English: Literary Theory & Cultural Studies, BA

Students deciding to pursue English at Penn study language, literature, literary history and theories of literary production in a thirteen-course major of flexible design. While completing the language and literature requirement and the five required courses in the literary historical "core," majors also pursue their own special literary interests in six-course concentrations of their own choosing. English offers more than twenty distinct concentrations, including several options for creative writers.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 33. Double majors may entail more course units.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Core Requirement
Select one course in each sector from ENGL 0300-ENGL 0999: 26
Sector 1 - Theory & Poetics
Sector 2 - Difference and Diaspora
Sector 3 - Medieval/Renaissance
Sector 4 - Lit of the Long 18th C (ca. 1660-1832)
Sector 5 - 19th Century Literature
Sector 6 - 20th Century Literature
The Junior Seminar
ENGL 4991JRS Long 18C Lit with Theory & Poetics and Difference and Diaspora (Seminar 1) (may be double-counted in the core)1
Select one seminar in each area from ENGL 3603-ENGL 5999:4
Sem 1: Literature Before 1700
Sem 2: Literature Before 1900
Sem 3: ENGL (may be double-counted in the core)
Sem 4: ENGL or Related (may be double-counted in the core)
Select 2-5 course units from ENGL 0300-ENGL 5999 32-5
Concentration Requirements
Select 4 course units of Literary Theory & Cultural Studies courses with 2 course units 2000-level seminar or higher 4
Total Course Units33

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


For up to three sectors, a seminar may be double-counted in the core.


Take additional 3 course units if Seminars 1, 2 and 3 are double-counted in core.


Concentration may be comprised from the 13 course units of the major, or other courses.


Applicants must have a 3.6 GPA in the Major. Thesis required.


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2022 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.