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 California University of Pennsylvania will give you in-depth knowledge of American literature and literary theory while teaching you to write and analyze texts at a professional level.

 Cal U 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. Cal U's literature program takes an engaging approach to the intersection of culture and writing.

Expert Faculty: Cal U 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 Cal U literature program graduates since 2013 are in jobs or enrolled in graduate school.
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Degree Benefits

Cal U'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 Cal U 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 Concentration English - Bachelor's Degree
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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

Cal U 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.

Cal U'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
Freshman Year  
First Semester 16
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
UNI 100 First-Year Seminar 1
General Education Courses 12
Second Semester 15
ENG 102 English Composition II OR Equivalent 3
General Education Courses 12
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 15
Literature Elective (300- or 400-level) 3
Literature Core Course
Writing Core Course
General Education OR Elective Courses
Fourth Semester 15
Literature Elective (300- or 400-level) 3
Literature Core Course
Writing Core Course
General Education OR Elective Courses
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 15
Literature Elective (300- or 400-level) 3
Literature Core Course
Writing Core Course
General Education OR Elective Courses
Sixth Semester 15
Literature Elective (300- or 400-level) 3
Literature Core Course
General Education, Minor OR Elective Courses 
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 15
ENG 499 English Studies Capstone Class 3
Literature Elective (300- or 400-level) 3
General Education, Minor OR Elective Courses 9
Eighth Semester 15
Literature Elective (300- or 400-level) 3
General Education OR Elective Courses 12
Total 120

All English majors are required to take two writing intensive courses from among the following: ENG 334, 337, 448.

42 of the 120 credits must be 300- or 400-level courses.

Program Requirements

Literature Core (select six)

  • 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

Creating Writing Core (select one)

  • ENG 376 Creative Writing: Fiction
  • ENG 377 Creative Writing: Poetry
  • ENG 378 Creative Writing: Drama
  • ENG 495 Creative Writing Seminar
  • ENG 590 Summer Institute for Teachers and Writers

Language and Linguistics Core (select one)

  • ENG 345 Grammar and Usage
  • ENG 346 History of English Language
  • ENG 347 Introduction to Linguistics

Composition and Literacy Core (select one)

  • ENG 308 Research for Writers
  • ENG 352 Stud.in Writing
  • ENG 372 Comp Theory and Teaching of Writing
  • ENG 375 Advanced Writing
  • ENG 590 Summer Institute for Teachers and Writers

Journalism Core (select one)

  • ENG 167 Journalism I
  • ENG 169 Journalism II
  • ENG 312 Journalism III
  • ENG 334 Newspaper Rep

Special Topics (select three)

  • ENG 320 Multimedia Journalism
  • ENG 350 Journalism Genres
  • ENG 351 Publish the Mag
  • ENG 419 Internship
  • ENG 481 Old/Mid English
  • ENG 484 19TH Cent Lit.
  • ENG 485 20th Cent Lit.
  • ENG 487 Amer Literary Genres
  • ENG 489 Eng Literary Genres

Special Experience

  • ENG 499 English Capstone Class

English Bachelor's Degree

  • Journalism Program: A concentration for English majors interested in a career as a journalist or freelance reporter.
  • 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

English Faculty

Dr. M.G. Aune
Professor and Honors Director


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Dr. Anthony Carlisle
Assistant Professor and English Department Chair


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Dr. Sarah Downey
Associate Professor


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Dr. Brent House
Assistant Professor


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Dr. Keat Murray
Assistant Professor


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Dr. Krystia Nora
Assistant Professor


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Dr. Pratul Pathak
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Dr. Kimberly Vanderlaan
Associate Professor


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