United States Air Force Academy

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Curiosity, Charisma and Questioning


Choose to study English. Equip yourself with curiosity, charisma, and an insatiable appetite for questioning. Work alongside English teachers who are guides, curators, and creators. Learn complementary and contradictory ways of navigating literature and the world. Challenge yourself. Sound educated. Live with grit and serendipity. Navigate archives. Step into imaginative worlds. Realize that you are hurling through the universe at 67,000 miles an hour on a heaping mass of magma. Your humanity isn’t something to be squandered.

As an English major, you will immerse yourself in ambiguity, subjectivity, poetry, industry, the Greeks and the geeks, truth, pain, loss, criticism (and all the other –isms embedded therein), imagination, memory, art, rhetoric, love, pity, joy, despair, philosophy, war, identity, race, colonialism, food, politics, technology, high and low culture, gender, senses, myth, cycles of the moon, grief, wanderings, getting lost, death, and the general feeling of being cast aside like a quick-stop Styrofoam coffee cup on the interstate. Or if lists aren’t your thing, you will pause, pay attention, and let the world intrude.

Let others chase the glitterings of the here-and-now like a herd of cats chasing mirrored lights on the ground. Your interests reside elsewhere. Feast at the banquet of Homer and, just as eagerly, devour the works of Alice Munro, Ralph Ellison, Cormac McCarthy, and Leslie Marmon Silko! Declare English now.

Academic Year 2020-2021 Courses

Icarus – Academy Journal of the Arts

English Major Class of 2020 Independent Capstone Research Projects
Capstone Director: Dr Nicole Jerr

Student Capstone Project Title Faculty Advisor Second Reader
Manzi Masozera “There is No Law for Them Anyhow: Poems on an American Anti-Hero” Greg Laski Tom McGuire
William Patrick Newman “Genuinely Afraid: Miller, Albee, and the American Dream” Mark Kaufman Marc Napolitano
Sarah Schwartz “What is Really Lurking Underneath the Ocean? Uncovering Humanity’s Subconscious through the Exploration the Ecogothic in Poe and Lovecraft” Daniel Couch Amy Cooper
Connell Swenson “Melville’s Adam: Antinomianism and Community in Clarel” Steven Olsen-Smith Richard Johnston
Renae Wilson “The Pursuit of Innocence: The Human Narrative in Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and Walter Miller Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz David Buchanan Ross Gresham
Karlee Xander “Jesmyn Ward’s Singular Adolescent vs Multi-First Person Narratives” Sarah Nance José Antonio Arellano
Taylor Yucus “Penning Presidential Idiolects: Literary Influence in the Bush and Obama Administrations’ Idiolects and Policies” Melody Pugh Gary Mills
Beh Sci 110
Chem 100
Com Sci 110
English 111
Engr 101
For Lang 1
For Lang 2
History 100
Math 141
Math 142
Physics 110
Chem 200
Econ 201
English 241
English 342
Engr Mech 220
Law 220
MSS 200
Physics 215
Pol Sci 211
Sys Opt Geo 310
Aero Engr 315
Beh Sci 310
ECE 315
English 343
English 344
English 390
English Opt
English Opt
English Opt
English Opt
Math 300
Philos 310
Academy Opt
Astro Engr 310
Biology 215
English 353
English 411
English 490
English Opt
English Opt
History 300
Mgt 400
MSS 451

For full program requirements and course descriptions, download the current Curriculum Handbook.


When you major in English at the U.S. Air Force Academy, you prepare yourself to join a long line of leaders throughout history. Our majors serve as pilots, navigators, missile officers, intelligence officers, maintenance officers, personnel officers, communication officers, and in many other fields. Some receive advanced degrees in English and return to the Academy as faculty members.
Majoring in English also prepares you for life beyond the Air Force. English was the course of study of Michael Eisner, former CEO of the Disney Corporation; General Martin Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Eric Shinseki, former Secretary of Veteran Affairs; Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; and many other leaders in every sector of industry and public life.


We offer validation and transfer credit for English 111 (Introductory Composition and Research) for the following:

  • AP score of 5 (on Language/Composition or Literature/Composition)
  • IB score of 5+ (at HL level)
  • A- or higher in a comparable English composition course at an accredited four-year college or university
  • A- or higher in an English composition course at an accredited two-year college AND also scored exceptionally well on the verbal component of the SAT or ACT exam (700+ SAT or 30+ ACT)

The Academy registrar receives text scores directly from the College Board. If your scores don’t make it, contact the English 111 course director.

College courses that are taught in a high school and given concurrent credit do not qualify for transfer credit. We only award transfer credit for courses that include a variety of written genres, instruction in argumentation and a significant research paper. We will check transcripts submitted to Academy to determine whether cadets meet these requirements. Once the academic year begins, if a cadet feels that he or she was eligible for transfer credit but has not received it, he or she should bring relevant documents (college transcript, course description, and in some cases standardized test scores) to the English 111 Course Director.

English & Fine Arts Faculty and Staff

Kathleen Harrington, Colonel, USAF
Permanent Professor and Head
Department of English & Fine Arts
(719) 333-3930

Thomas McGuire, Ph.D
Associate Professor, Deputy for Human Resources
Department of English & Fine Arts

Brittney Szempruch, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English and Advisor-in-Charge
Department of English & Fine Arts

Academy Journal of the Arts