Carleton’s English department offers students a diverse and vibrant array of courses, opportunities for community engagement and experiential learning, a lively community of peers, and program elements designed to help students discern how best to deploy their English degrees in their search for employment or in further studies.

Our program is distinctive because of the following components:

  • the combination of a broad variety of courses and faculty research areas with small class sizes that promote individual professor-student interaction and the development of closely-knit communities (our required courses usually have 40-60 students, while our first- and fourth-year seminars run with 15-25 students)
  • well-paid co-op placements that make the most of Ottawa’s diverse employment sectors (government, not-for-profit, technology, corporate) and help English majors identify multiple areas of employment in which their degree skills are valued and sought after
  • the ability to pursue interests such as creative writing or the theatre arts while at the same time obtaining an English degree
  • a learning environment that prioritizes engagement with the transnational, multilingual, and historical traditions of literary production in English as part of the development of skills in critical analysis and written and oral communication skills

On the strength of their degrees and the mentorship they have received in our department, our graduates have continued their studies at prestigious institutions and distinguished professional schools (frequently on scholarships) or launched meaningful and well-paid careers as professional writers, consultants, artists, civil servants, or entrepreneurs. Prospective students interested in our program can see the profiles of these students by clicking the “Life in English” button on our website.

The English Department is particularly proud of its community engagement and vibrancy. Not only have students themselves formed extracurricular writing circles and book clubs, but our professors, too, serve as members on the board of the Ottawa Writer’s Festival (to which all our students have free admission), provide teach-ins on matters such as anti-racist pedagogy, and liaise with  professionals from Ottawa’s creative writing and theatre communities who often visit classrooms as guest lecturers or teach experiential learning workshops in Creative Writing and Drama. The department also offers a course dedicated to helping students transition from degree to career and has developed new course offerings in children’s theatre and popular genres such as graphic novels and weird fiction. The department has also been actively involved in the design of courses and class modules that make use of the experiential learning opportunities afforded by Carleton’s Book Arts Lab.

Learn more about our Department and Programs!