Ohio State nav bar

Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate Studies

Average class size for English majors
Major courses per semester
Unique major concentrations

Ohio State’s English department contains multitudes.

Students in English explore the worlds of Octavia Butler, interpret and perform Shakespeare’s plays, study the impact of colonialism in literature and culture, and track the cultural reception of Jane Austen. We analyze Halo and other video games; we consider comic series and their fandoms; we study digital media and how protests are rhetorically structured. We craft short stories, sonnets and creative non-fiction essays. We publish blog posts and produce videos for YouTube. We write research papers, grant proposals, and technical reports, and we organize social media campaigns. We are persuasive speakers, empathetic listeners, critical readers and sophisticated writers. Consequently, we thrive in this fast-paced, ever-changing world and within its professional environments.

With an average class size of 20 students, students in English forge close relationships with faculty members and peers. Our majors and minors regularly pursue independent research and creative projects under the direction of English faculty. These projects allow students to explore issues of personal, scholarly and creative importance; to solve complex problems using skills they have honed in the classroom; and to produce new knowledge and solutions that reflect their unique perspectives, talents and abilities. In recent years, undergraduate research projects have focused on pirates in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, slam poetry, dystopian fiction and women's reproductive rights, and gender-inclusive housing at Ohio State. Our creative writing students have produced television scripts, screenplays, literary novels, books of poetry and collections of short stories.   

Beyond the classroom, faculty and students participate in co- and extra-curricular activities, and we value our tight-knit community. For instance, horror literature fans come together to discuss spine-tingling tomes, and those interested in both texts and textiles participate in a knitting/reading group. Furthermore, our English Undergraduate Organization (EUGO) sponsors activities like Trivia Night that bring different department constituencies together. As a community, we learn and grow together, and we welcome all to join us.



Our majors choose one of four academic specializations. Students choose a specialization based on their academic and personal interests as well as their short- and longer-term career goals. Students have the option to begin their major coursework without declaring a specialization, and they may switch specializations without delaying their progress towards a degree.

Major programs


  • Literature, Film, Folklore and Popular Culture Studies
  • Writing, Rhetoric and Literacy (WRL)
  • Creative Writing
  • English Pre-Education


The Department of English's minor coursework is designed to complement and build upon the knowledge and skills that students have already begun to acquire as part of their major programs. The purpose of the department's minor programs is to better prepare students to pursue their unique professional and personal goals in a diverse array of career fields including agriculture, business, communications, engineering, law, marketing, medicine and social work.

Minor programs

  • Creative Writing
  • Disability Studies
  • English
  • Medical Humanities
  • Popular Culture Studies
  • Professional Writing
  • Game Studies



Our dedicated, in-house English advisors help students select a track within the English major, choose a double major and/or minor, schedule general education and major courses, prepare petitions and graduation applications, and locate resources. For more information about advising, including how to contact our advisors and/or make an appointment, please see our Undergraduate Advising page.

We strongly encourage undergraduates to participate in research work. Learn more about completing an independent studythesis or creative project.

We encourage all students to pursue internships, independent research and study abroad opportunities that will better prepare them for graduate school and/or entry-level jobs across a wide variety of career fields. Students can also earn academic credit for these and other real-world experiences through the English department. 

The department provides students with a variety of career-related resources and materials. In addition, during the autumn term, we offer a three-credit course, English 2150: Career Preparation for English Majors. For more information on this course, contact Senior Lecturer Jenny Patton (.220).

There are thousands of Ohio State English alumni living and working around the world. They are writers, editors, entrepreneurs, marketers, lawyers, doctors, bloggers, photographers, publicists, professors, financial advisors, human resource managers, business owners, IT specialists, CEOs and much, much more. Each autumn, we host an annual English Undergraduate, Faculty and Alumni Dinner designed to connect students with alumni working in a diverse array of career fields. This and other, smaller events offer students the opportunity to learn about careers otherwise unknown to them and to begin building relationships that will hopefully contribute to their success for years to come. Learn more about our alumni opportunities.

To learn more about the English major, please schedule an appointment with an English department advisor.