The Undergraduate Program

Students majoring in English study language, literature, and culture across the full range of media. From books and manuscripts to theater, film, TV, and digital media, English majors go everywhere English goes or is likely to go. At the same time, our students cultivate their reading and writing skills with care and assiduity.

Our faculty are among the most decorated in the university for their excellence in teaching. English Alumni pursue careers across the full range of professions, from law and medicine to consulting and teaching. For the past two decades our graduates have especially thrived in the worlds of advertising and social media.

The English major consists of 12 courses, divided into a Core of 6 courses and the rest Electives. Along the way, majors must take the Junior Research Seminar (English 200) and four additional seminars; usually, some of these may be counted in the core. The major was designed to allow students flexibility and choice while insuring a comprehensive grounding literary history and interpretation. 

Majors can many different Concentrations, including the Standard Curriculum, the Creative Writing Emphasis, the Cinema Studies Emphasis, and the Historical Concentration, which offers students the most comprehensive grounding in literary and cultural history.

Making Appointments, Getting Advice

Undergraduate Chair: Professor Michael Gamer

Associate Undergraduate Chair: Professor Deborah Burnham

If you are interested in Majoring or Minoring in English -- or in simply taking a few good English courses -- you should consult the information we provide here, and should make an appointment to meet with the English Undergraduate Chair (Emily Steiner) or the Associate Undergraduate Chair (Deborah Burnham). Just call Loretta Williams at 898-7343 to do so.

Students who have declared the major and have questions about individual courses and requirements should meet their English Faculty Advisor. They also should consult the Requirements for the Major. If you have been unable to meet with your advisor, you should call to make an appointment with the Undergraduate or Associate Undergraduate Chair.

Questions about the Undergraduate Program?
Contact Loretta Williams, loretta@english.upenn.edu