You’ve heard that good readers make the best writers. A degree in English Literature will help you discover how both reading and writing open doors to multiple career options and a meaningful life.

Learn to analyze literature alongside professors who share your passion for the printed page. Develop a global mindset by studying a diverse range of authors from different cultures and communities.

English majors are good thinkers and communicators who can apply those skills in any kind of job. We’ll help you discover what that means for you: pursuing a career in publishing in New York City? Working for a literary journal and teaching teenagers to express themselves through poetry? Going into business, where your analytical and communication skills are in high demand? You’ll have all these options, and more.

Plus, you’ll be in Austin, home to the Texas Book Festival, the state’s largest independent bookstore, and a brand-new Central Library that’s generating serious buzz.

What do our graduates do?

English Literature majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.

  • English Teaching Assistant in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program
  • Youth services librarian at Matheson Memorial Library
  • Graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Student at the Columbia University Publishing Institute in Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Graduate student at Brandeis University

For more information on the English Literature major, please contact Professor of English Christopher Flynn. The English Literature major is part of the Department of Literature, Writing and Rhetoric

Student meeting with success coach

Major Roadmap

Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future. 

English Literature Major Guide

Student graduation

54 Alumni Who Inspire

St. Edward’s University counts more than 25,000 alumni around the globe. Some are making their mark in the job they started right after graduation. Others have excelled in multiple careers. Read about how they’re all building on the education they received at St. Edward’s.

The Classroom and Beyond

English Literature majors have ample opportunities to attend live theatre and meet visiting writers, contribute to student publications, study abroad, and intern with an organization connected to publishing, literacy, education or communication.

Experiential Classes

Your courses will draw on the resources of Austin’s cultural and arts scene to help literature come to life.

In your Shakespeare class, you’ll attend at least one live performance and interact with the actors.

In Milton, you’ll visit the Harry Ransom Center reading room to examine the archives of Milton’s works.

SEU to You

How much remains unseen? Students in Associate Professor of Creative Writing Sasha West’s Poetry I class explore the art of attention — what’s in our lives and what we have been missing. 

Student Organizations

  • Sorin Oak Review is a literary magazine that showcases the poetry, prose and artwork of St. Edward’s students. Working on the editorial staff is a great way to gain experience in project management and the practical details of putting together a publication. 
  • Arete is a student-produced academic journal that publishes student-written research, nonfiction essays and commentary. Editors choose from among the dozens of submissions to create a cohesive journal that represents a variety of perspectives.
  • New Literati is a student-produced journal of both academic and creative work.
  • Hilltop Views, the weekly student newspaper, is published both in print and online. Student journalists report news from the campus and greater Austin community. You can get involved as early as your freshman year as a writer, editor, photographer or designer. 
  • B. Hooved is the student humor journal, inspired by our Hilltopper goat mascot.
  • The Marcia Kinsey Visiting Writers Series brings poets, novelists, playwrights and essayists to campus to read from their work and talk with students about the process of writing. Previous visiting writers include Jericho Brown, Jonathan Safran Foer, Naomi Shihab Nye and Mindy Kaling. 
  • Sigma Tau Delta is an English honor society and student literary club that meets for poetry readings, theatrical events, service projects, book discussions and professional workshops about resume-writing and applying for internships.

Research 

As an English Literature major, you’ll have the opportunity to conduct research on topics that interest you and present it at the Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression, on campus, or at professional conferences. 

Recent presentations have included:

  • Intersections between the political thought of John Milton and Nicolo Machiavelli
  • How Mary Shelley repurposed the poetry of John Milton to build a feminist ethical vision in the nineteenth century

Internships

English Literature majors intern in a variety of settings where they use their analytical and communication skills and gain professional experience. Students have recently interned at the following organizations:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • Badgerdog children’s and adult creative writing workshops
  • Literati Books, a curated books-of-the-month club for kids
  • Women’s Storybook Project of Texas, whose mission is to connect children with their incarcerated mothers through the joy of literature
  • Annie’s List (communications internship)
  • Harry Ransom Center

Study abroad

English Literature majors can take courses in creative writing, literature and literary studies at St. Edward’s partner universities including:

  • The National University of Ireland in Galway
  • Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • The University of Roehampton in London

St. Edward’s faculty occasionally lead trips that focus on a particular aspect of literature. Professors from English Literature and Graphic Design have led a study trip to England and Ireland that investigated the history of both countries’ literature and the evolution of its visual style and artwork. The group visited sites including the Trinity College Old Library in Dublin and the Book of Kells; the Globe Theatre; the British Library; the town and cathedral of Canterbury; and the home of William Morris, a graphic designer for literary texts in the 19th century.