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English Literature

Are Books Your Happy Place?

Turn your passion into a career with an English Literature major at Elizabethtown. The study of literature prepares you for a fulfilling life, a wide range of careers, and a host of opportunities for graduate study.

The English Literature major is your invitation into some of the world’s best literature taught by enthusiastic experts who can’t wait to guide you to the next levels of literary and cultural analysis. As an English Literature major, you will develop communication, analytical, and other in-demand skills. The study of English Literature pairs well with other majors and minors across the College—from Occupational Therapy or Legal Studies to Medical Humanities and Communications—to help you become the kind of well-rounded individual that today’s employers are seeking.

Meet Our Faculty Course Catalog

english literature major

What Can I Do With a Degree in English Literature?

Graduates from Elizabethtown College's English Literature Program embark on diverse and rewarding career paths. English majors have found fulfilling careers as book editors, social media managers, lawyers, content creators, educators, and more.

An English Literature major develops your skills and abilities in:

  • Empathy: As you engage with diverse voices, you will learn to see and interact with the world differently.
  • Interpretive Critique: You will learn to consider the "what if" and the possibilities that exist in thinking through the creative choices of writers and the actions of their characters. In translating this skill, you will employ your "what if" strength to lead policy and practice.
  • Communication as an Art Form: In a world of overwhelming communication, you will learn to think artistically and critically about language, rhythm, meaning, sequence, and metaphor.
  • Narrative Structure: You will learn to question how we construct the stories we tell, what we find important, and how we make meaning through storytelling.
  • Contextual and Historical Understandings: Through literary studies, you will enrich your capacity to explore how contexts, histories, and futures shape the diverse worldviews we engage and inhabit in our daily lives.
english advisor and students

Prepared for the Future

In an age of artificial intelligence (AI) and increased occupational transitions, you need an education that equips you with enduring skills and knowledge. Future work will require human-centered compassion, the ability to think across time, and the ability to lead others.

english students abroad

Build a Fulfilling Life

Majoring in English Literature will enrich your life with your love of reading, in college and beyond. Invest in a passion that takes you beyond the boundaries of your workday, offering you continuous journeys into worlds of imagination.

students in library

Polish Your Creative Side

Etown alumni recognize the value of the creative writing classes they took at the College. Many of our English Literature majors explore coursework in novel, short story, poetry, and other forms of writing alongside their literary studies. Join your peers in publishing Etown’s annual literary magazine, Fine Print.


students in library presentation

English Minors

The Creative Writing Minor at Etown gives you access to gifted instructors—published poets, fiction writers, and memoirists. Maybe you never want to stop writing. Consider adding a Creative Writing minor to your English major.

The English Literature Minor and the English Professional Writing Minor are structured as condensed versions of the fully-fledged concentrations. A Literature minor takes several literature courses to develop a basic understanding of literature. A Professional Writing minor takes courses to gain fundamental skills in both writing and reading comprehension.

Clubs and Activities

English offers major and non-major students a number of ways to engage in industry-related experiences right on campus. Our students can hone their writing abilities outside of the classroom with a wide variety of extra-curricular activities.

The Etownian

Etown's Student Newspaper

Our student-run newspaper is published weekly during the academic year. Join the editorial staff and contribute your writing to campus conversations.

Fine Print

Etown's Literary Magazine

Student editors curate poetry, prose, and visual submissions to the magazine from students and members of the college community.

English Honors in the Discipline

Meritorious senior students work side-by-side with faculty mentors on advanced projects of their choice. In the past students have designed graphic memoirs, written YA novels, analyzed Indigenous literature, and conducted research on web marketing.

The Bowers Writers House

The Bowers Writers House at Elizabethtown College, founded in 2010, serves as an interdisciplinary hub for creative expression, study, presentations, and performances. It fosters a culture of "creative curiosity" by hosting free public events, including dramatic readings, musical performances, and interactive sessions, promoting intellectual diversity within the college and the wider community.


Elizabethtown College