Reading for fulfillment. Reading for success. 

The Bachelor of Arts in English major offers students the foundations of close reading, formal analysis, literary history, critical theory, research strategies, and rigorous, respectful debate. We train students to discuss and write critically about the ways literature and language have profoundly influenced the values and lived experiences of societies over centuries and across geographical boundaries.

When Iowa English majors head out into the world, we expect that they will carry with them a passion for reading, a commitment to use language self-consciously and ethically, and a readiness to embrace the new experiences that wide reading encourages. We believe the education our majors gain as readers and writers will be invaluable whether they work in education, the arts, business, the nonprofit sector, government, or in other careers. We also believe that lifelong engagement with literature is one of our best hopes for the critical thinking, compassion, inspiration, and action that are crucial to a just society and global community.

To get more involved with fellow majors - including events like open mics, English Society meetings, and more – check out the Student Organizations page.


The BA in English requires a minimum of 120 semester hours (s.h.), including at least 36 s.h. (usually 12 courses) of work for the major. Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.00 in all courses for the major and in all UI courses for the major. They also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.

Students must earn at least 21 s.h. of credit for the major at the University of Iowa. Transfer students may count a maximum of 15 s.h. of approved transfer credit toward the major.

For more specific information on courses, curriculum, and requirements of the Bachelor of Arts in English, visit the UI General Catalog.