Department of English | Villanova University

Welcome to the English Department!

The English major at Villanova is one of the most popular in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As a discipline, English provides you with the opportunity to hone your writing skills, sharpen your ability to process and analyze complex texts, deepen your understanding of cultural and material history, and stimulate your imagination. At the heart of the major is the power of the written word to communicate ideas, broaden perspectives, and bring about change. The abilities you'll develop as an English major will make you marketable in fields including consulting, journalism, marketing, law, education, banking, government, screenwriting, and publishing.  As one business expert wrote in the Huffington Post, "I love English majors. I love how smart they are. I love their intellectual curiosity.... Most of all, I love to hire them."  (Read more from this expert here, and more about careers for Villanova English majors in this brochure.)

LinkedIn logo

We're delighted to introduce our new LinkedIn group for English majors and alumni of the English Department!  Click the logo above for more details.

Monday, February 18
1:30-2:45 pm, Old Falvey 101

► Susan Snyder, Education Reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer

Interested in the daily work of a print journalist? Come and learn from Susan Snyder, winner of a Pulitzer prize for journalism, who will speak about her beat as the education reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. This event is organized by the Writing and Rhetoric Program.


Monday, February 18
8:00 pm, Vasey Theatre [note: all tickets have now been issued]

► Last Seen: Voices from Slavery’s Lost Families

The Last Seen project, in collaboration with Villanova Theatre, is hosting a unique event commemorating the thousands of families separated in slavery.


Thursday, February 21
7:00-8:30 pm, Falvey Library Speakers' Corner

► Literary Festival: novelist Lauren Grodstein

Grodstein has published six books, and was nominated for the Philolexian Prize for literary work. Her novel A Friend of the Family is a New York Times bestseller, Washington Post Book of the Year, and January Magazine top ten book of the year.



Career Events


Tuesday February 19
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm, Garey Hall 10A

► Special Mock Criminal Law Class for Villanova Students

Coker v. Georgia is a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that helped to define the meaning of "cruel and unusual punishment." This case is the focus of a special mock criminal law class taught by Dean Michael A. Simons. Please review this two-page summary of the case, Coker v. Georgia, prior to the mock class to get the most out of this law school experience. Don’t miss this opportunity to find out what law school is really like! Questions? Contact Villanova Pre-Law Advisor Christina Butler at


Wednesday February 20
6:00-8:30 pm, East Lounge, Dougherty Hall

► Mentoring and Networking Event: Careers in Communications, Media, PR, and Entertainment Panel

Villanova University students are encouraged to attend this mentoring and networking event to learn all about careers in Communications, Media, Public Relations, and Entertainment. There will be a panel discussion featuring Villanova alumni currently working in the Entertainment industry followed by networking. The panel will feature: Victor Cerio (VSB '14) - Manager North American Sales Planning, Lionsgate Nick Goswami (VSB '14) - Specialist, Programmatic Strategy & Optimization; MediaMath Nicole Borrelli Hearn (CLAS '91) - Agent, ICM Partners Ally Moskitis (VSB '15) - Project Manager, HBO Danielle Mentes (VSB '14) - Supervisor, Strategy; Palisades Media Group.  REGISTER HERE.  This event is organized by the BRIDGE Society and the Business in Entertainment Society.


Friday March 22
11:00 am - 1:00 pm, SAC 300

► English Internship Lunch

Drop by any time from 11:00 to 1:00 to chat with Kate Szumanski, who oversees internships for the college. Kate can answer a wide range of questions about how you can identify and pursue an internship that you’re excited about and that can count for English credit.


Friday April 5
11:30 am - 5:00 pm, Garey Hall Alumni Events Room

► Liberal Arts & Sciences Bootcamp for Business Career Interests

Did you know employers in finance are looking to hire Liberal Arts & Sciences students as interns and entry-level hires? They are. They’re asking us at the Career Center for creative, innovative, and meaningful ways to connect with you. Curious? Want to learn more? Meet professionals and alumni from firms like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs. and Citi to hear about why they want to recruit you. Enjoy a networking lunch with alumni and hear from Todd Sullivan, a proud political science graduate and executive at Morgan Stanley.


Essay Competition


The Jerome J. Fischer Memorial Award

This award will be given to the best essay written by an undergraduate for an English class. Essays can be submitted by faculty or students. To be eligible, essays must have been written within a year preceding the deadline and written either for a Villanova English course (2100 level or higher) or for a Villanova course (2000 level or higher) taught by a member of the Villanova English faculty. Work submitted for a senior Honors thesis or an M. A. thesis is not eligible. A cash award is given to the recipient of this award. Submissions should be e-mailed to Sharon Rose-Davis, English Department administrative assistant ( by Friday, April 12.

In the English Department you have the opportunity to study with several internationally recognized creative writers, and you can apply a number of your creative writing courses to the new Minor in Creative Writing. Whether your passion is poetry or prose, you can pursue both introductory and advanced coursework under the guidance of celebrated writers who are also gifted teachers. Most creative writing courses are taught as workshops, providing you with the chance to write and revise while receiving feedback from both your classmates and instructor.

As an English major at Villanova, you will have the opportunity to take an exciting range of courses, from traditional surveys to seminars exploring contemporary fiction, film, and creative writing. Our faculty, filled with nationally respected scholars and award-winning teachers, will help you develop a deep sense of the power of language to transport your imagination to other places, times, and possibilities. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to meet high-profile writers at the annual Villanova Literary Festival, study abroad in Ireland and elsewhere around the world, and participate in internships throughout the Philadelphia area as well as in New York, where we offer a special internship working for Sports Illustrated.

In the course of the major, you will move from a number of introductory courses that provide you with foundational knowledge of English literature as well as cutting-edge approaches to reading and writing, to a range of courses on English, American, and postcolonial literature, to a culminating senior seminar. You'll have the chance to read the most influential and groundbreaking literature written in English from the Middle Ages to the present, including works by Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, and many, many others. You'll also develop a range of writing techniques, research skills, and interpretive strategies that will be invaluable in your career after college.

The English Department welcomes difference and promotes inclusion. We do so in keeping with Villanova University’s mission to create a diverse community of scholars dedicated both to maintaining the highest academic standards and to supporting a curriculum that encourages an informed respect for the differences among peoples and cultures. We demonstrate this commitment in our teaching, research, and service, and through ongoing efforts to recruit and retain diverse faculty, staff, and students.

Professor Heather Hicks is Chair of the English Department.  She can be reached at and (610) 519-4645.  Prof. Evan Radcliffe is Graduate Director.  He can be reached at and (610) 519-4648.
If you are a prospective undergraduate student planning to visit campus, or a current student exploring majors, and you'd like to sit in on an English class, meet current majors, or just chat with a faculty member, please contact Prof. Joseph Drury.  If you'd like to consult with a current English major, feel free to contact one of our Peer Advisors.
For questions about the graduate program, please contact Prof. Radcliffe.
Our office is St. Augustine Center 402.  The office telephone number is 610-519-4630, and the fax number is 610-519-6913.