Who has the best English department?

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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: Who has the best English department?
By Kimdirect (Kimdirect) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit

My friend is looking for the schools with the best undergraduate english departments. It has to be a big-name university because her parents are into that. Please help me help her.

By Bookiemom (Bookiemom) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 02:17 pm: Edit

Look in the May 2004 archive; the thread title is "Best Schools for English Dept."

The Ivies, Kenyon, and the top east coast LACs are often mentioned as the top choices.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 02:17 pm: Edit

What are her stats like? No sense in naming names if your friend wouldn't have a shot at them. Also, does she have any geographic preferences or does she need substantial financial aid? There are actually many schools out there with excellent English departments.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 02:18 pm: Edit

Well, you have two types of schools. The Research university and the LAC. So, this said, I would recommend the following schools. All of them are excellent in Enlish and all of them are extremely prestigious.

Research Universities:
Johns Hopkins
University of California at Berkeley
University of California at Los Angeles
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia


By Mini (Mini) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 02:26 pm: Edit

They are all drawing faculty from the same pool, and students from the same general pool, so don't choose a school on the strength of its English department.

Even weather would be a better guide.

By Kimdirect (Kimdirect) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 02:26 pm: Edit

She has good stats.

We're only going to be sophmores this year, but her parents are pushing her to decide what college she wants to go to. Her sister is going to be a freshman at JH this year, and she's wanted to go there since she was in 8th grade.
My friend's gpa is a 4.2, and we haven't taken the SAT yet.

By Tropicanabanana (Tropicanabanana) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 04:18 pm: Edit

Definitely Yale.

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:15 am: Edit

Grad school faculty members at those "big-name" research unis listed above would likely tell you to add Kenyon, Barnard and a few other LACs to the list.

By Mini (Mini) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:51 am: Edit

Does she want to write? If so, in addition to Yale (which is terrific), add Mount Holyoke and Bard -- big time writers teaching only undergraduates.

By Anglophile (Anglophile) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 01:26 am: Edit

Sarah Lawrence has an excellent english dept, and I've heard great things about kenyon also. However, both schools have drawbacks-- so I chose UCLA. I found Berkeley to have drawbacks as well, even though it has a great reputation. Many of these schools have great reputations because of their grad schools (esp. berkeley), but their undergrad english programs aren't anything out of the ordinary.

Also, try Vassar-- it's gorgeous, an english major's heaven.

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