You can earn a minor by completing at least 15 credits in English or technical communication courses beyond the 100 level (does not include ENGL 150 or ENGL 250).

Minoring in English

The English minor can give you a sampling of course offerings in English studies. You may tailor the minor to your own preferences. For example, you could concentrate in literature, focusing perhaps on British or American literature, contemporary literature and culture, or women’s literature. You could concentrate in rhetorical studies, focusing on academic writing, oral communication, or technical communication. You could concentrate in linguistics, with courses ranging from syntax to Old English. You could concentrate on creative writing, taking workshops in various genres. Or you could sample courses across the broad range of English studies, from film to writing for the Web. While a minor does not entail the in-depth study and training of the English major, it offers the opportunity to pursue your interests and to develop your reading and writing skills.

English Minor 15 cr.*

The minor in English prepares students in any discipline for which communication activities are needed to succeed in their professions. English minors will complete 15 credits in English courses beyond ENGL 150 and ENGL 250 with a grade of C (not C-) or higher. Of these 15 credits, 9 credits will be at the 300 or 400 levels, and 12 credits must be taken at Iowa State.

*Up to 6 of the credits taken for the minor may be used to meet other degree program requirements.

Minoring in Speech Communication

If you’re interested in adding the communication skills and knowledges you’ll need to be a leader in your field, consider adding a Speech Communication minor to your major coursework.  The Speech Communication minor is for students who are curious about communication, persuasion, and rhetoric. In this minor, you will develop communication skills as a speaker, listener, reader, and writer while learning how to analyze and assess the messages you encounter in daily life.  In our small classroom settings, faculty get to know you, and you get to know your peers. Although you will prepare and deliver at least one presentation in most classes, the majority of time is devoted to working in small groups or as a class to discuss readings, untangle theories, and analyze real-world examples.  Our minor also works well to add an oral communication emphasis to other communication majors, such as Communication Studies, Journalism & Mass Communication, and Technical Communication.  (For more information, see the Speech Communication site.)


There is one required course: SP CM 212: Fundamentals of Public Speaking.
In addition, you will take at least five Speech Communication courses, at least three of which will be at the 300+ level. Note: No credits in 290, 490, 499, and 590 may apply toward the minor. See below for some specific course suggestions.

To sign up, schedule a meeting with our great advisor, Samantha Robinson-Adams (slr@iastate.edu).

Pathways through the Minor

These sets of course options are intended to give you some ideas of ways a speech minor can prepare you for your future. Consider trying one—or blazing your own trail!

  • Analysis—You’ll learn concepts for examining various forms of communication, including propaganda, speeches, websites, music videos, comic books, and more, in Rhetorical Analysis (SP CM 310) and Analysis of Popular Culture Texts (SP CM 275).
  • Culture, politics, and power—You’ll explore communication in various sociopolitical contexts in Gender and Communication (SP CM 323) and Seminar in Argumentation (SP CM 418), a class that has recently focused on studying disputes over public memory and memorials.
  • History and theory—You’ll examine communication from historical and theoretical perspectives in America Speaks: Great Speakers and Speeches in US History (SP CM 216) and Rhetorical Traditions: Histories and Theories of Rhetoric (SP CM 350)
  • Practice—You’ll develop your ability to communicate effectively through a variety of modes (written, oral, visual, and electronic) and for a wide range of contexts in Listening (SP CM 110); Fundamentals of Public Speaking (SP CM 212); Business and Professional Speaking (SP CM 312)

Leadership and Professions

  • SP CM 110: Listening
  • SP CM 216X: Great Speakers & Speeches
  • SP CM 312: Business & Professional Speaking
  • SP CM 323: Gender & Communication
  • SP CM 412: Rhetorical Criticism or SP CM 416: History of American Public Address

Law and Criminal Justice

  • SP CM 322:  Argumentation,  Debate, and Critical Thinking
  • SP CM 324:  Legal Communication
  • SP CM 327:  Persuasion
  • SP CM 412:  Rhetorical Criticism
  • SP CM 416:  History of American Public Address or SP CM 417:  Campaign Rhetoric

Classics and History

  • SP CM 216X: Great Speakers & Speeches
  • SP CM 350:  Rhetorical Traditions
  • SP CM 404: Special Topics Seminar
  • SP CM 412: Rhetorical Criticism
  • SP CM 416:  History of American Public Address

Religion and Ministry

  • SP CM 110: Listening
  • SP CM 322: Argumentation, Debate, and Critical Thinking or SP CM 327:  Persuasion
  • SP CM 404C: Special Topics Seminar: Rhetoric of Religion
  • SP CM 412: Rhetorical Criticism
  • SP CM 416: History of American Public Address

Diversity and Change

  • SP CM 110: Listening
  • SP CM 216X: Great Speakers & Speeches
  • SP CM 322: Argumentation, Debate, and Critical Thinking or SP CM 327: Persuasion
  • SP CM 323: Gender & Communication
  • SP CM 416: History of American Public Address

Minoring in Technical Communication

The technical communication minor can help you develop basic skills in rhetorical analysis, textual editing, composing and collaborating in digital environments, and multimedia design and production that will help you to work as a technical communicator. The minor also provides essential communication skills for majors in business, technical, and scientific fields and complements majors in other communication fields.

Technical Communication Minor 15 cr.*

Students may earn a minor in Technical Communication by enrolling in 15 credits distributed as follows:

  • Three credits in ENGL 314 Technical Communication
  • Twelve credits in Technical Communication chosen from these three-credit courses:

ENGL 302: Business Communication
ENGL 309: Report and Proposal Writing
ENGL 310: Rhetorical Analysis
ENGL 312: Biological Communication
ENGL 313: Rhetorical Website Design
ENGL 332: Visual Communication of Quantitative Information
ENGL 350: Rhetorical Traditions

With appropriate prerequisites, students may also register for the following courses:

ENGL 411: Technology, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication
ENGL 415: Business and Technical Editing
ENGL 416: Visual Aspects of Business and Technical Communication
ENGL 418: Seminar in Argumentation
ENGL 477: Seminar in Technical Communication
ENGL 529: Multimedia Content Management
ENGL 542: Production Processes for Technical Documents
ENGL 549: Multimedia Design in Professional Communication

*Up to 6 of the 15 credits taken for the minor may be used to meet other degree program requirements.
Note: Students should check the ISU catalog to be sure they meet prerequisites if they intend to register for 400+ courses.

Associated Minor—World Film Studies

In partnership with the Department of World Languages and Cultures, the Department of English participates in the cross-disciplinary World Film Studies minor. This minor involves coursework in the history, theory, and aesthetics of cinemas of the non–English-speaking world. A student seeking an undergraduate minor in World Film Studies must successfully complete a minimum of 15 credits, which must include W F S 278 Introduction to Global Film or ENGL 237 Survey of Film History and 12 credits selected from the following list of electives. Of these, at least 6 credits must be from courses taught in the department of World Languages and Cultures. The minor must include at least 9 credits that are not used to meet any other department, college or university requirement.

Required courses include the following:

Courses taught in WLC (at least 6 credits)

  • CHIN 378: Chinese Film and Society
  • FRNCH 326: Studies in French or Francophone Film
  • FRNCH 378: French and/or Francophone Film Studies in English
  • GER 378: German Film and Media Studies
  • RUS 378: Russian Film Studies in English
  • SPAN 326: Studies in Hispanic Art or Film
  • SPAN 378: Hispanic Film Studies in English

Courses outside of WLC (up to 6 credits)

  • ENGL 315: Creative Writing: Screenplays 3
  • ENGL 335: Studies in Film 3
  • ENGL 450: Seminar in Literary Genres 3
  • JL MC 307: Digital Video Production 3
  • AM IN 205: American Indians in the Movies

Curricular note: No more than 6 credits of each repeatable course (FRNCH 326 and FRNCH 378) may be applied to the minor. Both WLC 278 and ENG 237 (6 credits max) may count toward the minor.
(ISU World Film Studies Minor—Dept. of World Languages & Cultures • 3102 Pearson • 515-294-4046 • email: sweber@iastate.edu)

Adding the Minor

If you are interested in adding a minor in English or technical communication, you should meet with your academic advisor to complete the Request for Minor form. Once the form has been completed and signed by your Academic Advisor, bring it to an English Department Academic Advisor or the Technical Communication Program Coordinator for a departmental signature.