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.
In addition to the general education courses required of all majors, and elective courses, BA in English Literature majors take courses from these groups:
Students who major in English literature complete core courses, which include Introduction to Literary Studies, British Literature, American Literature, Literary Criticism and Senior Seminar.
BA in English Literature majors complete supporting courses, which could include Literature of the Middle Ages, The Age of Milton, American Novel to 1890, Modern American Poetry, Catholic Writers, Poetics and Women Writers.
Drawing from their overall undergraduate education in literature and supporting areas, students will complete a research and writing project concerning a literary topic of interest. Senior Seminar includes guided reading and research in secondary materials and presentation of the project both orally and in writing.
View the Degree Plan (PDF) for sample course information for the Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.
Research and Creative Expression
At St. Edward’s, you’ll participate in professional-level research that’s typically reserved for graduate students at larger universities. You’ll work alongside professors to conduct academic research, as you build confidence and skills and prepare for graduate studies and your career. Students become published authors by contributing poetry, short stories, academic writing, journalistic work and creative non-fiction to the university publications Arete, Hilltop Views, and Sorin Oak Review. Additionally, you may present at forums such as the Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) at St. Edward’s University.