Carnegie Mellon University
March 06, 2020

Carnegie Mellon Reimagines the English Degree

Stefanie Johndrow

Carnegie Mellon University has relaunched its undergraduate English degree as the Bachelor of Arts in Literature & Culture. The new program reflects a new vision for the humanities as well as the ongoing demand for humanities graduates.

The program is designed to teach the building blocks of interpretation and analysis — critical thinking, inductive reasoning and persuasive argumentation — applied to literary and cultural texts and artifacts, but also as crucial skills to be applied across a variety of fields and professional career paths.

Literature & Culture complements the university's strengths in technology, STEM fields and the social sciences. Building skills in reading, writing, and systematic methods of problem formulation and solving speak to students' employability and readiness for postgraduate education.

"English has been an area of study for over 100 years at our university — basically since the beginning of our institution. Over the years, we have remained consistently dedicated to a humanistic education that gives students an awareness and appreciation of the greatest works of literature and to the nuance and complexity of cultural traditions," said Andreea Ritivoi, head of the Department of English and professor of rhetoric.

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