The English language lies at the heart of all that we do, and here you’ll find many ways to study it. We organize our study of English into four broad areas — literature, linguistics, creative writing, and rhetoric and composition — creating many avenues by which to explore your interests. We offer a literature-focused English major along with minors in English, creative writing, and digital, public, and professional writing.

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interior staircase in the English Building


Undergraduate Courses & Advising

Why Study English?

Whether you choose to major or minor in English, you’ll find many ways to expand your knowledge of our language and culture while learning skills that translate to a wide range of careers. Need more reasons to study English? See what our students and graduates say about what it means to major in English at Alabama.
What Our Majors Say

Undergraduate Programs

We offer four undergraduate programs in English:

Within each of these programs, you’ll find a diverse array of courses, plus unique opportunities to contribute, volunteer, study abroad and more. Read on to learn more about what our department offers.

There are also four interdisciplinary minors that require not only English courses but also electives chosen from other departments, such as Modern Languages and Classics, Religious Studies, Anthropology, and Communicative Disorders:

Literature in English, broadly conceived, represents one glorious achievement of the English language, so the department offers numerous opportunities for you to gauge just what that achievement is, from the Early Medieval period up through the modern and post-modern. The primary emphasis tends to be on the origins of English in Great Britain which includes examples from the literary traditions of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and also America. However, more and more attention is being directed at the literary traditions in South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and in the English-speaking islands of the Caribbean, and there is also attention paid to translations into English of the literary pieces from all the countries of the world.

The department also offers a variety of opportunities to examine English through the study of linguistics and its offshoots. Our faculty in composition and rhetoric and in creative writing offer an abundance of stimulating courses that enable students to improve their own writing in workshop settings.

The English department also encourages a variety of activities outside the classroom. We have an exceptionally active chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honorary. There are also two undergraduate magazines which welcome volunteer help as well as contributors; and a publishing house, Red Rook Press, staffed by undergraduate editors, publishers, and marketers. We also offer courses in directed readings and independent study provided you meet the necessary conditions, and the same is true for our internship program. In addition, we encourage all our students to explore the possibilities involved in study abroad, either in a summer program such as Alabama at Oxford, Alabama in Ireland, and Alabama in South Africa, or, even better, with an exchange program that would allow you to study for a semester or for a year in England, Ireland, Scotland, or Wales.

A bachelor’s degree in English provides a useful gateway to any number of careers.  The English major and minor help students to hone their writing skills on paper and in digital environments and to develop critical thinking strategies that prepare for careers in marketing, editing, creative writing, publishing, and public relations, as well as numerous other careers in the modern business, education, and art worlds.  For students seeking a graduate degree, English provides a valuable path toward this goal and English students gain admission into a variety of graduate and professional programs, including programs in business, law, medicine, and academics.  UA’s English Department has a close working relationship with UA’s Career Center and we support students seeking internships that put their analytical and creative writing skills to use before they even graduate.


Prospective students interested in undergraduate study should apply directly to the University via the Undergraduate Admissions website.
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