Skip to Content

Department of English Language and Literature


An open copy of the novel "The Baroque Cycle" by Neal Stephenson.

Undergraduate

Welcome to undergraduate English at USC! Around 500 students major in English and they study with 60 of the most distinguished and exciting professors on campus. 

Why Major in English?

The English major is a flexible program that prepares students to be skilled writers and communicators through the careful analysis of works from all over the English-speaking world. What do you want out of our major? Here’s what we have to offer. 

Great Professors

We’ve got them in droves — English faculty have won the prestigious Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award six times in the last decade. And many of our professors are national or international leaders in their fields. If you’re looking for a major where the faculty will expose you to the leading edge of the discipline, English is it.

Great Classes

Our courses cover literature in English: British, American, and the whole Anglophone world. From the English Renaissance to postmodernism and Romanticism to Southern literature, women writers, comics studies, global contemporary literature, African American theatre, environmental literature, and creative writing - whatever your interests, we’ve got them covered.

Great Classmates

When it comes to having a great academic experience, outstanding teachers are only part of the equation. The most exciting classes are the ones where your fellow students bring a lot of intellectual energy to the table too. And that’s what you’ll get from an English major. Ever hung out with a group of English majors who sat around staring silently at the floor? We didn’t think so. Our majors are a lively bunch - and their intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm will exponentially enrich your college experience.

Great Experiences

English majors study everything from medieval literature to contemporary novels, from popular fiction to film, works that explore the full range of human experience. An English major combines the intellectual rigor of a traditional liberal arts education with the fun of engaging with the best creative minds of every generation - and maybe even becoming one of the next generation of literary greats yourself!

Great Opportunities

Want to make the most of your undergraduate experience and all the unique opportunities college can afford? When it comes to helping students create innovative research projects, land valuable internships, be awarded major fellowships, and win campus-wide honors, the English department has a great track record. Visit our Student Awards page for more information about our majors’ achievements, and learn more about opportunities beyond the classroom to accelerate your path to the future of your dreams.

Great Career Possibilities

What do you want to do with the rest of your life? With an English major, your options are wide open. A strong liberal arts education prepares you to do just about anything. And when employers think of English majors, they think of outstanding critical thinkers and communicators - qualities that are huge assets in pretty much any profession.

Personal Advising

The English department is committed to excellent student advising, and every faculty member serves as an advisor. When you declare an English major, you will be assigned an advisor, who will assist you in planning courses for each semester in the context of long-term plans and graduation requirements.

While your advisor is an important resource for you as you plan your academic career, it is also important that you familiarize yourself with key policies, procedures, and requirements, so that your course registration process can go as smoothly as possible.

The Undergraduate Office will notify all majors about their advisors and the time for fall and spring advising prior to registration. While meeting requirements is ultimately the student's responsibility, the department's Undergraduate Program Office (Room 114, Welsh Humanities Office Building, 803-777-2138) and the faculty advisors are a valuable resource for the student. The English major's academic folder is kept in the undergraduate office and may be reviewed by the student at any time.