The English Major at Villanova offers an exciting range of courses exploring influential writers from the English speaking world and beyond.

A student takes notes while reading "Henry the Fouth, Part 1"

As an English major, you take introductory courses that provide you with a foundational knowledge of English literature as well as cutting-edge approaches to reading and writing. As you move through the major, you read literature from its earliest origins to contemporary fiction, poetry, film and television. There is something for everyone in the major, including courses on works in translation from around the globe and popular genres such as science fiction, children’s literature and detective fiction. We also read texts that tackle urgent issues like climate change and immigration, and alongside these courses are creative writing workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir, speculative fiction and more.

Throughout your course of study, you develop critical perspectives, writing techniques, research skills and interpretive strategies that prepare you to be a leader in whatever career you undertake after graduation.


A track is a cluster of four or more courses focused on a historical field, a genre, or an independent topic of your choice. Tracks enable you to shape and focus your English major by defining your specific interests and carefully choosing what courses you take as English electives. Tracks are completely optional and do not require additional elective courses.

Possibilities include tracks in the following areas:

Historical Field

  • American literature
  • Irish literature
  • Medieval/Renaissance literature
  • Early Modern British literature (17th and 18th centuries)
  • Nineteenth-Century British literature
  • Twentieth-Century British literature

Genre (which must include courses from more than one century and from more than one national literature)

  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • The novel

Modes of Writing

  • Journalism
  • Creative Writing

Customized field

  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Transatlantic Literature
  • World Literature
  • Religion and Literature
  • Film and Literature

High-achieving English majors have the opportunity to work as teaching assistants during their senior year in introductory level courses, under the supervision of a faculty member.

Teaching assistant responsibilities may include the following:

  • Working one-on-one with students on their writing
  • Helping generate questions for class discussion and topics for papers
  • Leading small discussion groups or writing workshops within the class
  • Teaching several classes over the course of the semester

The student receives three credit hours for the course, and it counts as an elective towards fulfilling the major. Students who have worked as teaching assistants have found the experience to be tremendously rewarding.


Meet Our Majors

Hear from Villanova English majors about why they chose to major in English.

Villanova University
Department of English
St. Augustine Center
Room 402

Department Chair
Professor Heather Hicks

Cynthia Farrell

Sharon Rose-Davis

Why Villanova English?


English faculty are also closely engaged with Villanova's programs in:

Creative Writing

Writing and Rhetoric

Africana Studies

Gender and Women's Studies

Irish Studies

Cultural Studies