English Classes in Chicago with School Options

Feb 24, 2019

English classes and degrees aren't hard to come by in the Chicago area; dozens of colleges offer programs in the field. Learn about the degree requirements at three of those schools, located within 10 miles of downtown, to make an informed education decision.

Chicago Schools with English Courses

Students interested in studying English in Chicago have both undergraduate- and graduate-level options available within a 20-minute drive from the city's center. This article highlights the coursework requirements for programs at three schools and also provides a table of facts and figures for each institution. Additional school options are also discussed at the end.

  • The University of Illinois at Chicago is the biggest school on the list and offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in English. The school is just a little over a mile from downtown.
  • English lovers can also choose the University of Chicago, a smaller, private school located roughly eight miles from the downtown area. A bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. in English are available, and the school offers students a chance to study in London.
  • Students who are still exploring their degree options can attend Harold Washington College, which is a community college where students can complete an associate's degree in the field. The campus is located about a mile from central Chicago.

Comparison of Schools

How much it costs to earn a degree can often be just as important to consider as the program itself. Review this table to get information on tuition rates, acceptance rates, school types and more for the three schools.

University of Illinois at Chicago University of Chicago Harold Washington College
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 30,539* 16,227* 8,869*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $13,704 in-state; $26,560 out-of-state* $56,034* $3,506 in-district; $8,126 in-state; $11,906 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017) 84%* 61%* 77%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 77%* 9%* N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 80% for full-time students* 99% for full-time students* 60% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate 57% (students who began in 2011)* 93% (students who began in 2011)* 18% (students who began in 2014)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a broad range of degree options at the graduate and undergraduate levels for students who want access to all types of English studies. The college faculty regularly takes part in research, and students have access to speakers and authors through discussions and featured events. There are also internships for students to test their writing skills in the real world.

Bachelor of Arts in English

As part of the undergraduate program, students will learn about noted English authors, the English language and literary criticism. In addition, students can learn about the theory and structure of different forms of writing, such as fiction and poetry. Undergraduate courses cover American literature, media and rhetoric, creative writing and diversity. There is also a minor in English for non-majors. It requires six courses that cover topics in English literature and American literature.

Master of Arts in English

Students can also earn a Master of Arts in English at the university. A writing program is available for students who want to take part in writing workshops in addition to taking courses on American and British literature. Graduate-level courses focus on the media, contemporary literature, composition and rhetoric. All students are required to complete a master's project, which is typically a lengthy paper that provides students with the opportunity to display their creative writing or critical writing skills, depending on their area of study.

Ph.D. in English with a Concentration in English Studies

In the doctoral degree program in English studies, students can build their research skills as they prepare a dissertation and take oral and written examinations. Some students may also need to work as teaching assistants while completing the program. This Ph.D. program offers numerous areas of study, such as global literature, early modern literature, and urban studies and social theory.

Ph.D. in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing

Students who want to earn a Ph.D. in Creative Writing take many of the same courses as students earning a Ph.D. in English Studies. However, this option allows students to take a series of writing workshops that relate to their area of interest. For example, the school offers poetry and fiction workshops, as well as courses about translation and publishing. Outside of the courses, students prepare a dissertation and take exams before being awarded their degrees.

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago offers several options for students who want to take English classes. In the undergraduate program, students can incorporate a 10-week study trip to London as part of their studies in English history and literature. Undergraduate non-English majors can also explore creative writing options through a minor program, while students interested in graduate study can find a Ph.D. program.

Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing

This bachelor's degree program connects students to the worlds of literature, drama and film. Students study specific authors and their influences, as well as the role of research in understanding English literature and its place in society throughout history. Students can develop a critical eye for English language through classes that hone their writing, research and reading skills. Classes are available in different genres of non-fiction, fiction and poetry. There's also the option of completing a senior project. The minor in English and creative writing is meant for students who are not majoring in English. Students will have to take two creative writing classes and four elective courses in English or creative writing and submit a portfolio to earn the minor.

Ph.D. in English

In this Ph.D. program, students have the opportunity to take in-depth English courses, teach classes and complete a dissertation. The school also includes a foreign language component for students, as well as required oral examinations.

Harold Washington College

Students looking for a more affordable option can earn their associate's degree in English from Harold Washington College. Unlike the two other schools, this is a community college, and students can earn an associate's degree in two years. From there, students can transfer to 4-year universities to work on their bachelor's degrees.

Associate of Arts in English

The associate's degree program is meant to give students an overview of the English discipline. Students who want to major in English can choose between American literature and British literature classes. Students who would like to transfer to a 4-year university can take a range of general education classes that include English, as well as communications and humanities.

Other Schools

There are other schools located in or near downtown Chicago that offer English classes. Chicago State University is located 13 miles from downtown. Columbia College - Chicago and DePaul University are located less than two miles from downtown Chicago.

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