Whether you take one English class or pursue a major, you'll join a close-knit group of readers and writers who appreciate the power and beauty of literature.

Your classes and writing workshops will be small, dynamic, and designed to foster discussion and interaction, and the English Department's cozy Pearson House will become your home away from home. You’ll be part of a lively literary community, with opportunities like The Green Fuse, our student literary magazine; The Mercury, our yearly publication of outstanding student work; Surfacing, our annual festival where students write, direct, and produce their own one-act plays; and the brand new Student Reading Series. Along the way, you'll develop the critical reading, thinking, and communication skills required for success in any professional role.


All of our majors take core courses in literary analysis and the British and American literary traditions. These core courses form the foundation of all of our major courses of study. All of our majors are also offered Practicum courses, experiential learning opportunities in areas like editing, social-media, videography, literary event planning, research assistantships, internships, and more.

Creative Writing (BA)

Our creative writing major offers classes in poetry, literary fiction, fantasy and science fiction, creative nonfiction, and playwriting. The curriculum includes writing workshops (limited to 15 students apiece) and literature classes that provide you with new creative influences and a variety of strategies for your own writing. Under the guidance of faculty who are published, award-winning writers, you'll widen the range of what's possible on the page.


English (BA)

In this major, you'll choose from courses on a range of literatures written in English as well as literature in translation from all eras. Many of these courses will span cultures, time periods, and aesthetic approaches to explore particular themes or genres such as "The History of the Novel," "Oppression and Resistance," "Human-Animal Transformations," and "Myth and Classical Literature." You'll also have the chance to study literary criticism and theory, linguistics, and film adaptations of literary texts, and to take seminars on authors like Jane Austen and Toni Morrison.


English (BA) with an Emphasis in Drama and Playwriting

In this emphasis, you'll receive a strong grounding in the rich legacy of dramatic literature from the Ancient Greeks to the present day. You'll experience classic and contemporary drama in a global context, with works from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Your courses will approach plays as performance texts and encourage students to read as actors, designers, writers and critics. Playwriting workshops will develop your own skills as writers and an appreciation for the craft of other dramatists.

Points of Distinction

  • Classes are small and discussion-oriented, which encourages students to learn from one another.
  • Courses are taught by award-winning professors who are nationally recognized experts, active scholars, and publishing authors in fields like: contemporary multiethnic literature; drama; ecocriticism; feminist criticism; fiction; Jane Austen; poetry; and women, gender, and sexuality studies.
  • Webster’s Visiting Writers Series gives students firsthand access to well-known and well-respected writers. Past visiting writers have included National Book Award winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Man-Booker Prize winners, Story Prize winners, MacArthur Genius Grant winners, and US Poet Laureates like Billy Collins, Elizabeth McCracken, George Saunders, Philip Levine, and Lynda Barry.
  • The English department is a close-knit community of students and professors who meet regularly for readings, book discussions, and other activities in the Pearson House.
  • Student publications The Green Fuse and The Mercury give students experience with publishing their own creative and academic work, as well as working to edit a publication.

English Academic Programs

To read about specific program requirements, learning outcomes and how to apply, click on a program from the following list:

Additional Information

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Become a Gorlok

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Whether you’re seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree, we'll help you achieve academic excellence preparing you for future career successes. The first step is to fill out our application.