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.

Tuesday, November 13th
4:30-5:30 pm, SAC 403

► History and English Summer Research Info Session

Want to get paid to study a topic you love?  Thinking about graduate school in History or English?  Want to get a head start on your senior thesis?  Come learn about summer research grants for humanities students.  Featuring students, faculty mentors, and representatives from the Center for Research and Fellowship.  Pizza will be served!


Wednesday, November 14th
7:00-9:00 pm, Mendel 213

► "Living in the Future's Past"

This recently released documentary about climate change and global warming features ecotheorist Timothy Morton.

Thursday, November 14th
7:30 pm, Narberth Bookshop

Professor Rena Potok will discuss her new edited book The Collected Plays of Chaim Potok

The event will feature a live performance of scenes from the plays. Reception and book signing to follow.


November 12th-19th

English Majors, show your creativity!

Villanova Creativity Scavenger Hunt - Win the Grand Prize!

The Villanova Creativity Scavenger Hunt is now open!
This hunt will challenge you to view your everyday travels through campus with new eyes as you search for answers to a series of clues. A private luncheon with Father Peter and Provost Maggitti will be awarded to the top three teams! The scavenger hunt is comprised of 20 clues of varying levels of difficulty that will take your team across campus as you uncover answers. Your team must submit a picture showing the specific object or location for each clue. Complete as many of the clues as possible before 11:59 pm on Monday, November 19th as the winning teams will be those who receive the top three scores overall!

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.

blog & Twitter

Keeping up with English

For news about English department events, students, faculty, and alumni, as well as opportunities for English majors, check out the English department's blog and Twitter feed.

The Villanova London Experience

Tower Bridge London

An 18-week semester abroad program for sophomores and juniors enrolled in the CLAS.  Students will take seminars taught by Villanova’s Dr. Lauren Shohet in conjunction with classes offered by the prestigious Queen Mary University.  Alongside courses in a range of disciplines at Queen Mary, students will take“Writing/London” (offered as an upper-level elective or as English 1975, the required Core Literature and Writing Seminar), and “Shakespeare in London: from the Globe to Virtual Reality” (English 3250) with Dr. Shohet.  Both courses are linked to London’s extraordinary resources via individualized co-curricular activities.  As one student put it, “We use the whole city as our classroom.”



Here are a number of documents covering careers for English majors, descriptions of each term's courses, and other relevant charts and guides.