University List

List of Best School To Study English literature

Shobha Kadur

Best school to study english literature

Have you been left spellbound by words in poetry? Or while reading? Or while watching a movie or play? Do you aspire to hold people with the words you pen? Do people often call you a bookworm?

If your answer is a yes to most of these questions, you are a literary buff and should aspire to take your love for words to the next level by making it your profession. Study literature at one of the best universities to hone your writing skills, and get paid to do what you love doing.

Some of the best universities to study English Literature are:

1. University of Oxford, UK

Over 17% of the undergraduate students at Oxford are international citizens. The English Language and Literature program at Oxford is extensive as it not only includes British literature but also English works written in other parts of the world as well as in other languages too. In this program, students are encouraged to develop refined reading skills as well as have a discerning eye for literary content. It has the largest English faculty in Britain and very good libraries.

The acceptance rate stands at around 17.5% but your scores must be exceptional. The expected high school GPA scores are 3.5-4.0. You will also need to take the ELAT – English Literature Admissions Test.

There is minimal financial aid available at Oxford for international students. 

Notable alumni are William Golding, Richard Curtis and W. H. Auden.

2. University of Cambridge, UK

English Literature at Cambridge provides a strong foundation in the subject and also gives students the opportunity to learn world literature. Distinguished faculty prepares students to become critical thinkers as well as good writers. Cambridge boasts of an expansive research resource in the University Library and the Faculty library. Cambridge expects applicants to have an enquiring mind and read beyond curriculum study.  

The acceptance rate of 21% may seem easy but international applicants need to comply with additional qualifications. As an Indian applicant, depending on which Board you have completed Class XII, you must have:

  • In CISCE and NIOS: A minimum 90% or higher score in five or more subjects
  • In CBSE: A1 grades in five or more subjects
  • In-State Boards: 95% or more in five or more subjects
  • TOEFL scores should a minimum overall score of 110 and 25 or more in each element. 

Talented students will be eligible for scholarships as well as need-based financial support.  

Notable alumni are John Milton, William Wordsworth and Alfred Tennyson.

3. Harvard University, USA

At Harvard, the Undergraduate Honors Program in English is tailored for students who aspire to hone their creative skills and critical thinking. It is ideal for students who plan to pursue deep study in their chosen subject either in collaboration or independently. The acceptance rate at Harvard is close to 15%. However, your grades must be excellent. The expected high school GPA scores are 4.04. High TOEFL scores will enhance your chances to be accepted.

Need-based financial aid may be available.

Notable alumni are Conan O'Brien, Susan Faludi and John Updike.

4. University of California, Berkeley, USA

The Bachelor of Arts in English at Berkeley includes the history of literature in English across historical periods from around the world. Students learn to analyze and think through works and do critical writing. The acceptance rate is about 17% but you must be a class topper to get accepted. The expected high school GPA scores are 3.4. A high SAT exam and TOEFL/IELTS score will improve your chances to be accepted.

Berkeley offers financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study aid and loans but international students must show proof of funding for a minimum of 1 year.

Notable alumni are Robert Penn Warren, Andrew Schneider and Carrie Ching.

5. Yale University, USA

While studying English Literature at Yale, a student will learn about the writings of various periods and genres and thereby acquire a deeper understanding of human experience. This, in turn, will make them well-rounded writers and critical thinkers. Students are trained to write fiction, poetry, play and film writing, nonfiction prose, and journalism. The creative writing program which is part of the English major is renowned for its faculty and their dedication.

The acceptance rate is 6.3%. The standardized tests required while applying are: GPA scores, SAT or ACT scores, TOEFL/IELTS score. There is no minimum score to apply with nor is there a score that will guarantee admission.

Need-based financial aid is available at Yale and sometimes Yale meets 100% of demonstrated financial need irrespective of the student’s nationality.

Notable alumni are Reinhold Niebuhr, Eileen Pollack and Sarah E. Winter.

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