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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: 
USA Today named Holy Cross the ninth “best U.S. college for a major in English.”
High achieving students can join honors societies and work with professors on scholarly and creative projects.
Specialize in poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction through the Creative Writing concentration.

English News

How Do Holy Cross Students Get into Medical School?

Jan 16, 2018

Just about everyone who applies to medical school has top grades and test scores. So who gets in and who doesn’t? Often it comes down to “miles traveled” — experiences outside the classroom that show an applicant’s abilities beyond technical …


Mar 01
Rhet/Comp Lecture: Jamie Landau
04:00 PM
Edith Stein Hall 133
Mar 01
Open Mic Night
07:30 PM
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall SMITHCAREY
Mar 15
Working Writer Series: Leslie Carol Roberts
07:30 PM
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib