Cathedral of Learning


The Literature Program is committed to imaginative, interdisciplinary and theoretical engagement with Anglophone literatures in all their historical, formal, generic, and global diversity. Literature majors take classes that engage a diverse range of texts from varied theoretical perspectives. Our instructors are committed to presenting undergraduates with a historically and theoretically informed understanding of literary production and reception. We value many kinds of writing, analysis, and communication, and we encourage students to strengthen their critical thinking skills by recognizing that literature engages complex systems of meaning. Literature majors and minors might become writers, critics or English teachers, but they also go into advertising, publishing, law, medicine, media, business, public relations, government, social work, communication, or take any number of other paths. Read about what some of our alumni are up to. 

We offer a range of challenging and enjoyable courses taught by established scholars and experienced teachers. We offer a selection of introductory, writing-intensive 300-level courses. Our 500-levelcourses provide strong foundations in literary studies and the program’s concentrations and focal areas. At the 600-level, we offer more in-depth theme and genre courses. 700-and 800-level courses provide students with the opportunity to read, write, and do creative work in specialized areas. Finally, our 1000-level historical period and elective courses offer comprehensive grounding in literary history, periods, and genres, principles of criticism and literary theory, research methods, and advanced approaches to writing about literature. Thinking about doing a senior thesis in literature? Learn more about the process and browse completed theses. 

The annual Undergraduate Literature Conference is an event that showcases the outstanding work produced by Literature students in their classes, clubs, and independent projects. 

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The Literature major offers five concentrations, along with a sixth option for a self-designed track, with a total of 12 courses (36 credits). 

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An undergraduate minor in English Literature is an excellent complement to other majors--serving students in the natural and social sciences, as well as other humanities programs. 

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This page offers a brief overview of the types of courses offered at the undergraduate level by the Literature Program.

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General Education Requirements

The Literature program at Pitt offers a wide variety of courses designed for both non-English majors and English Lit majors.  

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Other Focal Areas

Learn more about additional options to focus on in your undergraduate studies.

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PPW Certificate

You can major in English Literature and complete the Public and Professional Writing (PPW) Certificate, which requires 18 credits.