Explore an English—Literature… | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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Department of English & Literature
English—Literature Concentration
Student studying in library
Department of English & Literature

English—Literature Concentration

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Grow in your passion for Christ as you study Scripture and analyze literature from around the world. Led by Christian literary scholars, you’ll hone your research, close analysis, and writing skills. The English major with a concentration in literature prepares you to analyze and write about American, British, classical, and multicultural literature. Electives allow students to focus on specific authors, genres, periods, and themes.


of seniors view the faculty as available and accessible


of seniors would advise a friend to attend UNW


of seniors are able to discuss their major through a biblical worldview

Why study English with a concentration in literature at Northwestern?

You can learn from literary scholars who apply classic texts cross-culturally and research literary history through primary source documents. You’ll receive personal attention and feedback from your professors, including the opportunity to conduct research with them.

You can attend writers’ readings in venues off campus such as Minnesota’s literary center, The Loft, or hear from special speakers at venues such as the University of Minnesota.

While engaging contemporary and multicultural literature, you’ll focus on the traditional Western Canon. You’ll have passionate discussions in class on works such as Homer’s Odyssey, the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, the prose of John Henry Newman, or the works of Shakespeare.

Attend with your professors the annual Shakespeare play at Minneapolis’s world-renowned Guthrie Theater, and play word games each winter at the home of Dr. Jones.

Northwestern partners with Best Semester to provide you with the opportunity to study in Oxford. You may also travel to places like the British Isles for a summer or spring break trip.

As an English major, you’ll be able to assist professors, tutor writing to students in the Writing Center, and participate in internships that emphasize literary outreach in Twin Cities organizations.

Our alumni are accepted into graduate programs across the nation: Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, University of Saint Thomas, University of Minnesota-Duluth, and University of Arizona.

If you enjoy reading and writing and have a passion for text, this might be the right degree for you.

What will you learn?

You will learn to analyze literature, think critically, and develop effective written and verbal communication skills.

Some classes include:

  • Epic Literature
  • Literary Studies
  • Shakespeare
  • American Literature
  • British Literature
View Course Catalog
The Northwestern English Department prepared me incredibly well for graduate school. I’m familiar with nearly every author and title on the syllabus in each class….Thanks to the projects and discussions in the thought-provoking courses I took, I now feel comfortable analyzing texts, writing papers, and presenting my ideas at the graduate level.

Careers in literature

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in English with a concentration in literature.

Discover Careers

Meet your professors

Professors at Northwestern are focused on their students first. Our faculty include experts in their respective fields who want to help you grow in your faith while you earn your degree.

Meet the entire department

Heather Walker Peterson, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of English and Literature
Associate Professor of...

Heather Walker Peterson is interested in the ways in which language, written and spoken, influence spiritual...

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Steven P. Harthorn, Ph.D.

Director, Eagle Scholars Honors Program
Professor of English

Steven Harthorn joined the English and Literature faculty at Northwestern in 2015. Previously, he taught at...

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Contact Information

Department of English & Literature

Nazareth Hall, N3128
3003 Snelling Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55113

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