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  • Literary Studies

    Literary Studies

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  • In the Literary Studies major, you study the written word from both critical and creative perspectives and develop skills beyond effective writing, such as collaboration, research, and analysis. The program addresses all genres, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama as well as critical and theoretical writing. Choosing a concentration in either Literature or Writing, you apply innovative methods to discover breadth and depth in texts, in writing assignments, and in the literary field as a whole.

    • Study Options Major

    All Literary Studies students take two introductory courses focusing on texts from the classic to the contemporary. These courses provide all majors with a common language and literary experience. You then proceed to more advanced study, with a concentration in either Literature or Writing.

    Major requirements

    Writing Concentration

    In the Writing concentration, you study the craft and technique of writing fiction, poetry, and nonfiction through carefully designed courses. Your final semester is dedicated to intensive capstone work in your chosen genre and courses in a secondary genre. All writing courses are taught by practicing writers with national reputations, and are based on the following assumptions:

    • Writing is a liberal art.
    • Writers are, above all, readers.
    • Close study of each genre's aesthetic, critical, and historical concepts is essential.
    • Writers have a vital relationship to society, culture, and nature that should be explored and expressed through their art.

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    Literature Concentration

    In the Literature concentration, you acquire a broad knowledge of literary theory and criticism as well as advanced skills as a critical reader, writer, and analytical thinker. You can explore genres across linguistic borders and historical periods, or develop in-depth knowledge of particular regions or periods in preparation for an independent research essay in your final semester. Topics of study include but are not limited to:

    • Close reading techniques 
    • Literary criticism
    • Translation theory
    • Poetry
    • Fiction
    • Drama

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    Connecting to New York City

    While it offers the atmosphere and intimacy of a small college, Eugene Lang College is part of The New School, a major progressive university in New York City. Literary Studies students attend literary readings around the city and take advantage of publishing and writing internships and opportunities to work with professional writers and editors in the nation's literary capital. Additional exposure to the city's vast resources occurs through excursions to archives and class visits by respected local writers, publishers, archivists.


    Career Paths

    Literary Studies majors go on to pursue graduate study and work for publishing companies, magazines, websites, and libraries. They pursue careers in nonprofit institutions, government agencies, educational institutions, advertising, marketing, consulting, and sales.

    If you are planning to go on to graduate study, consider applying to the Bachelor's-Master's program, which enables you to earn graduate credits that will apply to both your Lang degree and a master's degree at The New School.

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To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.