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Welcome to the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn English is a vibrant intellectual community with an internationally renowned faculty, a highly selective graduate program, and a thriving undergraduate program. Our distinguished research faculty work across a full range of fields, materials, and approaches: from Medieval Studies to Contemporary Poetics; Book History and Digital Humanities; and theories of Gender and Sexuality, Race and Transnationalism, Empire and Globalization. Beyond the classroom, a wide array of working groups devoted to these fields brings together faculty, students, and visiting scholars. In research and teaching, we balance inventive and traditional methodologies, new and old media, close reading and big data, small seminars and worldwide MOOCs.

Our faculty have won many prestigious fellowships and awards, including those from the Guggenheim, the Institute for Advanced Studies, the American Council for Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and numerous faculty and graduate students have received prized teaching awards at Penn. Our top-ranked graduate program has trained generations of scholars, and the department's job placement rate has been consistently strong. Our undergraduate alumni have gone on to successful careers in writing, film, advertising, publishing, journalism, law, information technology, and the arts. Many have joined our English Career Liaison Database and participate in our Career Nights.  

Penn English demonstrates excellence by all measures of scholarship, teaching, university service, and external ranking (#4 graduate program in US News and World report). We continue to explore new directions for development in response to the changing intellectual and political climate inside and outside the university. In a moment oriented toward innovation, we believe that the study of literature sheds light on the long history of ideas that shape our present, and that the literary imagination points the way to futures not yet materialized.