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English at South Carolina

What other major lets you read your favorite novel or watch a great movie and call it homework? Or, perhaps you'd enjoy learning all the rules of great academic writing and then have the chance to break every one of those rules in a creative writing class.

What to Expect

An English major combines all the intellectual rigor of a traditional liberal arts education with all 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. As an English major, you will learn to analyze literary and non-literary texts within cultural and historical contexts, to think critically, to write clearly and to communicate persuasively.

The department offers four major tracks leading to a bachelor of arts degree: general major, intensive major, writing concentration and secondary education. You will also gain hands-on experience through innovative research projects, internships and major fellowships. 


Undergraduate Degree

B  B.A. in English

The Department of English Language and Literature offers a flexible undergraduate major where you can take courses in areas that interest you including literature, composition and rhetoric, creative writing and speech communication.

The following courses fulfill some of the requirements for a bachelor's degree in English:

  • The Renaissance
  • Tudor Literature
  • Romanticism
  • American Literature
  • Southern Literature

Students wishing to pursue the intensive major and writing concentration major will be required to take additional courses.

Apply for Undergraduate Admission

Our Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides the most current information on the application process so you can check the requirements based on your current status and find university scholarships.


Graduate Degrees

A member of the College of Arts and Sciences, the department of English language and literature offers an master's degree with three choices of emphasis including English and American literature, composition and rhetoric or speech communication. The department also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Ph.D. program with two areas of emphasis including English and/or American literature, or composition and rhetoric.

The Master of Arts in Teaching leads to initial teacher licensure/certification in secondary education.

M  M.A. in English

Graduate Director: Andrew Shifflett, 803-576-5909,
Program Laura Thorp, 803-777-5063,

Application information for this degree is available through our Graduate School. 

D  Ph.D. in English

Graduate Director: Andrew Shifflett, 803-576-5909,
Program Laura Thorp, 803-777-5063,

Application information for this degree is available through our Graduate School. 

DD  Dual Degree: English and Library and Information Science (M.A. / M.L.I.S)

Through special arrangement, the university offers dual degree programs in certain areas to permit a student to work on two degrees concurrently by combining credits, resulting in the student taking fewer courses than the total required if each degree were pursued independently.

This program, offered by the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Library and Information Science, culminates in a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Library and Information Science.

Application information for this degree is available through our Graduate School.

Explore Our Graduate School 

The Graduate School administers the application process for all of the university's doctoral, master’s, certificate and dual degree programs. Take a look at what you will need to do before you apply.