Prospective Undergrad

Welcome to English.

Nestled into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is a special place in America. By setting foot on the Boulder campus, you enter into a process of self-transformation in this truly majestic setting.

English is a particularly powerful major, because the ability to read deeply, to think critically, and to write eloquently is crucial to a rewarding life. But more fundamentally, English is about stories. By studying the greatest stories ever told, by realizing the power of human language, and by taking part in the ever-unfolding history of literature you have the ability to know your world uniquely and deeply.

The undergraduate experience here at CU Boulder English includes:

  • Professors pursuing cutting-edge research in diverse fields of literary inquiry, including British Romanticism, Modernism, Post-modernism, American Poetry, and Postcolonial literature.
  • Courses in literature ranging from Beowulf to Comic Books.
  • Innovative, experimental creative writing workshops and classes.
  • Active student groups that offer students opportunities to expand their experience.
  • Poetry readings at local coffee shops and colloquiums for polishing your skills.
  • Research at the department’s experimental labs: Adam Bradley’s Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture (RAP lab) and Lori Emerson’s Media Archaeology Lab (MAL).
  • A thriving community with fun social events like the annual Mad Hatter Tea Party and invigorating talks and special presentations. Events Calendar
  • The Creative Writing Reading Series, which brings innovative writers to the University of Colorado for a free, on-campus reading. Past readers include National Book Award winner Terrance Hayes, Susan Steinberg, CAConrad, Ronaldo Wilson, Brian Evenson, Lynne Tillman, Claudia Rankine, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Pulitzer Prize winner Rae Armantrout. Visit the events calendar on the English Department’s website for reading locations, dates, and times!
  • Study abroad opportunities, such as David Glimp’s Summer Shakespeare course in England.


The University of Colorado is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution; the department encourages applications from minority and under-served students.

Our degree programs

We offer two undergraduate major concentrations culminating in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) — one in literary criticism and one in creative writing. We also offer minors in both of these areas. The concentration in literary criticism emphasizes the history and analysis of literature from Chaucer and Shakespeare through Comic Books and Hip Hop poetics. The concentration in creative writing teaches the skills of fiction and poetry through small, workshop-based studio courses. These programs overlap so that all English majors learn the skills of literary criticism and the art of excellent writing.

What our students say 

RyanMcHughRyan Daniel McHugh: “During my time spent with CU Boulder’s English program, I learned not just about the history and roots of my native tongue – I learned about the value and power of English in application. The English Department’s emphasis on being able to clearly articulate my thoughts and ideas as a tool is a skill set I’ll forever be able to use in my professional life and beyond; the internship opportunities and experiences offered at CU that I was able to take advantage of were testament to this alone.”

Frequently asked questions 

How do I declare an English major or minor?

Declaring an English major or minor is a fairly easy process, but it will require you to make an appointment with an advisor. For more information see our full instructions.

What kinds of scholarships are available to English majors?
The department offers a wide range of scholarships to undergraduate majors ranging from $500-$2000.  Check out our scholarship options for more information about deadlines and to access the applications.

Is there an “honors” track for English majors?
The English Department offers outstanding students the opportunity to intensify their course of study through special honors courses and Latin honors, which is achieved through writing an honors thesis.  The Honors Program in English functions in conjunction with the Arts and Sciences Honors Program. Students have the option to apply for General Honors in Arts and Sciences instead of completing Departmental Honors. Find out more about how to graduate with honors, as well as access the form to register to graduate with Honors, and view semester deadlines.

Does the department offer study abroad opportunities?

Yes! In the past, the English department has been proud to offer a “Shakespeare on-site” summer course in England. For more information regarding this opportunity please see:  And don’t forget to check out all of the exciting study abroad opportunities that CU-Boulder offers!