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English Literature Universities and Schools with Program Info

English literature is the study of fiction and non-fiction writing throughout history, especially work from Britain and the United States. Nearly every 4-year university offers degrees in English literature, often with diverse course options.

When searching for an English literature degree program, students should first make sure that the curriculum at the school in which they're interested doesn't rely too much on a single aspect of English. A good program should offer studies in British and American literature, writing, communication, journalism, fiction writing, creative non-fiction and poetry.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

Top 10 English Literature Schools

English literature programs are available at varying degree levels. Some of the schools that offer these degree programs are listed below.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*
Georgetown University Washington, DC 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $48,611
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $49,536
University of Washington Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $11,839 (In-state)
$34,143 (Out-of-state)
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $45,278
Brown University Providence, RI 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Doctoral $49,346
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $15,192 (In-state)
$44,365 (Out-of-state)
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Doctoral $43,450
Yale University New Haven, CT 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $47,600
College of the Holy Cross Worcester, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $47,176
Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $53,000

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Individuals who are planning on earning a degree in English literature must bear in mind the following considerations when selecting a school:

  • Make sure a school's curriculum does not focus too much on one aspect of literature; course offerings ought to show diversity among topics.
  • Programs ought to include reading of canonical authors, such as Shakespeare, Pope, Wordsworth, Eliot, Milton, etc.
  • Fringe classes like journalism, business writing, copy editing and graphic design may form part of certain programs for those interested in non-academic applications of their degree.
  • For hands-on experience, a school should have a student newspaper and, potentially, a student-run literary journal.

Bachelor's degree programs in English literature are widely available in schools across the country, and many universities also offer master's and doctoral degrees. Prospective students should look into the diversity of the curriculum, such as whether it includes courses in journalism and creative writing aside from literature classes when choosing a school.


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