Literary Studies

  • IMG - Lang Literary Studies

    Students can pursue Literary Studies as a major (BA, Literary Studies) with a concentration in either Literature or Writing. Literary Studies can also be pursued as an area of study within a self-designed major (BA or BS, Liberal Arts). In addition, undergraduates from any school of the university who are not majoring in Liberal Arts may choose to minor in either Literature or Writing.

    In the Literary Studies major, you’ll consider the written word from both critical and creative perspectives. Faculty members in Literary Studies regard all kinds of writing as creative: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama as well as critical and theoretical writing. Both writing and literature courses use innovative methods to discover breadth and depth in texts, in writing assignments, and in the field as a whole. Such variety and versatility help students develop portable skills beyond effective writing, such as collaboration, research, analysis, and augmentation. 

    Writing Concentration

    In the Writing concentration, you study the craft and technique of writing fiction, poetry, and nonfiction through carefully designed, sequenced courses leading to a final semester of 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.

    Learn more about the Writing concentration.

    Literature Concentration

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

    • close reading techniques
    • literary criticism
    • translation theory
    • poetry
    • fiction
    • drama

    Learn more about the Literature concentration.

    The University and New York City

    Students are invited to attend literary readings around the city; to work on the award-winning newspaper, the New School Free Press, and the Lang literary magazine, Release; and to take advantage of publishing and writing internships and opportunities to work with professional writers and editors in the nation’s literary capital. Lang’s internship program places students with publishing houses and other literary venues in New York City. Additional exposure to the city’s vast resources occurs through

    • Excursions to archives
    • Class visits by respected writers, publishers, archivists
    • Readings by award-winning writers and other literary events at the university

    For news on events and other happenings in Literary Studies, please visit

    Career Paths

    Literary Studies graduates work for publishing companies, magazines, websites, and libraries. They pursue careers in nonprofit institutions, government agencies, educational institutions, advertising, marketing, consulting, and sales. Lang prepares students in both concentrations to go on to graduate study and careers in academia.