Learn to read with imagination and insight, write with clarity and grace, and explore the deeper questions of the human experience.

English literature majors engage a wide range of texts from varied cultures, genres, historical periods, and perspectives. Pacific's literature courses are small and intensive in order to build the skills of critical-thinking, analytical writing, and rhetorical analysis. With the guidance and support of our literature faculty, students read extensively across more than a thousand years of literature, engage complex concepts through sundry theoretical frameworks, and perfect the art of argumentation.

Take courses to explore the literary landscape from a range of vantage points — from the stakes illuminated by new work in disability, indigeneity, and postcolonial studies to the political and gendered sensibilities of William Shakespeare's and Oscar Wilde's stages. Work closely with professors and archivists to design significant research projects that recover lost voices of our region. Study abroad in Asia, Australia, Europe or South America; teach English in China, Korea or Japan; and study domestically with facilitated research trips to the award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

“It is still important to get out the stories of people who may not be heard, but, more importantly, may only be heard in a certain light. I want to create a career out of [reading and writing] so that I can actually do what I love, as opposed to just doing a job for the sake of getting money.”

— Kia Addison '20

Publications & Conferences

Unique to Pacific's program is the opportunity to serve on a professional academic publication, IJURCA: The International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry, as well as meet with acclaimed scholars as part of Pacific's Visiting Writers Series. To develop your craft, teach others as a writing consultant with CLASS or as a mentor to peers in the First-Year Seminar. In the heart of Portland's literary culture, come and develop a rich, interdisciplinary portfolio of original research and find your community of readers here.

English Literature Capstone Project

English literature students create a final artifact as a testament to their accrued body of knowledge and a portfolio of transferable skills bridging them into professional lives as writers, artists, scholars, editors, and content creators. Learn more about the capstone experience in English literature.

Binford Endowed Scholarship in English

This scholarship is available to incoming first-year or transfer students majoring or minoring in English with a focus in literature or creative writing. This fund was created by a testamentary gift from the estate of Laura Phillips, for the charitable purpose of awarding scholarships to students “who have demonstrated the talent and interest in improving their writing skills and pursuing a career in writing.” The Binford Endowed Scholarship is designated for the educational benefit of students majoring or minoring in English who have demonstrated abilities and interest in writing. Qualifying first-year and transfer students will receive awards up to $5,000, as determined by the selection committee. Awards are available for up to four years, as long as students meet the award requirements.

Contact Us

Department of English | Pacific University
Bates House & Abigail Scott Duniway House
2043 College Way 
Forest Grove, Oregon 97116


The Pacific University MFA is thrilled to celebrate the news that faculty poet Kwame Dawes has been named the Poet Laureate of Jamaica, serving a term lasting from 2024-2027.

Alex Bove teaches a wide range of courses in the English Department, including 19th century British literature, literary theory, and special topics in film and literature.

Mapmakers alumni institute fall & winter 23-24

Videos of the fall and winter 2023-24 Mapmakers Alumni Institute sessions are now available.