The UCLA English Department is dedicated to providing its students with a liberal arts education, one that develops the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills necessary for them to excel in today's world. To do so, the department offers a wide range of courses on British, American, and Anglophone literatures and cultures. With over seventy faculty and a thousand declared majors, the department is a vibrant place for intellectual exchange, learning, and inquiry. Within the major, qualified students may elect a concentration in creative writing. The department also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Literature and Culture and an English Minor.
Why Major in English or American Literature and Culture?
The answers to this question are as varied and complex as our students themselves; that may be the greatest single virtue of the major. Among the most common reasons are:
• An enthusiasm for imaginative literature.
• A desire to become a more proficient and intelligent reader and writer.
• A conviction that a deeper, broader understanding of culture is important.
Apart from the inherent rewards of studying literature, a degree in English or American Literature & Culture offers intensive training in skills essential in the modern job market, training that is rarely offered by other fields of study. The major also aspires to nurture the kinds of thoughtfulness essential for an intelligent, diverse, and harmonious society, a society that appreciates traditions without following them blindly. The reading and writing in the major:
• Develops the ability to think critically and creatively, and to express ideas clearly and forcefully.
• Provides a detailed knowledge of several cultural traditions.
• Offers exposure to many related areas of study, including history, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, sociology, art history, and religious studies.
• Prepares students for graduate and professional work in a wide variety of fields.