Best Research Universities for English Degrees

Best Research Universities for English Degrees

The best English and Literature research universities 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 Research Universities for English Degree Programs

If you think a liberal arts college may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best liberal arts colleges for a bachelor’s in English.

Best Research Universities for English Degrees

  1. #1

    Harvard University

    Cambridge , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    Harvard University English Major Concentrations:

    • English
    • Creative Writing
    • Comparative Literature
    Source
  2. #2

    Columbia University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $64K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    Columbia University English Major:

    • English and Comparative Literature
    Source
  3. #3

    Yale University

    New Haven , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    Yale University English Major Concentrations:

    • Literature and Comparative Cultures
    • Intensive Language
    • Film
    • Literary Translation
    Source
  4. #4

    Stanford University

    Stanford , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/33

    Stanford University English Emphases and Electives:

    • Literature
    • Literature and Philosophy
    • Lit in a Foreign Language
    • Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Creative Writing
    Source
  5. #5

    Princeton University

    Princeton , NJ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    Princeton University English Major Tracks:

    • Creative Writing
    • Theater
    Source
  6. #6

    University of Chicago

    Chicago , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1535/34

  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    43K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/33

    UC Berkeley English Major:

    • English
    Source
  8. #8

    New York University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    49K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1440/32

    NYU English Major Tracks:

    • English Literature
    • Creative Writing
    • Dramatic Literature
    Source
  9. #9

    Brown University

    Providence , RI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

  10. #10

    Cornell University

    Ithaca , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

  11. #11

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    University of Pennsylvania English Major Concentrations:

    • Creative Writing
    • Poetry and Poetics
    • Cinema and Media
    • Historical
    Source
  12. #12

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    26%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    University of Michigan English Major:

    • BA in English
    Source
  13. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1540/35

    MIT English Major:

    • BS in Literature
    Source
  14. #14

    Duke University

    Durham , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1525/34

  15. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is University of California, Los Angeles known for?

    University of California, Los Angeles’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    UCLA English Major Concentration:

    • Creative Writing
    Source
  16. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    USC English Major Concentrations:

    • Literature
    • Creative Writing
    Source
  17. #17

    Northwestern University

    Evanston , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1495/34

    Northwestern University English Major Concentrations:

    • Literature Studies
    • Creative Writing
    Source
  18. #18

    Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore , MD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    JHU English Major:

    • BA in English
    Source
  19. #19

    Dartmouth College

    Hanover , NH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1500/33

  20. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

    UT Austin English Major Concentrations:

    • Creative Writing
    • Cultural Studies
    Source
  21. #21

    Georgetown University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    Georgetown University English Major:

    • Englsih
    Source
  22. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1405/30

    What is University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill known for?

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    UNC English Major:

    • BA in English and Comparative Literature Major
    Source
  23. #23

    University of Virginia

    Charlottesville , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    23%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    University of Virginia English Major Concentrations:

    • Literary Prose
    • Poetry Writing
    Source

Go to all Research Universities for English programs

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