The Department of English, Communication and Global Languages is located within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Our program offerings in languages, composition, rhetoric, literature, linguistics and communication studies provide a solid foundation for a wide selection of careers by preparing you to meaningfully engage with diverse cultures, critically analyze a range of subjects, and effectively and persuasively communicate verbally and in writing. 


Lysbeth Benkert

Welcome to the Department of English, Communication, and Global Languages at Northern State University—the department of writing and speaking. We have designed our programs and certificates to help you prepare for your future, and provide you with the skills employers look for.

Our English program offers majors in English (B.A.) and English education (B.S.Ed.), with career-oriented emphases to suit your ambitions:

  • A media studies emphasis could lead to a career in journalism, human relations, or public relations. 
  • A professional writing emphasis will prepare you for work as a technical, science, or grant writer. 
  • Want to work abroad? Choose an emphasis in teaching English as a second language. 
  • Ready to work on the next great American novel? Move into the emphasis in creative writing. 
  • If you want to be a teacher, the emphasis in teaching will ensure you have the content knowledge to graduate into your own classroom. 
  • Or maybe you’re thinking about graduate school. A literature emphasis will give you a solid foundation for graduate work in in English, law, or library sciences.

You could also choose to pursue a B.A. with a major in communication. Once again, you can tailor your degree to match your career interests. This major allows you to choose an emphasis in either critical practice or public relations, both of which give you career-ready skills that suit you for a wide variety of jobs.

Interested in languages? Multiple skills are often required in today’s job market. Our department offers classes to gain you fluency in Spanish, German, French, and Latin. In addition, our Chinese minor and Chinese certificate, both offered on-line and on campus, have been popular. We are the only university that offers both Chinese certificate (four classes) and Chinese minor (five semesters) not only in South Dakota, but in the broader region as well.

Not ready to commit to a full major in these areas? Try out a minor in English, communication studies, public relations, or Spanish. Or you could earn a certificate in teaching English as a second language to make any major more versatile.

Dr. Lysbeth Em Benkert
Department of English, Communication and Global Languages



NOTE: The prefix for all of Northern’s German classes has changed to GLAN (Global Language). When searching for German classes on the Northern State University website or in Banner, please use the GLAN prefix.



Get to Know Our Faculty

As a student in the English, Communication and Global Languages Department, you'll get personal attention from dedicated professors who care about your success.