As an undergraduate student in Duquesne’s Department of English, you’ll build on the university’s liberal arts foundation with intensive studies in literature, language and writing. Immersed in the art of literary analysis, you'll learn how to analyze and interpret various forms of literature, including poetry, fiction, drama and nonfiction, while studying an array of critical theories through which to examine literature, such as Marxism, feminism and postcolonialism. You’ll also explore literary history, delving into literary movements and genres to parse the evolution of the language and how it’s been used to express the human experience over the centuries.

Along with literary study, composition and research skills form the bedrock of academic excellence in Duquesne’s Department of English, and you'll learn how to write across the various genres of literary exposition, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction and academic writing.

The program provides you with a deep understanding of English language and literature, while also preparing you for a career in any number fields, from academia, publishing and journalism to business, government, technology and media—each of which prize the English student’s ability to think critically, write clearly and engage with complex ideas.


Program Information

In our English program, you are immersed in the art of literary analysis and study an array of critical theories through which you examine literature.

Program Type

Major, Minor



Academic Department




Required Credit Hours


"Many people question the value of an English major, but you can do so much with it. It has helped me develop my critical thinking, grammar and analysis and interpersonal communication skills and allowed me to collaborate. Since I’m applying to dental schools, having these skills is what is going to set me apart from others in the field."

Brianna McDonagh

Literary Studies Program Requirements

English, Literary Studies Major

  • 9 credit hours of 300-level English survey courses
  • ENGL 300W Critical Issues in Literary Studies
400-level courses that fulfill the following distribution requirements
  • Pre-1700
  • 1700-1900
  • Post-1900
  • Diversity
9 credits of English credits, no more than 6 credits at the 100-level. (Only 3 credits required if a student is a double major and English is the second major.)

Writing Program Requirements

English, Writing Major

  • 9 credit hours of 300-level English Survey Courses
  • ENGL 300W Critical Issues in Literary Studies
9 credit hours of 300- or 400-level writing courses in at least TWO genres. Genres include:
  • Critical or Professional
  • Fiction
  • Playwriting
  • Poetry
  • Screenwriting

3 credit hours of a 400-level writing course in the following genres:
  • Creative
  • Critical 
  • Professional
6 credit hours of 400-level English courses. One of which must be a 400-level literature class. The second can be literature or writing. (Only 3 credits required if a student is a double major and English is the second major.)
6 additional elective credits in ENGL. (Only 3 credits required if a student is a double major and English is the second major.)

Minor in English

Picking up a minor in English is a great way for you to explore your interest in all the courses offered within the English Department—literature, theater, film, writing—while only having to take five classes (or 15 credits). You may even count your BRDG 102 course (or the Honors College equivalent) as one of their required five courses, meaning you potentially only need four more courses to complete the English minor. Science majors that are additionally required to take ENGL 302W Scientific Writing will only need three more courses to complete the English minor!

Course requirements for the minor in English include:

  • ENGL 300W: Critical Issues in Literary Study (3 credits)
  • One 400-level literature course (3 credits)
  • Three elective English courses (9 credits)

Get an Accelerated Master's in English

The Department of English invites undergraduate students at Duquesne to earn a Master of Arts degree in only five years (including two summers). Undergraduate students are able to earn six graduate credits by taking graduate level courses in the last year of their BA. For more information on this, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Applicants for the Master of Arts in English must be in the final year of undergraduate study towards a major in English, and must submit the following materials to the Director of Graduate Studies for review:

  • An online application for the Masters program
  • Official transcripts recording all baccalaureate work
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • A sample of the applicants academic writing
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicants academic studies
  • A statement of the applicants purpose in seeking the Master of Arts degree

All materials are due in the office of the Director of Graduate Studies no later than June 30th prior to fall registration.