Literature Concentration

Bachelor of Arts

Literature concentration requirements

The literature concentration prepares students to pursue graduate work in English, as well as careers in fields such as ministry, law, business, and teaching. In the literature concentration, students sharpen their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills as they analyze and write about American, British, classical, and multicultural literature. Electives allow students to focus on specific authors, genres, periods, and themes. The senior capstone course in literature enables students to research and write about a topic of their choice and to prepare for postgraduate options.

Why concentrate in literature?

You’ll focus on the traditional Western Canon. Without neglecting contemporary and multicultural literature, you’ll have passionate discussions in class on works such as Homer’s Odyssey, the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, or the prose of John Henry Newman.

Attend with your professors the annual Shakespeare play at Minneapolis’s world-renowned Guthrie Theater, and play word games each winter at the home of Dr. Jones.

For those of you interested in graduate studies, these are some schools where our alums have been accepted: Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, University of Saint Thomas, University of Minnesota-Duluth, and University of Arizona.

What students are saying

"Northwestern's literature emphasis provides just what an undergraduate program in literature should: a solid focus on the Western Canon that grounds the student in literature's most influential texts. The distinctively Christian perspective our professors brought to the classroom added a layer of critical discernment to this foundation. The education I received allowed me to enter graduate school strongly prepared to engage with both canonical and non-canonical works on a deeper level."

Helienna, alum who concentrated in literature

"When I entered my master’s program, I found that I was more prepared than my peers, largely due to the foundation I received in classes. The senior capstone project… more than prepared me for the work load and research skills I needed for grad school classes and even my master’s thesis. Several of my graduate school professors commented on how well prepared I was for graduate-level work, and more than one of my classmates said, “I wish I went to Northwestern!” when hearing about my undergraduate experience.”

Stephanie, alum who concentrated in literature


Literature Minor

Literature is also available in a minor.


Call or email us with questions about literature:

Lynae Wingate
Office Coordinator