English Literature Concentration


Acquire in-demand job skills and prepare for graduate study.

If you love to read with a critical eye, a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in literature from PennWest California will give you in-depth knowledge of American literature and literary theory while teaching you to write and analyze texts at a professional level.

 PennWest California is accredited by the Middle States commission on Higher Education. This concentration is part of our comprehensive bachelor's degree program in English.

Prepare for success in a wide range of lucrative careers.

  • Studying literature gives you strong problem-solving skills, social empathy and cultural awareness - all are highly valued attributes in the job.
  •  This bachelor's degree program will give you the opportunity to work with award-winning literature professors on research and community projects that are presented on the local and national levels.

Program Highlights: Literature Concentration

Innovative Courses: Baseball in Literature. Women as Heroes. Digital Storytelling. PennWest California's literature program takes an engaging approach to the intersection of culture and writing.

Expert Faculty: PennWest California literature professors actively publish their research and have been recognized for expertise in Old English, African-American literature, 19th-century texts, feminist narratives and more.

Learn more about applying.

Historical societies benefited from students' work in the honors digital storytelling course.
of PennWest California literature program graduates since 2013 are in jobs or enrolled in graduate school.
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Degree Benefits

PennWest California's unique hands-on English literature concentration means you'll apply coursework in your major to real-world situations. You'll have the opportunity to:

  • Present your work at regional and national conferences.
  • Engage in historical research that directly benefits local communities.
  • Publish your writing in PennWest California magazines and on course websites.
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Degree Benefits

An English degree with a concentration in literature will prepare you for graduate-level work in the humanities and competitive placement in many careers. Our literature students have gone on to:

  • Earn a Ph.D. in English.
  • Become professors of English at public and private universities.
  • Run their own freelance writing businesses.
  • Teach English.


Literature Course and Related Programs

PennWest California's Bachelor of Arts degree program in English offers a broad range of innovative literature courses. You'll delve into a wide range of literary movements, authors and genres while developing professional writing and critical-thinking skills.


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
Any Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Any Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Course
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
Any Technological Literacy Course
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
General Education Options
  • Any Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
  • ENG 102  Composition II
  • Any 300- or 400-level Humanities Course
  • General Education Course
Literature Core 18
Select six courses from the following:
  • ENG 301  Brit Literature I
  • ENG 302  Brit Literature II
  • ENG 315  Survey of American Woman Writers
  • ENG 325  World Lit to 1600
  • ENG 326  World Lit from 1600 
  • ENG 337  Survey of American Literature I
  • ENG 338  Survey of American Literature II
  • ENG 355  Survey of African American Literature
  • ENG 425  Shakespeare
Creative Writing Core 3
Select one course from the following:
  • ENG 376  Cr Writing: Fiction
  • ENG 377  Cr Writing: Poetry 
  • ENG 378  Cr Writing: Drama
  • ENG 495  Cr Writing Seminar 
  • ENG 590  Summer Institute for Teachers and Writers
Language and Linguistics Core 3
Select one course from the following:
  • ENG 345  Grammar and Usage
  • ENG 346  History of English Language
  • ENG 347  Introduction to Linguistics
Composition and Literacy Core 3
Select one course from the following:
  • ENG 308  Research for Writers
  • ENG 375  Advanced Writing
  • ENG 590  Summer Institute for Teachers and Writers
Journalism Core 3
Select one course from the following:
  • ENG 306  Press Law and Ethics
  • ENG 320  Multimedia Journalism
  • ENG 367  News Writing and Editing
  • ENG 369  Beat Reporting and Feature Writing
Special Topics 9
Select three courses from the following:
  • ENG 351  Publish the Mag
  • ENG 406  Adv Study Lit (repeatable)
  • ENG 410  Adv Study Journalism
  • ENG 419  Internship
  • ENG 450  Adv Study Creative Writing
  • ENG 452  Adv Study Composition and Rhetoric
  • ENG 478  Adv Study Film
  • CDC 350  Image, Sound, Text
  • CDC 450  Media, Society, Culture
Special Experience 3
ENG 499  English Capstone Class 3
Free Electives 38
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): ENG 499 English Capstone Class
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): Select two from: ENG 337, 406, 410, 450, 452, 478, 499
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Any Laboratory Course
Related Programs


  • Creative Writing Program: A concentration for English majors interested fiction, poetry and other forms of literary writing.
  • English Certification ProgramA concentration for students pursuing a bachelor's degree in education who want to teach middle or high school English. 


  • Journalism Minor
  • Literature Minor
  • Creative Writing Minor
Business people sit at a table.

Career at a Glance

What can you do with a literature degree? Program graduate Dr. Dana Driscoll is a college professor who teaches courses on research methods and composition pedagogy.

Close-up of the binding of a book.

A Civil War Journal

Students in the American Literature I course created a digital transcript from an original 19th-century Civil War soldier's diary for the Robinson Township Historical Society. The project made headlines in four local newspapers.

Laura Owens '15

National Attention

PennWest California literature students regularly present their work at national conferences. Ethan Klersey '15 and Laura Owens '15 presented on digital storytelling at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Chicago.