The major learning outcomes for this program are:

  1. Practice in close reading: the ability to make observations about textual details, including the formal structures and rhetorical features of a particular passage, to describe these details accurately, and to relate them to larger structures in a text as a whole.
  2. Writing and reporting skills: the ability to produce coherent texts and oral reports that present relevant material in an engaging and informative manner.
  3. Research skills: the ability to conduct research, using online and print resources, and to evaluate sources and make use of them in written and oral work.
  4. Familiarity with major texts and the processes of canon formation: familiarity with the major works, major authors, and major genres that have traditionally been objects of literary study, and an understanding of the social and historical forces that influence literary canon formation.
  5. An understanding of literature in its contexts: the ability to recognize and study how literary works are embedded in their cultural, historical, and/or generic contexts.
  6. Familiarity with period styles: an understanding of the concept of the literary period and the ability to identify changes over time in literary themes, conventions, and practices.
  7. An understanding of the discipline of literature: the ability to participate in one or more of the conversations that define the discipline and its interdisciplinary extensions, including theory and cultural studies.​