students registered this quarter may enter. The deadline is May 2, 2014 at 4 p.m.  **For complete rules and more information on the Academy of American Poets check out the website created by journalism student Kelly Trom.


2014 Al Landwehr Creative Writing Contest Winners Announced

april 7, 2014

Congratulations to winners Erica London and MacKenzie Soldan! London's poem "We Called It Dancing" and Soldan's story "Reference" both took $100 first place prizes.

Continue reading›

The Annual American Scholar Prize is Currently Accepting Applications


MARCH 2014

English majors: Are you "lit up" by literature? Please submit an application that explains why (in 300 words or less) you are "lit up" by literature and how this award will support your financial needs as a student (in 150 words or less).

Applications  with responses are due to the English Department by Friday, April 18, 2014. The winner will be notified mid-May, and the prize will be awarded at the English Department June graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 14, 2014. (See application for complete details.)

For more information please email the department at or call 805-756-2596.


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Only Connect! 2013 Alumni Newsletter 


The newest edition of the English department's alumni newsletter, Only Connect!, is now available online. Find out the latest news in the department from student and faculty awards and accomplishments, to the latest Learn by Doing projects and Lake District study abroad adventures.  Continue to newsletter ›



Cal Poly Named Top College for Return on Investment for English, Humanities Majors

AUG 28, 2013

Affordable Colleges Online has ranked Cal Poly the fifth best college in the nation for return on investment (ROI) for their English and humanities programs.

Affordable Colleges Online evaluated English and humanities programs in institutions across the country and identified those with the top ROI for their graduates’ education. According to the rankings, “Graduates from these schools enjoy the largest earnings gap between non-degree holders over 30 years and earn more on average than English and humanities graduates from other schools.”
Affordable Colleges Online determines ROI rankings based on total weighted cost and a 30-year net ROI. Cal Poly ranked in the top five among institutions such as Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, UC Berkley, and James Madison University.

“We are honored to be recognized for the outstanding education our faculty provide in our English and humanities programs,” said Douglas Epperson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “This honor is one more validation of Learn by Doing in the College of Liberal Arts.”

Affordable Colleges Online ranked four-year, degree-granting, fully accredited institutions that offer English and humanities at the undergraduate level. Private, for-profit institutions were excluded.

Notable Dates

Spring Quarter Begins Tuesday, April 1

Finals Week: June 9 - 13

Academic Holidays

Monday,March 31
Monday, May 26

Upcoming Quarters

Summer sessions for first 5-weeks begin Thurs. June 19 and end July 23 (finals take place on last class meeting)

Summer sessions for second 5-weeks begin July 24 and end Aug. 26 (finals take place on last class meeting)

Registration begins: April 17
Open Enrollment begins: April 26
Open Enrollment ends: June 12
(for details on summer enrollment dates click here)

Spring Commencement

June 14-15 (Saturday, Sunday) Commencement details

Visit the 2013-14 Academic Calendar for more detailed dates.



Paige Smith

Literary Lakes

Literature of the Lake District 2013 International Field Trip

Kate Sugar

Melinda Moustakis

Read All Spotlights ⇒

Upcoming Events

Scholar, Sasha Colby

Making it New: Modernist Literature and the Stage
Tues., April 15

The American Scholar Prize

Applications taken until 
Fri., April 18

Writers, Pam Houston and Greg Glazner

Thurs., April 24


View All Dept. Events ⇒

Annual Newsletter

Only Connect!

English Department Alumni Newsletter is published annually.

Read the 2013 Newsletter ⇒

Read the 2012 Newsletter ⇒

Read the 2011 Newsletter ⇒


Spring Quarter Begins

Tuesday, April 1

First 5-week summer session 

Thurs., June 19 thru Wed., July 23

Second 5-week summer session

Thurs., July 24 thru Tues., Aug. 26 

(*Registration for summer begins April 17)


2013-14 Academic Calendar

Department Calendar