Department of English

Contact Information: 
Campus Location: 2027 University Hall (UH) 
(312) 413–2200

Head, Lisa A. Freeman
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Natasha B. Barnes,

The Department of English offers a Major in English and Minor in English, Minor in Professional Writing, and a Major in Teacher Education and Minor in Teacher Education.

The field of English focuses on the study and practice of various forms of writing in English. It includes:

  1. the study of written works in English—whether by writers from the United States, Britain, former colonies, the Commonwealth nations, or elsewhere—whose aesthetic achievement and cultural significance qualifies them as literature;
  2. the study of literary criticism and theory, of the relationship between literature and popular culture, and of allied narrative forms such as film, performance, electronic communications, and other new media;
  3. the study of the English language, its historical development, and its rhetorical dimensions;
  4. the theory and practice of writing, whether of poetry, fiction, nonfiction prose, or other expository forms;
  5. the theory and practice of teaching English language and literature, particularly at the secondary level.

Students who major in English develop broad reading and writing skills that make possible both an analytical engagement with, and a critical understanding of, diverse fields of cultural and aesthetic production. The English major offers excellent preparation for careers in writing, editing, publishing, teaching, government, law, and advertising.

Writing Internship Program

The English department offers writing internships in fields such as journalism, public relations, advertising, publishing, corporate communications, technical writing, information technology, and broadcasting. Students benefit by acquiring hands-on experience and professional writing samples for use in job applications.

To qualify, students must be enrolled full time at UIC, have taken ENGL 202 and ENGL 240, and be in good academic standing. Students who wish to receive credit for their writing internship must be admitted to and enroll in ENGL 493.


  • Departmental Distinction. To be eligible for Departmental Distinction, a candidate must have:
  1. attended UIC for three semesters,
  2. a cumulative GPA of 3.00/4.00,
  3. completed a minimum of 21 hours at UIC in courses required for the major, and
  4. a GPA of 3.50/4.00 in courses required for the major.
  • High Distinction. To be eligible for High Distinction, a candidate must complete all requirements for Departmental Distinction with a GPA of 3.75/4.00 in courses required for the major.
  • Highest Distinction. To be eligible for Highest Distinction, a candidate must meet all requirements for High Distinction and complete ENGL 398 with a grade of A.