Find your voice 

Explore different authors, themes and periods and develop your writing voice and critical analysis skills with a major or minor in English. The study is as wide and varied as the language itself, giving you plenty of opportunities to explore new topics and methods. You might consider literature's relationship to historic social change or trace its role in contemporary political conflict.  Whatever path you follow, you’ll leave HWS with well-developed communication abilities suitable for a wide variety of careers in law, business, art and journalism.

Scholars & GuidesPart of the Process

In Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric and English Geoffrey Babbitt's course "Small Press Book Publishing," students get firsthand experience in the publishing process with professional authors. Students read through and analyze manuscripts and ultimately make a pitch for the winner of the biennial Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize. The 2022 winner is I|I by Katherine Indermaur. 



And Research

English and Creative Writing students looking to engage more in their work can study and complete Honors and research projects in their chosen topic with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Past examples of Honors projects include:

  • Ian Patrick Albreski '23: Wondrous Stage-Business: Metatheatre and Comedy in Francis Beaumont's The Knight of the Burning Pestle
    Robert Carson, Adviser 
  • Cole Cassano '23: Cries, Cracks, Fissures: Late Modernisms and Melancholic Experiments of Djuna Barnes and Virginia Woolf
    Stephen Cope, Adviser 
  • Christopher John Costello '22: A Very Queer Thing: Queer Space and the Commodity in Frank O'Hara
    Kathryn Cowles, Adviser 
  • Elim Campbell Pilet '22: Every Ecstatic Now
    Kathryn Cowles, Adviser 
  • Blair Elizabeth Reilly '22: An Analysis of Tide and Current Inside a Wormhole
    Melanie Conroy-Goldman, Adviser 
  • Jillian Mia Crocetta ’21: Night is a Strange Alchemy
    Geoffrey Babbitt, Adviser
  • Abigail M. Frederick ’20: Ivory, Ink, and Onionskin: Lyric Essays
    Geoffrey Babbitt, Adviser


Experiential EducationEnhance Your Writing

Participate in a writer’s workshop with renowned authors from the Trias Residency for Writers or create works for the Thel Literary and Art Magazine or The Herald.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.


No Borders:Global Education

Study journalism in Australia or Black British authors in England.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.



Explore different eras, themes and styles of writing. Learn how these lenses define writers and society.

ENG 130 – Medieval Genres 

Explore the Middle Ages through its representation of different genres in an array of texts, manuscript illuminations, music and other artistic expressions.

ENG 233 – The Art of the Screenplay 

Read screenplays and study the films that have been made from them, while paying special attention to elements of story, structure, character development and techniques for turning written text into moving images. 

ENG 357 – Flexing Sex

Explore the issue of whether an author's gender defines his or her voice, through a series of theoretical and literary readings by authors who challenge prevailing notions of gendered authorship and complete a series of analytical and creative writing assignments in response to these works. 


Alum Impact

Alum Impact

Cailin Gensler '21
English teaching assistant 

Majors: English, French & Francophone Studies

"I am so grateful for all the opportunities HWS provided me throughout my four years; from my semester abroad in France to competing at Nationals with the sailing team. I am most appreciative for the ability to equally dedicate my studies between two fields. I was able to explore my interests in both English literature and the French language and Francophone culture - leading me to the amazing position I find myself in now!"

companies that employ our graduates 

  • Accenture
  • Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain
  • Australian Catholic University
  • Blue Wave Financial, LLC
  • CBRE
  • CBS, Inc
  • Context Travel
  • Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Course Hero
  • Ellis Hospital Outpatient Mental Health Clinic
  • Empire State Development
  • Epic Level Entertainment
  • FedEx Trade Networks
  • Fox Rehabilitation
  • G-III Apparel Group
  • GoPro
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • McKinley Elementary School
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Myovant Sciences
  • New York City Economic Development Corporation
  • New Market Group
  • Ovia Health
  • PRS, Inc.
  • Pulp+Wire
  • Red Hat
  • Rochester City School District
  • Roxbury Prep Lucy Stone
  • Severin Consulting
  • Sharethrough
  • Statesmen Properties LLC
  • The Derryfield School
  • Trinity College
  • University of Washington
  • Watertown Free Public Library

universities where our graduates are studying 

  • Chapman University Law School
  • Columbia University
  • Harvard University
  • Ithaca College
  • James Madison University
  • New York University
  • Providence College
  • Rutgers University
  • Sarah Lawrence
  • Syracuse University
  • Tufts University
  • UCLA Film School
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Washington
  • Vermont Law School
  • West Virginia University