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English Literature - BA : Literary & Cultural Studies

What is English Literature - BA : Literary & Cultural Studies?

Students in the Literary & Cultural Studies track hone their skills as attentive readers of literature (poems, plays, literary fiction and nonfiction) and other media (films, comics, television shows, songs, and websites, for example), and as writers engaged in literary analysis and cultural criticism. Our students gain knowledge of literary language, form, genres, and histories through study of national, ethnic, and world literatures. They also sharpen their skills as critical thinkers by drawing on various literary, cultural, and interdisciplinary theories—from psychoanalytic theory and post-structuralism to queer theory and the digital humanities—to analyze texts. In doing so, they engage issues involving culture, identity, language, ethics, race, gender, class, and globalism, among many others. 

 Critical thinking, close reading, and reflective, analytic, and persuasive writing are among the vital skills you can acquire as an LCS student and readily apply to your other courses and your career. Our students also get practice in conducting effective research, which becomes central to projects undertaken in our senior capstone seminars. The typical LCS course strongly encourages a substantial amount of discussion among students as well as with the teacher. Graduates from our program pursue successful careers in areas such as law, education, writing and editing, publishing, library sciences, arts administration, social justice work, public relations, business, and any field where careful and critical reading and effective communication are valued.

Success Factors

The English degree offers unique opportunities for undergraduate students to shape their curriculum according to their interests and future professional goals. All undergraduate students take a core group of courses designed to introduce them to the history, language, and current disciplinary discourses of English studies. Beyond the core courses, students choose a track designed to develop their skills and talents in Creative Writing (Fiction, Literary Nonfiction, Poetry), Literary & Cultural Studies, or Rhetoric & Professional Writing. Undergraduate students can double major in two tracks of English, and can also combine a major in one of the tracks with a certificate in a different track; the program offers certificates in Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and Medical Humanities, and English courses play a role in the curriculum requirements of several interdisciplinary certificates, including Digital Engagement and Film & Media Studies.

Students who pursue a BA in English – Literary & Cultural Studies should desire to build on their strengths in writing, reading, and critical thinking. The Literary & Cultural Studies track is specifically designed for students who wish to hone those skills through the study of literature.

Career Possibilities

English majors enjoy satisfying careers and admission to graduate programs due to their ability to read closely, write clearly, research thoroughly, and think critically. From first-year composition through senior capstone courses, English students engage a wide range of historical and contemporary texts and subject matter, including global, ethnic, minority, and popular literatures; film and visual media; and scientific and professional writing. Our majors are known and respected for their ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing, and find success in such diverse fields as law, business, media, education, publishing, and science. English – Literary & Cultural Studies graduates are well suited for careers in:

  • Law
  • Education
  • Writing and editing
  • Publishing
  • Library sciences
  • Arts administration
  • Social justice work
  • Public relations
  • Business

Minoring in English Literature - BA : Literary & Cultural Studies

The minor in English is available to students who major in other disciplines. It combines the major’s core strengths with a degree of latitude regarding specialization.

Course Requirements (21 credit hours):

  • Introduction to English Studies, ENGL 3000 (3 hours)
  • Electives (18 hours): Any courses at the 2000 level and above in these disciplines: ENGB, ENGC, or ENGL. 
    At least three of the courses must be at the 3000 level or above.

Students may use their electives to sample a wide variety of courses in reading and writing or to focus in one particular area. Those interested in more in-depth study of an area may want to consider completing one of the department’s certificate programs.

The department offers four undergraduate certificates in journalism, creative writing, professional writing and American Ethnic Studies. While these programs of study are pursued mostly by non-majors, English majors may consider completing one of these certificates to complement their chosen track.

Click here to declare the minor online

Curriculum Guides

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

University of Cincinnati 3 + 3 Law School Admissions

This major welcomes eligible students who would like to earn a bachelor’s degree and a UC law degree in just six years, saving a year of tuition and time over the traditional path to becoming a lawyer. Students will receive careful advising to complete their major and A&S core degree requirements in 3 years. More information is available here.

Students in UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Special Programs

Study tours of other countries, for which you will receive course credit, are offered to let you experience cultures you previously only read about in a traditional classroom. The Institute for Global Studies and Affairs (IGSA) and the Department of English will even help you pay for it. All UC students are eligible to apply for a grant from IGSA of up to $500. In addition, students majoring in an A&S Taft department are eligible to apply for graduate or undergraduate Taft Enrichment Awards of up to $2,000.

Some of the exciting study tours you could embark on are:

  • Chaucer Study Tour
  • Gothic Paris Study Tour
  • Venice Study Tour
  • Victorian to Virtual Study Tour

Internships and service-learning opportunities enable English majors, minors and certificate students to gain real-world experience putting their reading and writing abilities to work. Whether individually or as part of a class, English students have worked with many non-profits, community groups, schools, businesses and other kinds of organizations. An English adviser can help you decide the best way to incorporate such learning experiences into your chosen program of study.

The George Elliston Poetry Fund has fostered the development of promising young poets and honored the achievements of established poets since 1951. Each year, through the Poet-in-Residence program, a distinguished poet is brought to campus to give public lectures and readings and to conduct poetry seminars and workshops.

Freshman Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 at most recent institution
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

Changing Majors within UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions)
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:

  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Quick Facts

Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature - BA : Literary & Cultural Studies

Full-Time Program Duration

4 Years


Uptown Campus West

Admission Criteria



248 McMicken Hall
PO Box 210069
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0069
Phone: 513-556-5924