English : Literary & Cultural Studies


Why study English : 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 course. 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.

Admission Requirements

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

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 Copyediting & Publishing, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and Literary Journalism (jointly with the Dept. of Journalism). English courses play a role in the curriculum requirements of several interdisciplinary certificates, including Digital Engagement, Film & Media Studies, and Medical Humanities.

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.

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. 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

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. 

Certificates in English

The department of English offers three certificate programs: Copyediting & Publishing, Professional Writing, and Creative Writing (poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction), and Literary Journalism jointly with the Dept. of Journalism. 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.

A certificate in Creative Writing is an excellent complement to a major in Literary & Cultural Studies, providing students with perspectives of the craft through the lenses of both reader and writer.

Students in UC's 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.

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.

Publications and Organizations

English is home to an undergraduate journal, Short Vine, and the nationally prominent literary journal The Cincinnati Review. English majors in the course ENGL 3096 Creative Writing & Literary Publishing edit Short Vine and learn about the publishing process from start to finish. Additionally, the Undergraduate English Society is open to all English majors, and members host and participate in events including roundtable discussions on graduate school, job fairs, film screenings, and outings to plays and readings.


Literary & Cultural Studies majors 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.

Experiential learning

English students can intern with local businesses, nonprofits, university offices, state agencies, media outlets, museums, and more, 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.

Renowned faculty

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.

To graduate from the UC 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 university.
  • 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.

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

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.

For any inquiries please contact us at artsci@ucmail.uc.edu.

For more information, visit the Transfer and Transition Advising Center

Transfer students should apply using our transfer student online application

Transfer Articulation Agreements & Pathways 

UC has developed clear pathways (articulation agreements) between select associate degrees at partner institutions and compatible bachelor’s degrees at UC. Each pathway includes a Transfer Degree Map that offers a semester-by-semester course comparison to assist with your transfer planning. 

The following institutions have Transfer Degree Maps for this major: 

  • Terra State Community College 
  • North Central State College 

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.

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)

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 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.

Contact Information

Laura Wilson
248 Arts & Sciences Hall
PO Box 210069
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0069
(513) 556-5924

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Program Code: 15BAC-ENGL-BA-ENGL-LC