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.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Writing (37 credits)

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

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

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

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


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.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria, although some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full-tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Scholarships (2018-19)

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Menke Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation form (pdf) to be completed by your pastor.

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

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

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2018-19 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.

For questions about any of the awards below, give our friendly Financial Aid Office a call at 563-333-5775.

Institutional Aid

Guaranteed Minimum Scholarship Award 

based on GPA (Grade Point Average)
3.5-4.00 GPA: $12,000 per year scholarship award
3.0-3.49 GPA: $11,000 per year scholarship award
2.5-2.99 GPA: $10,000 per year scholarship award
2.0-2.49 GPA: $8,000 per year scholarship award

Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Criteria: Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society membership
Award: $12,500/year for new transfer students, renewable each year up to eight semesters, including transfer hours. Scholarships awarded for fall and spring semesters only. GPA is based on 4.0 scale.

Out-of-State Grant

Criteria: non-Iowa resident
Award: $2,000/year

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship

Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate; on-campus students only
Award: $1,000/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Award

Criteria: accepted diverse student
Award: $1,000/year on-campus; $500/year off-campus

Athletics Scholarship

Criteria: performance and ability
Marching band scholarships also available
Award varies

Fine Arts Scholarship

Criteria: performance and ability in art, music, theatre
Audition or portfolio required
Award varies

Dual Admission Scholarship

Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 maximum

Federal and State Aid

Federal Pell Grant

Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $5,920 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 Award

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: @{Iowa-Tuition-Grant}

Carver Scholarship

Criteria: Iowa resident and entering junior, visit carvertrust.org for eligibility details, deadline April 1.
Award: $7,600 maximum

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


Sarah Dennis, PhD, Department Chair

English Department
Ambrose Hall 322A
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

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!