Minors & Certificates

English Literature

What is English Literature?

A minor in English complements any major, and offers students from other disciplines the opportunity to develop the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills that employers seek in college graduates. Students choose courses from Creative Writing, Literary & Cultural Studies, and Rhetoric & Professional Writing, and may focus on one particular area of study or take courses from two or all three tracks in order to explore different areas of English. 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.

Students who pursue a minor in English should desire to build on their strengths in writing, reading, and critical thinking. Coursework includes one required course followed by six English electives, allowing students to cater the minor to their career objectives. You might take courses in multicultural literatures, writing fiction, and scientific writing, for example, depending on your career path and major. 

Career Possibilities

English students enjoy satisfying careers and admission to graduate programs due to their ability to read closely, write clearly, research thoroughly, and think critically. English is also an excellent base for professional studies in law, business, and medicine. Paired with your major, an English minor will help prepare you for careers in:

  • Writing and editing
  • Publishing
  • Arts administration
  • Education
  • Film and television writing
  • Advertising
  • Law
  • Library sciences
  • Social justice work
  • Business
  • Science and technology
  • Technical communication
  • Web development
  • Environmental writing



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

Certificates in English

In addition to majors and a minor, the department of English offers three certificate programs: Professional Writing, Creative Writing (Poetry, Fiction, and Literary Nonfiction), and Medical Humanities. Certificate programs provide more focus and less time commitment than a minor, and provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to more fully develop skills in reading, writing, and analysis in their chosen area of interest.

 Experiential learning

English students can intern with local businesses, nonprofits, university offices, state agencies, media outlets, and museums, and earn college credit while developing reading and writing skills. Students can also gain valuable experience by taking research-intensive or service learning courses, by studying abroad, and by entering their work in the department’s writing contest each year.


English students enjoy opportunities to hear a number of distinguished authors read their work through our Visiting Writers Series. Likewise, the biennial Emerging Fiction Writers Festival brings four writers to campus for two days of readings and panels. Past visiting writers have included Rita Dove and Colson Whitehead.

 Renowned faculty

Our Creative Writing faculty have collectively published dozens of books of fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, and criticism. They have won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Program, and the National Book Awards program. Our Rhetoric & Professional Writing faculty are experienced professional writers and editors with many years of experience in fields such as business, medicine and healthcare, science, technology, social sciences, and technical and environmental writing. Our Literary & Cultural Studies faculty are active scholars who publish and present in their field. Many teach both undergraduate and graduate courses, and develop strong relationships with their students.

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


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