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English: Major 

The study of English attends to literary works of the imagination — poems, plays, novels, short stories, and non-fiction — and to the use of language as a means of communication. Through a wide exposure to a range of texts, students are challenged to explore the meaning of literature in a variety of contexts, and by that exploration, develop a deeper understanding of today’s world.

The English department offers students the opportunity to develop an appreciation of literature, literary techniques and language, and a command of written expression. Courses in the department help students to become better readers, writers, and speakers, preparing them for professional fields that value effective communication, as well as for graduate study in English, rhetoric, law, medicine, business, and education. Faculty include active scholars in a wide range of literary and rhetorical fields, as well as creative writers working in all major genres, supporting the breadth and depth of the major. Learning inside the classroom, and the vibrant daily life of the department outside the classroom, are defined by close relationships between faculty and students.

Program Highlights

Each semester the department offers approximately 25 upper-division courses for majors, as well as numerous offerings for non-majors at the introductory and intermediate levels. These include:

Sstudent writing
National Acclaim

USA Today named Holy Cross the ninth “best U.S. college for a major in English.”

Students in an office

High achieving students can join honors societies and work with professors on scholarly and creative projects.

Students in the library
Creative Writing Program

The Creative Writing Program offers students the opportunity to pursue fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

English News

How Edgar Allan Poe Became His Most Famous Character
The eclectic 19th century writer and literary critic’s influence runs deeper than previously known.
Holy Cross’ New Superpower
Historically dismissed as juvenile at best, evil at worst, graphic novels and comic books are finding their place as a valuable academic tool in higher education.
How the Addition of Women’s Studies Impacted Holy Cross
In 1993, Holy Cross graduated the first cohort of students to earn a concentration in Women’s Studies, a move that has influenced generations of faculty and students.