English Literature

The Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at St. Edward’s immerses you in written works by great minds in the English language — from Milton and Shakespeare to Dickinson and Morrison. You’ll learn to write with skill and grace and to see the world through the eyes of many diverse authors. And you’ll join other passionate readers and writers in invigorating discussions about poetry and prose.

You’ll hone your own scholarly and creative writing — and have opportunities to submit both for publication. St. Edward’s features two award-winning, student-run journals: Arete, a student forum for academic writing, and the Sorin Oak Review, a literary magazine that publishes students’ creative compositions.

Bachelor of Arts in English Literature


As a BA in English Literature major, you’ll explore important classic and modern works of literature, analyze their formal construction, and consider what they reveal about their cultures of origin. You’ll develop your expository writing skills and hone your critical reading abilities. And you may choose to share your unique perspective and draw upon your most profound experiences in your own creative writing.

Many students select this degree to prepare for graduate study in the humanities or law school. Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, advising sessions and program events — allows you to learn more about career options and the choice of doing graduate work.

Graduates who earn a BA in English Literature can use their excellent writing, research and analytical skills in a broad range of careers. They may write books, publish poetry and articles, edit or direct online and printed publications, work as copywriters or editors in marketing or advertising, or craft speeches and news releases as part of a public relations campaign. Many graduates also pursue teaching or librarianship. Our students have gone on to graduate programs at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, Pennsylvania State University School of Law and Loyola University in Chicago and to jobs with publishers and the Peace Corps.

Degree Plan:

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).

• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• College Mathematics
• Computational Skills
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language

• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues

• The Human Experience
• Ethics*
• Religious Studies/Philosophy
• Science in Perspective
• Science in Depth

• Introduction to Literary Studies
• British Literature I
• British Literature II
• American Literature I
• American Literature II
• Literary Criticism
• Senior Seminar in English Literature

Electives in the Major (12 Credit Hours)
Select 3 hours from Group A:
• Literature of the Middle Ages
• The Age of Milton
• Development of English Drama up to the Moderns
• Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Romances
• Shakespeare’s Comedies and Histories
Select 3 hours from Group B:
• The British Romantics
• American Novel to 1890
• Victorian Novel
• Restoration and 18th-Century British Literature
• Victorian Poetry and Prose
• The 18th-Century British Novel
Select 3 hours from Group C:
• Modern and Contemporary Drama
• Modern American Poetry
• Modern and Postmodern Literature
• Turn of the Century and Early Modern Novel
Select 3 hours from Group D:
• Topics in Literature
• Poetics
• Special Topics in Literature
• Regional Writers

In addition to completing the core requirements and English Literature electives, English Literature majors must complete three courses in one of two areas of specialization below.

General Specialization
Select 9 additional hours of electives from Groups A–D on previous page.

Creative Writing Specialization
Select two of the following courses:
• Introduction to Creative Writing
• Poetry Workshop I
• Fiction Workshop I
• Playwriting Workshop I
• Special Creative Writing Workshops
• Creative Nonfiction Workshop
Select one of the following courses:
• Poetry Writing II
• Fiction Writing II
• Stage and Screen Writing II
• Special Topics in Intermediate Creative Writing


You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.

* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone.