Best Liberal Arts Colleges for English Degrees

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for English Degrees

The best English / literature liberal arts colleges are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best English degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding English faculty.

A bachelor’s degree in English (also referred to as an literature major in many schools) is an excellent starting point for a career in journalism, education, publishing, and a host of other exciting and creative fields. As an English major, you’ll refine your compositional skills, engage in critical reading, and explore the connection between literature and a vast array of other disciplines, including philosophy, history, and business. The best schools for English / literature are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of literature and English concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Degree popularity: English bachelor’s degrees are the 23rd most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics, ranking much higher for women at 15th versus 39th for men. It’s most popular among White women for whom it ranks 14th, followed by Hispanic women for whom it ranks 24th, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions About English Bachelor’s Degrees

Mastering the English language has value well beyond the field of literature. Gaining greater depth, versatility and confidence with the English language will make you a better writer, a more confident speaker, and a more perceptive listener. These skills will pay dividends in fields such as public relations, marketing, teaching, and human resources, just to name a few.

In fact, the most influential literary scholars go on to achieve acclaim as bestselling authors, prominent professors, noted historians, and more. Today, top influencers in English are breaking new ground in historical fiction, graphic novels, poetry, and much more.

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Literature is an excellent major because it can provide a pathway into countless fields and career opportunities. If you’re looking for a well-paying and secure job, a literature degree is a great place to start. As an English major, you’ll be doing more than just reading literature. The primary objective of an English major is to achieve greater appreciation and understanding of the written word. This means you’ll learn how to deconstruct literature in search of meaning, character and culture; and to explore the innovative ways that language can be used as a form of expression. In short, you won’t be a passive participant in your reading. As an English major, you will learn to read actively, with thought, insight, and analysis. This means that literature majors bring strong communication, critical thinking, and creativity to a wide range of employment settings.

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Your concentration will determine many of the courses you’ll take as an English major. Likewise, you will be required to take a number of requisite courses on foundational topics such as Literary Critical Analysis and Comparative Literature. However, as an English major, you will also have the chance to develop your curriculum around the themes, cultural traditions, and literary periods that most interest you. Examples of traditional literature courses include:

  • Translating World Literature
  • Narrative Negotiations
  • Dreams and Literature
  • Children’s Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Rhetoric and Composition
  • The Ancient Greek Hero
  • Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

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The English degree is actually quite versatile. Earning a degree in literature can qualify you for a number of stimulating jobs in both practical and creative fields. In some cases, you’ll get a chance to use your compositional and communication skills, whereas in other instances, you’ll use what you have learned to help others navigate the English language. The following are among the most popular jobs for literature majors:

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges for English Degree Programs

If you think a research university may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best research universities for a bachelor’s in English.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for English Degrees

  1. #1

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    4K

    Wesleyan University English Major Concentrations:

    • Literature
    • Creative Writing
    Source
  2. #2

    Amherst College

    Amherst , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    12%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

  3. #3

    Williams College

    Williamstown , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    15%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

  4. #4

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    Swarthmore College English Major Concentration:

    • Creative Writing
    Source
  5. #5

    Barnard College

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    Barnard College English Major Concentrations:

    • American Literature
    • Creative Writing
    • Film Studies
    • Theatre
    Source
  6. #6

    Middlebury College

    Middlebury , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    22%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

    Middlebury College English Major Concentration:

    • Creative Writing
    Source
  7. #7

    Pomona College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

  8. #8

    Wellesley College

    Wellesley , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    Wellesley College English Major Concentrations:

    • English
    • English and Creative Writing
    Source
  9. #10

    Vassar College

    Poughkeepsie , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

  10. #11

    Bowdoin College

    Brunswick , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

  11. #13

    Oberlin College

    Oberlin , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1380/31

  12. #14

    San Francisco State University

    San Francisco , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    SFSU English Major Concentrations:

    • Literature
    • English Education
    • Professional Writing and Rhetoric
    • Linguistics
    Source
  13. #15

    Colgate University

    Hamilton , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    27%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

  14. #16

    Haverford College

    Haverford , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

  15. #17

    Claremont McKenna College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

  16. #18

    Reed College

    Portland , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1422/32

  17. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/27

  18. #22

    Davidson College

    Davidson , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1397/31

  19. #24

    Hamilton College

    Clinton , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

Go to all Liberal Arts Colleges for English programs

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