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Undergraduate Programs

Why Study English?

In addition to being inherently pleasurable and intellectually exciting, a major or minor in English will help you develop important skills. English students learn how to read carefully and closely, write skillfully and stylishly, and argue analytically and critically. These communication skills are in high demand. Studying English can help you perfect your understanding of a language you already use and enhance your appreciation for cultures you inhabit and/or encounter.

Studying English prepares students for careers in teaching, law, business, publishing, writing, and administration. Understanding the history and conflicts that have shaped English-speaking cultures is also enormously valuable for anyone interested in human services, politics, travel, cross-cultural exchanges, or creative and artistic projects.

English graduates help to ensure society’s cultural inheritance even as they contribute to that culture—as creators, as intelligent consumers or both. Among our graduates are businessmen and women, scientists, professors, lawyers, filmmakers, television producers, psychologists, fiction writers and poets, literary agents, and social activists.

Benefits of the Brandeis English major include:

Our Faculty

English majors have the opportunity to study diverse interests with our world-class faculty, who actively research issues throughout literary history, from Medieval to contemporary texts. Our faculty members also teach courses in separate majors, such as AAAS, Film Studies, South Asian Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. You can learn more from our faculty pages.

Mentorship Opportunities

Because we are part of a small research university, we are dedicated to working personally with our students. English majors work one-on-one with their advisors to explore new fields of literary scholarship and determine their best course of study.

Majors seeking a more focused, intensive experience will be able to pursue the senior honors option. Read more about the honors track here.

Variety

There are as many ways of successfully completing a course of study in English as there are students. The requirements have deliberately been designed to encourage the maximum flexibility in choosing classes that most interest you. As a major, you will choose from courses and topics that span geography, history, and genre.In general, students advance from single-digit introductory courses and two-digit undergraduate courses towards the three-digit (100-level) courses designed for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Our recent offerings include classes such as Bollywood (ENG 20a), American Gothic Romantic Fiction (ENG 46b), Love Poetry (ENG 50a), Hipsters on Trial (ENG 140b), Sex and Cinema (ENG 150a), and many more. A list of courses, past and present, can be found here.

Events

From presentations by visiting professors to the School of Night fiction and poetry reading series, there’s always something going on in the English Department. Events will be posted on our webpage as they are announced, and majors will receive notifications of new English Department events through the English majors listserv. 

The City of Boston

For Brandeis students, the rich intellectual and cultural environment of the Boston area is just a free shuttle ride away. We keep our majors up-to-date on museum exhibitions, readings, symposiums at nearby universities, and other exciting events.