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Major in English

"The literature classes that I have been able to take have truly changed my perspective on a thousand and one different aspects of the field. From changing my intended major to keeping me genuinely excited about upcoming assignments and classes, what I've learned of literature at PHC has lit a spark that I intend to carry with me even after graduation."
— Caitlin Coulter, '17
Dr. Hake




Students majoring in English study the great works of European and American literature. They take two semesters of English literature and one semester of American literature, as well as a course in literary theory and criticism. English majors study a classical language and take advanced courses in history, philosophy and theology. 

As part of major electives, they must take classes in either fiction or non-fiction writing, study two distinct genres in more depth, and focus on one major author. Additionally, they expand on areas of interest by developing Directed Research & Writing projects in literary studies or creative writing, or participate in literature or writing-related internships such as student teaching, tutoring, or editing.

Check out these essays written by Dr. Steven Hake:

Why Study English?
  • Unsure of what qualifies as "English", or unconvinced of its worth? Check out this essay.
Will My Family Starve If I Major in English?
  • Do you think English is great, but it doesn't lead to a "real job?" Dr. Hake thinks otherwise.
My Hope For You at Patrick Henry College
  • Dr. Hake expresses his vision for passionate and independent learners.
A Burning Flame
  • Dr. Hake offers practical suggestions on how to become a life-long learner.

Still in high school?

We have just the thing for you! Check out our C.S. Lewis: Beyond the Lamp Post summer camp at Patrick Henry College. Readers the world over have fallen in love with the Narnia books and taken numerous lessons about life, God, and general morality from their reading. But is there a deeper method and unity to the symbolism Lewis is employing throughout the series? Come explore these possibilities as we venture through Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, paying closer attention to the various myths, symbols, and themes that he employs in each of them and across the series.


Explore C.S. Lewis Camp

Recommended Courses and Course Sequence for the English Major

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