The Catholic University of America

Programs of Study

To encounter some of the best writing in English is to engage some of the most significant operations of the language itself as well as to trace the development of traditions in thought and expression that link us to the past and guide us into the future.

Undergraduate study in the Department of English centers on the study of literature as the focal point of a liberal education. Core courses for the major provide extensive reading in the history of English and American literature, at least two literary genres (in the junior reading courses), and in the work of a major author (in the senior seminar). The departmental faculty seeks to develop in the student a progressively more differentiated sense of literary history, a more discriminating sense of literary value, and a more sophisticated understanding of the cultural and social roles of literature. At the same time, they are aware that literature, while a strenuous test for the intellect, is also a deeply satisfying, lasting source of enjoyment.

At the graduate level, the Department of English grants the M.A. and Ph.D. in English and American Literature. It offers training in all major historical periods, with particular strengths in medieval and Renaissance literature, poetry and poetics, history of drama, and literature and religion. Advantages of graduate study in English at CUA include:

  • A coherent program that provides students with both the specialized training needed for successful research, and the broad literary background needed for successful teaching.
  • Small class sizes and individualized attention from a distinguished faculty.
  • An excellent record of placing graduates in tenure-track positions.
  • Access to some of the nation's finest libraries and research collections, as well as the rich cultural life of Washington, D.C.