Explore literature, language, and the power of story English Literature, Writing, and Teaching

Join a community of faithful readers and writers who will sharpen your communication skills, expose you to new authors, genres, and ideas, and prepare you for a variety of careers and vocational callings, including teaching.

Credential Type

  • B.A.

Major Credits Required

  • 40

Offered As

  • Major/Minor

Concentration Areas

  • Literature | Writing | Teaching (secondary education)

Other Information

  • Honors Program

99% employed or in graduate school

Within six months of graduation, over 99% of Wheaton’s Class of 2022 found a job or an internship or continued their education.

3 concentration areas

Focus your studies in literature, writing, or teaching secondary English. You’ll get to explore aspects of all three before you choose!

25 miles from downtown Chicago

Chicagoland’s strong presence of academic and Christian publishers opens up internship and career opportunities.

Connect with Admissions

You can reach us anytime via admissions@wheaton.edu.

English Student Holding book in classroom

Why Study English at Wheaton? Our Favorite Story is You

When you study English at Wheaton College, you’ll join a community of Christian authors, scholars, poets, playwrights, journalists, and publishing professionals who love the written word as much as you do—and learn from passionate teachers who are fully invested in your success. As part of the English Department, you'll cultivate lifelong and life-changing friendships.

Students taking in the view on Wheaton in England

Sample Classes: A World of Literature, Writing & Teaching Courses

Wheaton offers scores of literature, creative writing, and criticism courses designed around specific authors, eras, cultures, and genres—plus classes that show you how your words can make a difference in the world around you. Examples include:

  • Christianity and Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • Shakespeare
  • Jane Austen
  • C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Japanese Literature and Film
  • British Black and Asian Literature
  • Novel Writing
  • Travel Writing
  • Flash Fiction
  • Poetry Writing
  • Writing for Social Change
  • Modern Drama

Faces and Spaces Where You’ll Learn, Who You’ll Meet

Our Faculty

Our faculty has a range of research and publishing interests, including fantasy, satire, memoir, magical realism, literary journalism, Renaissance drama, literatures of witness, Caribbean literature, and community-based writing. They publish prolifically, from chapbooks to textbooks. They edit academic journals and anthologies. Their scholarly and creative work appears in top journals and literary magazines.

Marion E. Wade Center Exterior Fall 2022 with clouds

Our Facilities and Centers

Located in Blanchard Hall, our department doubles as a cozy reading and writing nook, complete with comfy couches and a coffee/tea station. The Marion E. Wade Center is a one-of-a-kind venue dedicated to seven British Christian authors, including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Dorothy L. Sayers, and it offers students unique opportunities to engage with visiting writers and scholars. Over at Wheaton’s Writing Center, many English majors serve their peers as writing consultants.

Expand Your Experiences

Write for the weekly student-run newspaper. Submit your creative work (or help produce) Kodon, our literary magazine. Submit your work to multiple on-campus writing contests. Or participate in Arena Theatre or Shakespeare in the Park. With these opportunities and more, you’ll find plenty of ways to bring your words to life at Wheaton. Our department hosts many events throughout the year, from alumni visits to vocational planning sessions.

Program Highlight: Wheaton in England

Student Looking Over English Countryside on Wheaton in England

"Wheaton in England is a transformational experience, both personally and academically. As part of the 2019 cohort, I got the opportunity to read classic works in the physical places they were written, which made them so much more powerful and engaging to me. If you choose to do the program, get ready to hike through England's whimsical countryside, memorize beautiful works of poetry, and ignite your love for reading!" - Maddie Cash '21

Learn More about Wheaton in England >

WITH Wheaton Opportunities Across Campus & Beyond

Interdisciplinary learning is a way of life at Wheaton. Aside from your work within your chosen major, you can enrich your educational experience and connect with peers and professors across campus (and beyond) in many ways.

Real-World Learning at Wheaton & Beyond

Other Opportunities

  • Internships
  • Faculty-mentored research
  • Student publications, including the award-winning literary magazine Kodon
  • Teaching assistant and writing center consultant positions
  • Shakespeare in the Park
  • Writing contests
  • Student-teaching (for secondary ed majors) in a variety of settings: Christian and secular, public and private, urban or rural.

Related Centers, Organizations & Co-Curriculars

Additional Academic Opportunities: Common Minors, Certificates & Second Majors

Student reading in cathedral ruins on Wheaton in England
ENGLISH for Christ & His Kingdom

Faith and Learning at Wheaton

A Wheaton education is built on the foundation of our unique Christ at the Core general education curriculum. Our English major emphasizes the connection between Christianity and literature/writing with courses such as Christianity and Fantasy, Harry Potter and Theology, Literature of the Bible, and Christianity and Crime. By nature, studying writing and language will help you become a more careful and observant reader of the Bible—and exploring literature through a Christian lens will help you discover how your own faith impacts and informs your creative pursuits.

Learn More About Christ at the Core

Success After Wheaton Careers With an English Degree

An English major from Wheaton is an investment in your future. Our graduates use their skills and talents in fields of all kinds. 


What can you do with an English major? Better to ask, "What can't you do with an English major?" Our graduates have gone into a wide variety of career fields including: 

  • Authorship
  • Publishing
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Journalism
  • Science
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Politics
  • Business
  • Counseling 
  • Law
  • So much more! 

See more career options for English Majors >

Continued Learning

Our alumni have been accepted into graduate and professional programs at schools such as:

  • Columbia University
  • Duke Divinity School
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Wheaton College Graduate School
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Virginia School of Law
Charles Hermesmann
English Alumni in Action

Writing for a Reason

“[At Wheaton], I found that learning about issues around the world—poverty and justice—was what I was looking for to pair with my love of writing.”

– Charles Hermesmann ’22

In third grade, New Jersey native Charles Hermesmann set a goal: to write five pages per day until he filled up a yellow notebook. With a lifelong love of words, it’s no wonder he became an English major. But once he arrived at Wheaton and got involved with the Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) Program, he discovered a connection between storytelling and his passion to help others.

Read Charles' Story

Next Steps

Want to study English at Wheaton College? Wondering how to become a high school English teacher in Illinois? Request more information or start your application today.