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English Literature

The English Literature department at Boise State University prepares students for a variety of futures by developing skills of critical inquiry, analytical reasoning, and oral and written communication, which are transferable to any profession. Faculty offer expertise in British and American literature, interdisciplinary humanities, and a range of genres including fiction, poetry, drama, and film. Faculty are committed to innovative, student-centered teaching and learning in a variety of formats including online, hybrid, and face-to-face instruction; internships and experiential learning; and student-faculty collaborative research.

The Value of a Literature Degree

As an English Literature major, you will learn to

  • think critically and communicate effectively
  • organize meaningfully
  • handle ambiguity and respond with empathy
  • understand works of the imagination
  • delight in other perspectives and read with awareness of historical and cultural contexts
  • recognize multiple ways of reading and appreciate the beauty and power of language

Employers want job candidates with "uniquely human" abilities

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Employers were asked: How would you describe the process of finding qualified applicants with critical-thinking, communication, listening, and interpersonal skills.

They reported difficulty finding applicants with desirable skills in:

  • Critical-thinking (73%)
  • Communication (54%)
  • Listening (55%)
  • Interpersonal skills (55%)

Source Cengage/Morning Consult, a 2018 survey of more than 650 employers and over 1,500 students.

Cultivate Skills for A Variety of Pursuits in Life

The skills you cultivate in English Literature courses will hone your preparation for many different pursuits in life.

No less importantly, you’ll address a range of timeless questions and topics (artistic, moral, historical) by reading deeply and learning to articulate your ideas well in writing after sharing in lively, searching discussions with instructors and fellow students.

Whereas some other degrees may lead more directly to a specific vocational calling, English skills are applicable to a broad range of professions; and students who effectively master these skills frequently learn with delight that the World is all before them.

Faculty-Led Projects

Along with a broad selection of course offerings, the English Literature department offers faculty-led projects that provide students with opportunities in applied literary studies such as:

  • Books in Every Home
  • Shake It Up After School
  • Melville’s Marginalia Online

In the English Literature program, you will encounter dynamic faculty with a wide range of expertise who care deeply about student learning and work closely with students in and out of the classroom.

As a part of our community, you will develop English skills individually and collaboratively as you explore inspiring works of imaginative writing.

Student and faculty member

For more information, contact Dr. Ann Campbell, Chair of the Department of English Literature, at

Resource Links

Books in Every Home

Engaging, high-quality children’s books for young readers

The Idea of Nature

The Idea of Nature Lecture Series

Literature for Lunch

Public readings and discussion led by Literature faculty

Melville's Marginalia Online

Books from the personal library of American author Herman Melville

Shake It Up After School

Play production in area schools