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

The English major with a concentration in literature prepares you to analyze and write about American, British, classical, and multicultural literature. While laying the foundation for further graduate study.

English with a concentration in literature may be the right degree for you if you

  • enjoy reading and writing
  • have a passion for text
  • want to research and deep-dive into literature

Why study English with a concentration in literature at Northwestern?

Grow in your passion for literature while engaging contemporary and multicultural literature. You’ll focus on the traditional Western Canon. Studying the works of Homer, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Henry Newman, Shakespeare, and more. Plus, electives allow students to focus on specific authors, genres, periods, and themes.

At UNW, you'll learn from literary scholars who research literary history and apply classic texts. You’ll receive personal attention and feedback from your professors.

As an English major, you’ll be able to assist professors, tutor writing to students, and have internships. Additionally, UNW partners with Best Semester to provide you with the opportunity to study in Oxford.

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

What will I learn?

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

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.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Media and journalism
  • Publishing
  • Curriculum development
  • Copywriting
  • Technical writing
  • Database development
  • Public relations
  • Teaching
  • Law
  • Research
  • Editing
  • Freelance writing/consulting
  • Corporate communication
  • Journalist
  • Book critic

Who employs people with this degree?

  • Universities and colleges
  • Testing companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Publishers
  • Small-to-mid size businesses
  • Mid-to-large size businesses
  • Law firms
  • Newspapers
  • Self-employed/freelance
  • Technical industries
  • Magazines
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Non-profits
  • Public relations firms
View Career Guide

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

Preparing for a Career

College graduation rates continue to increase each year making competition for jobs even greater. Set yourself apart from the crowd with the following strategies for getting started, networking, and gaining experience.

Strategies for success:

  • English Literature is a non-vocational degree, which means it is not geared toward a specific career path, rather it provides you with skills that can be applied in various careers.
  • English Literature builds strong analysis skills which can be utilized in many different fields.
  • A major in English is good preparation for continued graduate or professional training in areas such as English, law, political science/government, public administration, communications, and seminary.
  • Consider obtaining additional areas of expertise (e.g. journalism, broadcasting, politics) for more specialized positions.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in your desired line of work.
  • Pursue an internship that gives you relevant experience.
  • Join professional associations. Attend their conferences and read their journals.

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