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 Course and Related Programs

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
Related Programs


  • 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
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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.

English Faculty

Dr. M.G. Aune
Professor and Honors Director


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Dr. Anthony Carlisle
Assistant Professor


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Dr. Sarah Downey
Associate Professor


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Dr. Brent House
Assistant Professor


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Dr. Karen McCullough
Assistant Professor


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James T. McVey
Assistant Professor


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Dr. Keat Murray
Associate Professor


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