Office: 278 Fenton Hall

(716) 673-3125

Ann Siegle Drege, Chairperson

Email: english.department@fredonia.edu

Website: http://www.fredonia.edu/department/english/

Office: 279 Fenton Hall

(716) 673-3125

Emily VanDette, Associate Chairperson

The Department of English offers a broad education in the literature of current and historical times and cultures, emphasizing critical reading and thoughtful writing. Traditional literary and historical analysis of fiction, poetry, and drama is basic to the discipline; however, that study may be extended in many ways. Options include film, cultural studies, language study, pedagogy, and creative writing. Graduates of the department are employed by journals, publishers, business firms, arts organizations, and schools; some also go on to graduate programs in English, education, American studies, journalism, law, and social work, and creative writing. Others choose to pursue the department’s Master of Arts degree in English or the Master of Arts 7-12 degree leading to professional certification.

For the English major, the department offers a varied exposure to literature, criticism, film, written and multimedia texts through a core of required courses. Internships in English-related fields are also available.

For the English minor, the department offers courses that can easily be organized to complement any major or pre-professional study.

For the Writing minor, the department offers courses that could complement any major, including English, or pre-professional study.

Awards and Scholarships

The department awards scholarships and prizes recognizing both financial need and superior achievement:

  • Mary Louise White Book Award for Incoming Freshman
  • Albert A. Dunn Book Grant Award
  • Laura Foster Award
  • Albert A. Dunn Memorial Scholarship
  • Dr. Robert and Joanne L. Schweik Scholarship
  • John and Eleanor Courts Memorial Scholarship
  • Crescence Ehmke Graham Scholarship
  • The Howard Herkimer and Hildegard Maytum Strong Scholarship
  • Henry F. Salerno Scholarship for a Graduating Senior
  • Mary Louise White Fund
  • Mary Louise White Poetry Award
  • Mary Louise White Fiction Award
  • Mary Louise White Creative Writing Award
  • Best Paper by a Student Beyond the First Year
  • Best Paper by a First-Year Student Award

Honor Society

Qualified undergraduate students may apply for membership in the international English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta. Candidates for undergraduate membership must have four semesters of college work, as well as a minimum of four college courses in the English department at SUNY Fredonia beyond the usual requirement for English composition. They must also have a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average in English courses.

Department of English Honors Program

Students enrolled in Honors in English write a thesis during the senior year on a topic related to literature, language, or English pedagogy. Students can be nominated by a faculty member or may nominate themselves; nominations must be accompanied by a brief recommendation from a faculty member. Nominations should be made to the department’s Honors Coordinator.

Students writing an English Honors Thesis should enroll in HONR 400. Students who choose to write the thesis in the fall semester should use the preceding summer for research. Students who choose to write the thesis in the spring semester should use the fall semester for research by taking ENGL 490 Independent Study. Before beginning work on the thesis, the student should identify a faculty member who will be willing to serve as the thesis director. The completed thesis should be read by the director and one other reader, who will typically be a member of the English Department but who may, if the topic so requires, be from another department.

Requirements for Transfer Credit

The Department of English at Fredonia requires majors in English to complete at Fredonia a minimum of 27 credit hours of courses applied to the major. Thus, students transferring to Fredonia should normally expect no more than 12 credit hours earned elsewhere to apply to the major in English. Additional hours earned in English may be used as general electives or may be applied, under prescribed conditions, to the College Core Curriculum. As a rule, the department will not accept credits earned at two-year colleges as equivalents for upper-level courses.


An assigned faculty advisor will aid each student majoring in English or English Adolescence Education in completing his or her portfolio. Advisors also help both major and minor advisees in preparing course schedules, understanding requirements, making broad educational decisions, and solving academic problems. As a further aid, the department regularly produces a pre-registration Course Description Booklet that contains additional details each semester that are not found in the University Catalog, e.g. required readings, papers, and exams.