Writing


Whether you dream of landing on the New York Times best-seller list or landing a big advertising account, SAU will help you reach your career and creative goals.

Our graduates work for Daytrotter.com International Music Website, Everest College, Newman Central Catholic High School, and self-employed as a novelist and publisher.


Ambrose Advantages

  • Creative and Technical Writing
  • Caring Faculty
  • Beyond the Classroom Learning

teacher student roundtable

Student on laptop

Check out our English and Writing Major Fact Sheet (pdf)


More Information on the Writing Program

What will I learn?

Writing majors focus on growing their aesthetic senses and gaining an appreciation of writing as a form of art. Core courses include English composition, business communications, and technical, persuasive, and creative writing.

We offer traditional and unique electives, which allows you to shape your degree to your interests. Electives include linguistics, African American literature, fiction into film, Shakespeare, devotional and mystical writing, Hindu literature, and memoir writing.

What unique opportunities will I have?

At SAU, we want you to put your growing skills and creativity to use. Writing majors can:

  • Get hands-on experience working as writing tutor in the Student Success Center
  • Serve on the student advisory board for Quercus or Mazy Mind 
  • Write for the SAU student newspaper, The Buzz
  • Study as a Fulbright Scholar

You can explore careers and get real-world experience before graduating. Our internship program is coordinated by the SAU Career Center, and your personal experience will be overseen by one of your professors. Students have landed internships at Family Focus Magazine, Nehlsen Communications, QC Radio group, Her Campus, Mancomm, and the Red Cross of the Quad Cities.

English department faculty coordinate events so you can engage, face-to-face, with visiting authors and poets. They also offer Study Abroad opportunities in the summer, winterim, and during spring break. Past trips have included Wordsworth in the Lake District, Literature of Hinduism in India, Theatre in London, and Travel Writing in Ecuador.

You can also join SAU's student club, English Pros(e), and take part in workshops and readings, National Day on Writing events, the annual faculty-student Halloween mixer, and a literary scavenger hunt.

What are some possible career outcomes?

A liberal arts education and critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking skills can lead to a variety of career fields, including advertising, technical writing, financial research, marketing, communications, newspapers, television or radio, public relations, and publishing.

You will also be a strong candidate for graduate studies in education, law, library science, medicine, journalism, and creative writing.

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Emily Bailey Keimig '16 coordinates Youth Services at LeClaire (Iowa) Community Library.
  • Eric Herbst '16 works in marketing for Mississippi Valley Credit Union.
  • Livv McDonald '16 is a technical writer at Twin State Technical Services.
Faculty

Sarah Dennis, PhD, Chair and Assoc. Professor

Patrick Connelly, PhD, Professor
Philip Goldfarb Styrt, Teaching Fellow
Carl Herzig, PhD, Professor
Emily Kingery, PhD, Asst. Professor
Lindsay Schaefer, Instructor

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Writing (37 credits)

Required:
ENGL 101 English Composition
ENGL 399 Career Paths for Writers
6 credits of literature - Read Course Descriptions

Choose 6 credits of Flexible Required Choices:
WI-ENGL 216 Persuasive Writing
WI-ENGL 218 Technical Writing
WI-ENGL 315 Written Business Communications
WI-ENGL 316 Expository Writing Workshop
+ENGL 317 Creative Writing Workshop

Choose *18 credits of Writing Electives:
ENGL 199 Creative Forms
WI-ENGL 219 Introduction to Literary Studies
ENGL 313 Linguistics: Language and Learning
WI-ENGL 319 Writing About Place
ENGL 320 Writing Topics
ENGL 321 Memoir Writing
ENGL 326 Devotional and Mystical Writing
ENGL 327 Literary Translation Workshop
ENGL 335 Rhetoric and Writing Topics

Choose one of the following for Portfolio Submission Requirements:
ENGL 350 Independent Study
ENGL 400 Writing Internship
+ENGL 415 Advanced Poetry Workshop
+ENGL 418 Advanced Fiction Workshop

*Students may take additional courses from the "Flexible Required " or "Portfolio Submission" categories to be used as writing electives.

Plan to Graduate

This is a sample course plan for a writing major.

First Year
Fall - ENGL 101 English Composition
Spring - ENGL 222 Women's Literature

Sophomore
Fall - ENGL 120 Literary Topics: Literature & Film of Vietnam War and ENGL 216 Persuasive Writing
Spring - ENGL 223 Minority Voices and ENGL 321 Memoir Writing

Junior
Fall - ENGL 317 Creative Writing Workshop and ENGL 313 Linguistics
Spring - ENGL 399 Career Paths for Writers, ENGL 230 Structure and Grammar of English, and ENGL 400 Writing Internship

Senior
Fall - ENGL 418 Advanced Fiction Workshop and ENGL 320 Writing for the 21st Century
Spring - ENGL 335 Environmental Writing and Rhetoric and ENGL 316 Expository Writing Workshop

Writing Minor (18 credits)

Choose 6 courses:
WI-ENGL 216 Persuasive Writing
WI-ENGL 218 Technical Writing
WI-ENGL 315 Written Business Communications
WI-ENGL 316 Expository Writing Workshop
+ENGL 317 Creative Writing Workshop
WI-ENGL 319 Writing About Place
ENGL 320 Writing Topics
ENGL 321 Memoir Writing
ENGL 400 Writing Internship
COMM 331 Advanced Media Writing

+=satisfies General Education requirement
WI=writing intensive

Click here to read course descriptions in the online course catalog

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Scholarships

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

First-Year Scholarships

Amounts are for first-year students entering St. Ambrose in the 2019-20 academic year. There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies, for up to four years, as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and remain a full-time student. 

On Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Trustee Scholarships
Criteria: unweighted 4.0 GPA and minimum 30 ACT or 1390 SAT score
Award: $23,000 per year and invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship

Presidential Scholarships
Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score
Award: $20,000 per year

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $14,000 per year, $15,000 per year, $16,000 per year or $17,000 per year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
$12,000 per year

On Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000 per year

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $1,000/year

Off Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000 per year, $12,000 per year, $13,000 per year or $14,000 per year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $10,000 per year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $500 per year

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2019-20 academic year. 

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

Scholarships

Phi Theta Kappa
Criteria: awarded to all Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society members transferring from a community college
Award: $14,000

OR

Transfer Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on GPA
Awards:
3.5-4.00 GPA $13,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $12,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $11,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $9,000 

Out-of-State Grants
Criteria: non-Iowa resident
Award: $2,000 per year

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate; on-campus students only
Award: $1,000 per year

Dual Admission Scholarships
Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 per year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $1,000 per year on-campus; $500 per year off-campus

Federal and State Aid

Federal Pell Grant
Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $6,095 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Iowa Tuition Grant
Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: $5,650

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


Apply Visit Info

Contact


Sarah Dennis, PhD, Department Chair

English Department
Ambrose Hall 322A
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
DennisSarahE@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 27 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!