The English Major and Minor at Davidson

The English Department provides you with a depth and breadth of literary knowledge while teaching you to explore problems creatively, to be sensitive to life's diversity, and to read the world critically and thoughtfully.

Davidson English majors build skills in:

  • Communicating effectively in discussion and writing
  • Analyzing and creating across genres and media
  • Collaborating and working in diverse groups
  • Planning and conducting independent research
  • Creative problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Understanding and applying theoretical concepts
  • Embracing ambiguity and entertaining multiple, conflicting perspectives
  • Empathy and diplomacy

English Major Overview

The English major requires you to take ten courses, including: ENG 220: Literary Analysis, three area requirements (History, Diversity, and Innovation), two capstone courses (seminar, tutorial, or group investigation), and five electives. You may count one 100-level course and two approved courses from other departments or institutions toward the major.

The English major also requires you to set up an online portfolio to showcase your work at Davidson to potential employers, fellowship providers, graduate programs, and other audiences.

Myths About the English Major, Debunked

The skills you develop in English classes—critical thinking, analytical reasoning, clear writing, empathy, and inclusive thinking—are valued in the workplace and vital to social justice and civil discourse.

Learn the Facts

Emi Moore '18

Being an English major prepared me for working at Pixelberry Studios by teaching me how to research, how to work in a team, and how to speak up for my ideas. One thing I really valued about the English major at Davidson was the space it fostered to share different perspectives. Every person is going to read a text differently, and having the space to talk about your own readings has really helped me feel comfortable voicing my opinions in a work environment.

Emi Moore ’18

Courses You Might Take

ENG 455

Milton & Paradise Lost


This seminar offers intensive study of John Milton's masterpiece Paradise Lost.  Discussions will involve close analysis of individual lines-and indeed, individual words-and will examine the contexts of the text, from ancient traditions to the present.  Assignments will…

ENG 286

African-Amer Lit Since 1900


This course introduces students to examples of African American literature and literary criticism from the 20th to 21st centuries. Major authors from the Harlem Renaissance to the Black Arts Movement and beyond will be considered alongside theoretical formulations…

ENG 292

Documentary Film


The course will first examine the modes of the documentary genre, often described as expository, observational, interactive, and reflexive. For each mode we will read relevant history and theory, and watch representative documentaries. Students will then make a…