Department of Literature, Journalism and Modern Languages

Ever been called a bookworm? Do you love immersing yourself in different worlds by diving into a good book?

If you routinely whip through a 250-page novel over a weekend and want to learn about the history of great literature and its role today, we’ve bookmarked a place just for you in the Department of Literature, Journalism and Modern Language as a literature major.


PLNU offers two concentrations for its literature major: literature and English education. The former focuses on great works from England, America and across the world. Upper division courses focus on world, American, and British literature and introduce you to literary theory. You'll read literature from classical to post-modern times, approach literary works from a variety of theoretical perspectives, and develop critical writing skills. You'll gain a deeper understanding of languages through linguistics courses, and you may write for school and local publications.

The English education concentration prepares students for graduate school and for becoming teachers of the written word. In addition to extensive literature course work, students will engage in topics of linguistics, grammar, and theory. Creative writing classes are also required. As mandated by the state of California, students pursuing an English education concentration must also complete the state required Subject Matter Summative Evaluation as well as the entire secondary Single-Subject California teaching credential with subject-matter authorization in English language arts.

Special Features

  • Professors are knowledgeable, published writers whose works have been appeared in scholarly journals such as French Studies, The Princeton University Library Chronicle, and The Journal of Mass Media Ethics, as well as The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. With international invitations to lecture and submit papers, faculty members have presented at The University of London, UCLA, Princeton University, and the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese in Madrid, Spain.
  • Department faculty have received major national grants including several from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Fellowship Grant, and the Del Amo Foundation.
  • Opportunity to write or work for The Point Weekly, the student newspaper; Mariner, the annual yearbook; or the Driftwood, a literary magazine.
  • The Annual Writers’ Symposium By the Sea, which has hosted such writers as Ray Bradbury, George Plimpton, Amy Tan, Rick Reilly, Kathleen Norris, Anne Lamott, Bill Moyers, Michael Eric Dyson, and Donald Miller.

Career Opportunities

  • Writer
  • Teacher
  • Professor
  • Literature critic
  • Technical writer
  • Editor
  • Literary agent
  • Lawyer