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2023 Best English Language & Literature Schools

534 Colleges in the United States
54,635 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded
$30,352 Avg Early-Career Salary
English Language & Literature is about average in terms of popularity for degree programs. That is, it ranks #18 out of the 38 majors across the country that we analyze each year. So, you may have to do some digging around to find quality schools that offer the degree program. This list can help with that.

For its 2023 ranking, College Factual looked at 534 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for English language and literature students pursuing a degree. Combined, these schools handed out 54,635 degrees in English language and literature to qualified students.

Jump to one of the following sections: * Degree-Level Rankings

Choosing a Great English Language & Literature School

Best English Language & Literature Schools Your choice of English language and literature school matters, so we have put together these rankings to help you make your decision. For our Best Overall English Language & Literature School rankings, we roll up the results of our degree-level rankings, weighted by the number of degrees awarded at that level.

You may want to choose one of the degree levels below to find the schools of most interest to you.

English Language & Literature Rankings by Degree Level

The English language and literature school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best English Language & Literature Schools. More interested in schools in a specific area of the country? Filter this list by region or state.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

Read more about College Factual's methodology.

Featured English Language & Literature Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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Best Schools for English Language & Literature in the United States

If you aren't interested in a particular degree level and want to know which schools are the overall best at delivering an education for the English language and literature degrees they offer, see the list below. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Top Schools in English Language & Literature

#1

Yale University

New Haven, CT
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
74 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Yale University is a great choice for students pursuing a degree in English language and literature. Located in the medium-sized city of New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #15 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Yale is a great university overall.

There were roughly 74 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Yale in the most recent year we have data available. Those English language and literature students who get their degree from Yale University make $17,912 more than the average English language and literature student.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Yale University

#2

Stanford University

Stanford, CA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
57 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Every student pursuing a degree in English language and literature has to take a look at Stanford University. Stanford is a large private not-for-profit university located in the large suburb of Stanford. A Best Colleges rank of #2 out of 2,241 schools nationwide means Stanford is a great university overall.

There were about 57 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Stanford in the most recent data year. English Language & Literature degree recipients from Stanford University earn a boost of about $13,899 above the typical earnings of English language and literature graduates.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Stanford University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
137 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Johns Hopkins University is a wonderful option for students pursuing a degree in English language and literature. Johns Hopkins is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Baltimore. A Best Colleges rank of #9 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great university overall.

There were approximately 137 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Johns Hopkins in the most recent data year. English Language & Literature degree recipients from Johns Hopkins University get an earnings boost of around $16,188 above the average income of English language and literature majors.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Johns Hopkins University

#4

Duke University

Durham, NC
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
50 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Duke University is a great choice for students pursuing a degree in English language and literature. Located in the large city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #3 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

There were approximately 50 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Duke in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the English language and literature program at Duke University earn $6,889 above the average college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Duke University

#5

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
141 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #4 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great university overall.

There were roughly 141 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at UPenn in the most recent data year. English Language & Literature degree recipients from University of Pennsylvania earn a boost of about $5,052 above the average earnings of English language and literature majors.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from University of Pennsylvania

#6

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
67 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the large suburb of Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #16 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Notre Dame is a great university overall.

There were approximately 67 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Notre Dame in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the English language and literature major at University of Notre Dame get $8,791 more than the standard graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from University of Notre Dame

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
104 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Chicago, UChicago is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #7 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means UChicago is a great university overall.

There were about 104 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at UChicago in the most recent year we have data available. Those English language and literature students who get their degree from University of Chicago receive $4,939 more than the typical English language and literature student.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from University of Chicago

#8

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
54 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Colgate is a small private not-for-profit university located in the distant town of Hamilton. This university ranks 4th out of 143 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were approximately 54 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Colgate in the most recent data year. Those English language and literature students who get their degree from Colgate University make $14,258 more than the average English language and literature student.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Colgate University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
99 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Northwestern is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the small city of Evanston. A Best Colleges rank of #5 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

There were approximately 99 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Northwestern in the most recent year we have data available. After graduation, English language and literature degree recipients typically make about $29,896 in their early careers.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Northwestern University

#10

Georgetown University

Washington, DC
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
83 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Washington, Georgetown is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. This university ranks 1st out of 8 colleges for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There were approximately 83 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Georgetown in the most recent year we have data available. English Language & Literature degree recipients from Georgetown University receive an earnings boost of about $17,012 over the average earnings of English language and literature majors.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Georgetown University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
300 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #14 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

There were about 300 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Columbia in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the English language and literature program at Columbia University in the City of New York earn $9,024 more than the typical college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Columbia University in the City of New York

#12

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
51 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Wake Forest University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit university located in the midsize city of Winston-Salem. This university ranks 3rd out of 93 colleges for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

There were roughly 51 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Wake Forest University in the most recent year we have data available. Those English language and literature students who get their degree from Wake Forest University receive $12,666 more than the typical English language and literature graduate.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Wake Forest University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
314 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

UC Berkeley is a very large public university located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. This university ranks 3rd out of 170 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There were about 314 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at UC Berkeley in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the English language and literature degree program at University of California - Berkeley make $6,001 more than the typical college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from University of California - Berkeley

#14

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
59 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Dartmouth is a medium-sized private not-for-profit college located in the remote town of Hanover. This college ranks 1st out of 17 schools for overall quality in the state of New Hampshire.

There were approximately 59 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Dartmouth in the most recent year we have data available. Those English language and literature students who get their degree from Dartmouth College receive $9,418 more than the average English language and literature student.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Dartmouth College

#15

Brown University

Providence, RI
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
101 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #11 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Brown is a great university overall.

There were about 101 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Brown in the most recent data year. Students who graduate with their degree from the English language and literature program state that they receive average early career wages of $28,046.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Brown University

#16

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
64 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #8 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great university overall.

There were about 64 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Carnegie Mellon in the most recent data year. Those English language and literature students who get their degree from Carnegie Mellon University receive $14,365 more than the typical English language and literature student.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Carnegie Mellon University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
195 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

University of Virginia is a fairly large public university located in the small suburb of Charlottesville. This university ranks 1st out of 65 schools for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There were roughly 195 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at University of Virginia in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the English language and literature major at University of Virginia - Main Campus get $2,207 above the typical college grad with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from University of Virginia - Main Campus

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
348 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Los Angeles, UCLA is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 6th out of 170 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were roughly 348 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at UCLA in the most recent data year. After graduating, English language and literature degree recipients typically earn about $27,063 in the first five years of their career.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from University of California - Los Angeles

#19

Villanova University

Villanova, PA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
41 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the suburb of Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 4th out of 117 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There were about 41 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Villanova in the most recent year we have data available. Those English language and literature students who get their degree from Villanova University make $7,293 more than the standard English language and literature graduate.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Villanova University

#20

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
75 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Vanderbilt is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Nashville. This university ranks 1st out of 45 schools for overall quality in the state of Tennessee.

There were approximately 75 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Vanderbilt in the most recent data year. Students who graduate with their degree from the English language and literature program state that they receive average early career income of $31,190.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Vanderbilt University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
418 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of Pittsburgh, Pitt is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 9th out of 117 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There were roughly 418 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Pitt in the most recent data year. Students who graduate with their degree from the English language and literature program report average early career earnings of $28,956.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
159 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

UMCP is a very large public university located in the suburb of College Park. This university ranks 2nd out of 34 schools for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There were approximately 159 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at UMCP in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the English language and literature degree program at University of Maryland - College Park get $17,779 more than the typical graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from University of Maryland - College Park

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
352 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 1st out of 55 colleges for overall quality in the state of Minnesota.

There were about 352 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at UMN Twin Cities in the most recent data year. English Language & Literature degree recipients from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities earn a boost of around $3,681 above the average earnings of English language and literature graduates.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

#24

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
110 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Boston College is a large private not-for-profit college located in the small city of Chestnut Hill. This college ranks 6th out of 63 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were about 110 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Boston College in the most recent data year. English Language & Literature degree recipients from Boston College earn a boost of approximately $10,558 over the typical income of English language and literature majors.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Boston College

#25

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
113 English Language & Literature Degrees Awarded

Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of #12 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Harvard is a great university overall.

There were roughly 113 English language and literature students who graduated with this degree at Harvard in the most recent year we have data available. After graduating, English language and literature degree recipients typically earn an average of $31,485 at the beginning of their careers.

More information about a degree in English language and literature from Harvard University

Rest of the Top 50 Best English Language & Literature Schools

#25

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA
#26

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA
#28

Rice University

Houston, TX
#30

Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, NY
#31

New York University

New York, NY

#34

Boston University

Boston, MA
#35

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ
#38

Tufts University

Medford, MA
#40

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

#41

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA

#43

Williams College

Williamstown, MA
#44

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
#46

Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA

Remaining Award Winners

This list shows the rest of the schools awarded a Best English Language & Literature Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 534 different United States English language and literature schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 Lafayette College Easton, PA
51 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
52 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
53 Iowa State University Ames, IA
54 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
55 Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO
56 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
57 The Graduate Center, CUNY New York, NY
58 Trinity College Hartford, CT
59 Clemson University Clemson, SC
60 Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
61 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
62 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
63 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
64 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
65 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
66 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
67 Virginia Military Institute Lexington, VA
68 Gettysburg College Gettysburg, PA
69 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
70 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
71 University of Georgia Athens, GA
72 Fordham University Bronx, NY
73 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
74 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
75 College of the Holy Cross Worcester, MA
76 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
77 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
78 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
79 Northeastern University Boston, MA
80 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best English Language & Literature Schools award.

Rank College Location
81 Carleton College Northfield, MN
82 Amherst College Amherst, MA
83 American University Washington, DC
84 William & Mary Williamsburg, VA
85 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
86 Bennington College Bennington, VT
87 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
88 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
89 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
90 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
91 Auburn University Auburn, AL
92 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
93 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
94 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
95 Illinois State University Normal, IL
96 University of Houston Houston, TX
97 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
98 University of North Texas Denton, TX
99 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
100 George Washington University Washington, DC
101 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
102 Oberlin College Oberlin, OH
103 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
104 University of Dallas Irving, TX
105 Drake University Des Moines, IA
106 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL

English Language & Literature by Region

View the Best English Language & Literature Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

View All Rankings >

English Language & Literature Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
General English Literature 40,481
Writing Studies 12,529
English Literature (Other) 942
Literature 683

View All English Language & Literature Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Mike Hazard.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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