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English Literature

What is English Literature?

Responding to an increasingly interdisciplinary, multicultural and media-rich age, the English department offers not only a strong core of literature courses, but also opportunities to pursue different specializations in the study and production of texts. Whether your interest is in American or British literature, multicultural literatures, cultural studies, creative writing, rhetoric and professional writing or journalism, you’ll find a wide array of courses and options to choose from. Whatever your path, you’ll become a more empowered and responsible reader and writer, prepared to make a contribution to your field of knowledge, profession, community and the world at large.

Success Factors

Students in English literature pride themselves on being able to think, read and write critically. They engage in the careful study and sometimes the production, of novels, poems, theoretical works, multimedia documents and other texts. They also become adept at synthesizing knowledge from diverse fields (politics, history, sociology, economics, media studies). While their aspirations vary, students majoring in English literature will become more nimble thinkers and writers, gaining a sophisticated understanding of the many uses and effects of language.

Career Possibilities

While an interest in English literature can lead to careers in areas such as journalism, publishing, technical writing and secondary school teaching, the reading, writing and critical thinking skills that a student in English literature acquires are highly valued in a wide range of positions in business and industry. English literature is also an excellent base for professional studies in law, business and medicine. There isn’t much you can’t do with an English literature degree. Students in English literature have gone on to become:

  • Actors
  • Authors
  • CEOs
  • Coaches
  • Columnists
  • Comedians
  • Directors of non-profits
  • Editors
  • Educators
  • Film critics
  • Grant writers
  • Librarians
  • Marketers
  • Medical writers
  • Science writers
  • Poets
  • Politicians
  • Social policy makers
  • Technical writers
  • Television producers
  • Training specialists

Curriculum Guides


Students are assigned to a professor in the English department to help guide you through the minor.

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

Students in the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) 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 room. 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 literature 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 , English literature students have worked with many non-profits, community groups, schools, businesses and other kinds of organizations. An English literature 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

Students already pursuing a degree in any college at UC can add the minor to their program. Be sure to submit a declaration of the minor using our online form.

In addition, you must meet with the program director so that the department is aware that you are pursuing the minor and can advise you appropriately. Do this early enough to avoid delay in obtaining your minor.

Graduation Requirements

If you have declared the minor, then it will appear on your application for graduation. Apply for graduation as you normally would for your bachelor’s degree.


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

Quick Facts

Completion of Academic Minor Degree in English Literature

Full-Time Program Duration

2 Years


Uptown Campus West

Admission Criteria



367 McMicken Hall
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0069
Phone: (513) 556-3955
Lisa Beckelhimer