The undergraduate program introduces students to the full breadth of imaginative literature written in the English language from the eighth century to its more recent dispersal around the globe. Whether engaged with literary giants such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Dickinson, Keats, Woolf or in exploration of less famous authors, students in the English program have a rare opportunity to combine aesthetic pleasure, intellectual stimulation, and ethical deliberation in their plan of study. In their first two terms concentrators take three common ground courses that integrate genre and modes, historical periods, and geographic dispersal in a way that lends coherence to an otherwise vast field. Because of their relatively small size, these courses offer students the mentoring they need to cultivate a vocabulary and a set of analytical tools essential for discussing literature and writing critical essays. Moving out from this foundation in the discipline, students explore English literature and language through electives, guided in their choices by a designated faculty adviser.