Why study English?
The English major at Notre Dame allows you to explore the rich and powerful ways in which literature engages fundamental aspects of the human experience — including the most pressing issues and questions of today’s world.
Our 10-course curriculum and exciting and diverse course offerings expose you to a wide range of literary cultures, historical periods, forms, and genres. The flexibility of our degree allows many of our students to double major, and they do so in a wide range of fields.
Our small classes (15–17 students) will enable you to form strong relationships with your professors and your fellow students.
The English major provides you with invaluable training in critical thinking, public speaking, and writing — skills that are greatly needed and desired in many different professions — and expands your capacities for imaginative thinking, innovation, and leadership.
The list of English faculty who have won teaching awards is long and distinguished, which means that as an English major, you will experience direct contact with some of the best faculty at Notre Dame. Our faculty excel in fields ranging from Old English to the Modern Irish Novel, from William Shakespeare to Herman Melville, from Anne Bradstreet to Toni Morrison.
Our growing faculty has also strengthened our expertise in global and multicultural literature and in the digital humanities. In addition, we possess a creative writing faculty ranked among the best in the nation. Each semester we offer approximately 15–20 creative writing classes (in fiction, poetry, nonfiction prose, and playwriting/screenwriting), from introductory to advanced levels.
- a literature major,
- a concentration in creative writing within the English major,
- and an honors thesis program with both critical and creative tracks.
What do English majors do after graduation?
After graduating, our majors go on to distinguished careers in law, education, business, journalism, publishing, and medicine, among other fields. Indeed, no other than the Rev. Edward Malloy, President Emeritus of Notre Dame, was one of our majors!
Learn more about the 98% of English alumni who find success within 6 months of graduation.
What is a good first course in English?
Good course options include our gateway course for the major, Introduction to Literary Studies, which can be taken in the freshman year; this course will give you a rich sampling of poetry and fiction while also launching you on an early start. Another great possibility is to take a University Seminar in Literature.
Questions? Want to get started in English?
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Associate Professor of English