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Undergraduate Programs

To study English is to master the power of language. Literary study also releases our own powers of artistic invention and personal expression, which students can explore in writing courses on fiction, poetry, and the graphic novel.  Fusing criticism and creativity, the English Major is designed to unlock your skills of analysis, verbal communication, and cultural understanding.

English Major

Stanford’s English curriculum features a team-taught, yearlong core sequence that traces the big picture of literature’s development from the Middle Ages to the present. English majors also learn critical tools for analyzing literature through three broad course requirements, in poetry, narrative, and methodology. Students gain a contextual framework and are prepared to take the department’s wide range of electives.

Visit the Major page for information about the major core requirements and emphases.

English Minor

The minor in English Literature offers some flexibility for those students who want to pursue specific interests within British and American literature, while still requiring certain courses that ensure coverage of a variety of periods, genres, and methods of studying literature.

Visit the Minor page for information about the minor requirements and how to declare.

Digital Humanities Minor

The Digital Humanities minor is Humanities & Sciences' newest minor that combines humanistic inquiry with digital methods and tools to generate new questions and to foster innovative research. Undergraduate students can specialize their studies by selecting one of three emphases --Geospatial Humanities, Quantitative Textual Analysis, or Text Technologies.

Visit the Digital Humanities page for information about the minor requirements and how to declare.


As of June 18, 2019, the department is no longer accepting new students to the CS + X joint major program.

The CS+English joint major is a pioneering program that launched in Fall 2014.  In the joint major, you earn a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree by synthesizing core skills from Computer Science and English into an ePortfolio and an integrative senior project.

Visit the CS+English page for Information about the CS+English joint major and how to participate.

Honors in English

The Honors Program in English cultivates a lively intellectual environment within which you can test your ideas, germinate sophisticated critical approaches to historical and/or contemporary texts, and build interpretative, analytical and compositional skills that will have a lasting impact on your intellectual and professional life wherever the future takes you.

Visit the Honors in English page for information about the Honors requirements and how to apply. 

Creative Writing

Stanford’s Creative Writing Program--one of the best-known in the country--cultivates the power of individual expression within a vibrant community of writers.

Visit the Creative Writing page for information about the Creative writing emphasis and minor. 

Coterminal MA

If you are an advanced undergraduate who wants to take the study of literature to a higher level, then the coterminal MA program is for you. You will participate in rigorous graduate-level seminars taught by the department’s renowned faculty.

Visit the Coterminal page for information on the application and program requirements.

Core Course Descriptions

Our core curriculum is designed to introduce you to the rich history of literature in English, and to give you the tools to analyze written discourse critically and creatively.  The English core will teach you to think broadly, read closely, and write compellingly.

Visit the Core Course Descriptions page for details about what you'll learn in the English core courses.

Contact information

Vaughn Rasberry
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Vivian Beebe Sana
Student Services Officer

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