The English Department fulfills Dartmouth’s promise to offer undergraduates a broad liberal arts education. Our primary mission is to provide a diverse student body with a general understanding of the literary foundations of the world they live in. Often, this understanding grows into a life-long passion for literature and critical thought.
Studying literature develops broadly applicable skills in communication, critical and analytical thinking, and empathy. These include the ability to analyze arguments on the basis of evidence, to understand and evaluate the nature of that evidence, and to communicate arguments cogently, effectively—and even elegantly and creatively—through speech and writing.
Dartmouth’s English graduates pursue a broad range of careers upon graduation. The figure below summarizes the professional fields of 329 English alumni from the classes of 2002-2007.
Though only a few students will go on to graduate school in English, our majors share a commitment to personal education. Sixty-one percent of English graduates from the past decade hold or are working toward graduate degrees, of which 15 percent are MBAs and 33 percent are JDs.
Those who do choose to pursue an MFA or doctoral degree program in English, however, are enrolling in outstanding programs. In the past decade, our students have gone on to Berkeley, Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, London School of Economics, Northwestern, Oxford, Princeton, Glasgow, UCLA, UPenn, Virginia, and Yale. Our former students now teach at some of the most prestigious universities in the United States and abroad, where we are proud to call them our colleagues.