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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.