It goes without saying that if you are planning to earn a degree in English, you’ll want to look for the schools that offer the best programs. While most universities and colleges have liberal arts programs, there will always be those schools whose English departments stand out among the rest. The best schools don’t just help you develop your reading and writing knowledge, they will also help your critical thinking and analysis of various forms of literature. In this article, we are listing, in no particular order, the best US schools for English majors.
1. Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
The Department of English at Harvard University has produced some of the world’s most famous authors, reporters, and the like. Harvard is known for its excellence in many areas, and its English Department is no different. As a result, you can find many of Harvard’s alumni in bookstores, politics, academia, and on TV.
2. Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island)
The Department of English at Brown offers majors in nonfiction writing, literary arts, and comparative literature. Brown University’s English Department makes it a priority to foster an understanding of literature and the cultures that produce literature. They promote original work on questions of the criticism, analysis, theory, and history of English. Moreover, Brown’s capstone classes help students use the analytical skills they have gained, and often lead to prominent job positions after graduation. This is why we consider it one of the best US colleges for English majors.
3. University of California – Berkeley (Berkeley, California)
The University of California Berkeley offers a great program for English majors. Its English department provides students with courses in critical writing, literary analysis, history, and, of course, literature. It also offers minors in Creative Writing.
With programs catered towards the needs of students, students should find it quite easy to discover their own niche in the broader field of English. Other programs include the Honors Program and the Berkeley Connect Mentoring Program. There is much to experience at the University of California Berkeley.
4. Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana)
Purdue University’s English department focuses on creativity, critical thinking, and empathy, all of which are very relevant to current job market demands. English majors can choose from five programs: English (literature), Creative writing, English Education, English Language in a Global Context, and Professional Writing.
The faculty members at Purdue are topnotch. The faculty, which includes more than 50 teachers, researchers, and writers, provides students with an education that will last a lifetime. Of course, one of its most well-known programs is the Purdue Online Writing Lab, a resource that covers almost every aspect of English and writing. It is difficult to find a more thorough and prestigious program than Purdue’s.
5. The University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa)
The University of Iowa’s English Department offers majors in fields such as English, Nonfiction Writing, and Literary Studies. They even offer opportunities to become involved in the publishing industry. The department also presents students with the chance to learn from experts in the field by periodically inviting guest speakers to the university. The faculty members of UI put a great deal of emphasis on the success of students. As a result, graduates of English at The University of Iowa have proven to excel in various fields of education, business, and government. They have gone on to shape the world around them in numerous and positive ways.
6. Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)
True to the university’s reputation, Yale University’s Department of English caters to students who aspire to become leaders in their professional lives. In order to achieve this, the university requires its students to study a broad spectrum of topics. Hence, students study other disciplines such as history, political philosophy, theory, and art history.
Moreover, the department itself offers various approaches to studying literature and its history, allowing students access to various styles of literature, including nonfiction prose, novels, poetry, and drama and performance studies. And with in-school opportunities, such as various school publications, students get hands-on, practical experience in writing professions.
7. Columbia University (New York City, New York)
English is the second most popular major at Columbia University. The English department offers a wide range of courses that recognize traditional values, but still reflect the changing shape of culture and literature. The faculty members at Columbia are renowned scholars and dedicated teachers with ample knowledge in the discipline. With a six to one student to faculty ratio, you can rest assured that focus is on your professional growth.
Columbia University has its own Columbia Scholastic Press Association. This provides students with an opportunity to become involved with several publications, both within the department as well as outside of it. There is also a program that offers students the opportunity to meet with professional consultants.
8. New York University (New York City, New York)
At New York University, you will study and learn about English literature from all places and periods. The Department of English provides its students with opportunities to engage in a wide view of the discipline while understanding and engaging with literature across all forms of media. The scholarly methods that the faculty members employ include close reading, historical and archival research, cultural analysis, digital humanities, and literary and media theory.
The faculty itself is made up of leaders and scholars who have each received various awards in their disciplines. They provide you with intensive mentoring sessions that look beyond what the literature provides and into the practical applications in our real, modern world.
9. The University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)
The University of Chicago is also one of the best US Colleges for English majors. The Department of English offers discussions on a large variety of literary styles – poems, prose, plays, films, paintings, and other art forms. Lectures and interactions regarding theoretical and philosophical questions related to literature and culture are also given to students who aspire to become fluent in the field.
The faculty members provide a variety of literary-critical approaches that will help cultivate the analytical skills of students. Students who wish to graduate with honors can complete a bachelor’s project involving an independent research paper, which is to be written over the course of their final year.
10. Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts)
Completing our list is Boston University. The English Department at Boston University studies the ideas, art, and cultures that have changed the world and shape the lives of students. Many of its courses are interdisciplinary, so students will work with multiple forms of media, while at the same time connecting with other areas of study. While Boston University is very competitive, students know that they are receiving the best education in English and literature. Here, they will develop the linguistic, critical, and imaginative skills needed to understand and pursue careers in literature. Because its classes are seminar-sized, students work closely with their professors.
Remember that while we have listed ten spectacular schools, there are many others across this country, which are just as excellent. Hopefully, this will help you get started as you search for the school that will best suit your needs; we certainly hope it helps! College is an exciting time, and we wish you all the best in your future. Good luck!