English Department

Welcome to the English Department at Bowling Green State University! One of the largest and most diverse departments on campus, the English Department offers degree paths and minors in Literature, Creative Writing, Rhetoric and Writing, and other areas. Students in English take classes with passionate and committed teachers who have dedicated themselves to the study of language and literature and the creation of original works of scholarship, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Our graduate programs complement our undergraduate programs and provide additional opportunities for professional development. There has never been a better time to develop the skills offered by the study of English. Critical thinking, creative expression, breadth of mind, an aptitude for understanding cultural differences, the capacity to perform research, and the ability to write with clarity and grace, are in demand from employers.

We hope you’ll join us and write here!



Wendell Mayo at Jerome Library

Remembering Wendell Mayo

It is with great sadness that the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English announce the passing of Wendell Mayo. Beloved by students and colleagues alike, Wendell taught at BGSU from 1996 until his retirement last year, and his contributions to the Creative Writing program were incalculable.

He leaves a legacy of published work—five books, most recently Survival House (2018) and more than one hundred stories in distinguished literary journals, including The Missouri Review, The Harvard Review, and New Letters. He received many honors and awards for his work, including the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Subito Press Award for Innovative Fiction, and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. He also leaves a legacy for those who love the short story as an art form: the establishment of the Center for the Short Story at BGSU's Jerome Library.

But Wendell's most important legacy is the impact he had on literally thousands of students over the years. His students will no doubt continue to speak of how inspiring and energetic he was. He launched many talented young writers with his mentorship, and he contributed to their lives and work in ways that go far beyond the classroom. A dedicated, generous, and demanding teacher of writing and literature, Wendell gave 100% to everything he did for our community of writers, and contributed greatly to the content and spirit of our program.

In the Fall of 2019, the Creative Writing Program plans to hold a memorial event to celebrate and remember Wendell during our annual Winter Wheat Festival of Writing. Please check back in early Fall of 2019 for further details.

News and Stories

Dr. Neil Baird

Dr. Neil Baird to Assume University Writing Program Directorship

Dr. Neil Baird, Associate Professor in the Department of English, will assume the role of Director of the University Writing Program beginning on June 3. University Writing Program (UWP) is Bowling Green State University's first-year writing program. UWP courses work in combination to provide students sustained, guided practice writing for a variety of academic audiences and purposes. Dr. Baird will work closely with Dr. Kitty Burroughs, Kelly Jennings, and the UWP faculty and staff over the coming months. He brings extensive administrative experience to the role, as well as enthusiasm for research in and teaching for transfer. Please join the department in welcoming Dr. Baird to UWP!

Congratulations! Dr. Lee Nickoson promoted to full professor

Dr. Lee Nickoson Promoted to Full Professor

On Friday, May 3, Dr. Lee Nickoson was promoted to Full Professor at the Board of Trustees meeting, in recognition of her research, teaching, and service to the university. Dr. Nickoson has been a faculty member at BGSU since 2006, where she has been an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Affiliated Faculty for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She currently serves as the Chair of the Department of English. Please join the department in congratulating Dr. Nickoson for this well-deserved honor!

Pictures of Amanda and Elizabeth appear next to the name of the award

Amanda McGuire Rzicznek and Elizabeth Zemanski Receive 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Instructor/Lecturer Award

Amanda McGuire Rzicznek and Elizabeth Zemanski have been named co-recipients of the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Instructor/Lecturer Award in recognition of their innovative collaboration, their multiple pedagogical approaches, the community engagement portion of their course ENG 3420: Literature for Young Children. Learn more about the award.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in English are expected to be able to:

  • Use writing effectively—including current modes and evolving techniques and technologies—to explore subject matter and to communicate;
  • Develop understanding of subject matter in relation to larger historical and/or cultural contexts, including multicultural contexts;
  • Make connections between theory and practice. Students apply theory to understand texts, solve problems, and teach effectively, and/or students generalize from experiences with texts, communication situations and teaching situations;
  • Develop skills of creative and/or critical thinking.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The English program went through Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2016-17.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The English program does not lead to professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)     
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The English program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.