Academics > English


In the English Department at Coe, we introduce you to the challenges and pleasures of reading and writing. Our wide range of courses each semester span literatures of various regions and periods. From William Shakespeare to Toni Morrison, medieval poetry to Middle Eastern literature, folktales to film, our classes explore worlds at once familiar and strange and open up new ways of viewing our own surroundings.

Our focus is on critical, creative thinking, as expressed in lively discussion and in powerful writing. Our faculty and students together form a community of thinkers deeply committed not only to literature as an art form but to engagement with the issues, problems, solutions, and perspectives that literature both reflects and generates.

Our department is an especially vibrant place to study. Our students are some of the most active and intellectually curious on campus. They study off campus (Coe’s New York term is especially popular with English majors), engage in student research, and produce The Coe Review, a national literary review. They’re active in a whole gamut of student activities and organization, often in leadership positions, because everyone wants a creative problem-solver who can write, think, and put a different spin on things.

In addition to a major and a minor in English, we offer a collateral major and a minor in Creative Writing.  Classes in both fields are taught by dedicated teachers who are also published scholars, poets, fiction writers, and essayists.

An English major, coupled with an interest in just about anything, is ideal preparation for the world of work: Coe English majors can communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing, and they can think with complexity and clarity. These are the qualities most prized in the workplace and most necessary for productive and satisfying participation in community at all levels.

Read more about English Department news and events on our blog:

Top Ten Reasons to Choose Coe College for English

  1. Small class sizes (8 to 15 students a typical size)
  2. Great conversations in those small classes (no hanging back, you quiet types)
  3. Individualized, intensive advising in advising sessions that aren’t just about course selection but your aptitudes, interests, strengths, and challenges, along with life and career goals
  4. Excellent teachers who are committed, energetic, innovative, funny, demanding, and highly knowledgeable scholars in their chosen fields
  5. Employers prize job candidates with sophisticated critical thinking skills who can communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing
  6. The annual student-organized Fireside Reading each fall—bring something you’ve written or something you’ve read recently that you love and read it out loud to other majors and faculty
  7. Opportunity to teach English at Chiang Mai University in Thailand after graduation, as one or two Coe English major grads do each year
  8. Develop personal relationships with faculty members who will support and guide you at Coe and beyond
  9. Opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the English Department, from interviewing incoming students to having dinner with visiting writers
  10. Who wouldn’t want to spend four years discussing and debating books and ideas with super-bright and motivated fellow students?