Skip to Content

English: Children's and Young Adult Literature

Overview

Hofstra English majors learn to contemplate and analyze exceptional writing from centuries past to the present. Those students concentrating in the areas of Literatures in English and Children's and Young Adult Literature are challenged by courses of British, American and global English literature. They focus on authors, issues, genres and historical periods.

Literatures in English is for the English major of the 21st century. The program prepares students to encounter, consider and analyze great writing of the past, the present and the future. Alongside courses in the major writers of the traditional canon are innovative courses on topics such as literature and the environment, science fiction, gothic fiction, the graphic novel, and other emerging genres, all taught by our distinguished faculty of active, publishing scholars.

Children's and Young Adult Literature is the English Department's newest concentration, based on the recognition that current and future students have grown up with the Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Divergent series. These and other titles have positioned children's and young adult literature as significant features of the literary landscape. Hofstra is among select few colleges and universities to offer this program, the heart of which involves sequential courses on literary history and method culminating in specialized classes on topics from the child in literature to fairy tales.

Children's and Young Adult Literature is an interdisciplinary program that requires students to take classes in other English concentrations, such as creative writing and publishing studies. The program also draws on coursework from other disciplines, specifically child psychology, education and literacy studies. This concentration is geared toward students interested in careers in children's and young adult literature - from writing to publishing to criticism - as well as those interested in elementary education.

English majors are trained to write well, analyze complex information, conduct research, craft arguments and read and observe with a critical eye. These are skills that are sought after by employers who recognize that English graduates are versatile and well-rounded. With an English degree from Hofstra, you can work in myriad industries, including book publishing, television networks, advertising, and education or pursue professional studies in law, business or journalism.

English Language and Literature bachelor degree recipients in the New York region earn an average annual salary of $53,729, and job growth for this major is projected to increase nearly nine percent by 2026, according to New York area labor market data retrieved in July 2018 by Burning Glass Technologies.

Curriculum

Both concentrations require classes in literary analysis, electives, methods and a capstone project.

Literatures in English offers classes that provide historical overviews in American, English and global literature, particularly pre-20th century. Students analyze major writers of the traditional canon, from Chaucer to Shakespeare to Jane Austen through to classic contemporary authors such as Toni Morrison. Works also include emerging genres - subject matter includes LGBT issues, the environment, and disabilities. The program examines global English literature that emphasize novels from the Caribbean, Africa and other regions beyond North America. Electives are available on science and gothic fiction, the graphic novel, and the application of computing to literary analysis. A junior-senior seminar serves as a capstone course.

Students concentrating in Children's and Young Adult Literature complete courses in literature, creative writing, publishing studies, and psychology to develop the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to the field of children's literature as writers, critics, editors, and/or educators.

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in English: Children's and Young Adult Literature Requirements

Recent Alumni Outcomes

Many of Hofstra's English majors land positions with prestigious employers. Others seek to further their studies at top graduate schools. Employers include prestigious media companies such as BuzzFeed, Inc., Penguin Random House and Sesame Workshop. Those pursuing graduate degrees study at Cornell University, UCLA, Columbia University, Seton Hall University, CUNY Queens College, Drexel University, Fordham University, NYU, and Rutgers University.

96% job, grad school or both
90% accept a position within six months
$38K median salary
Get More Info on Program Outcomes

What You'll Learn

Student in Class

Hofstra's English Department faculty is committed to teaching, mentoring and research. As a student of literature, you will ...

  • develop analytical, research and writing skills
  • study literary themes through the ages and major writers of centuries ago through to modern, best-selling authors
  • prepare for the workforce, graduate study or both

Students studying Literatures in English and Children's and Young Adult Literature may take on assignments such as honors projects in creative writing, publishing studies, and literary criticism. They have written honors theses on wide-ranging topics, from piracy in Elizabethan drama, how J. D. Salinger's experiences in World War II influenced his fiction, the ways in which 20th-century Australian fiction draws upon the Gothic tradition, and how redemptive fairy tale motifs informed Oscar Wilde's De Profundis.

Internships

Internships offer a hands-on experience beyond textbooks, classrooms, and campus, helping to better prepare students for professional careers. Our Career Center offers a multitude of exciting internship opportunities, many of them taking place in Manhattan at highly desirable organizations and businesses such as Marvel Comics, The American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Scholastic Corporation and Cosmopolitan magazine.  Other top internships are available at BBC Worldwide, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Macmillan Publishers, Adventure Publishing Group and Alameda Children's Musical Theater.

Literatures in English students also gain experience through a junior-senior seminar, a capstone course unique to the concentration. Its topics vary from each class and are not covered in regular course offerings. Close attention is paid to student writing, and enrollment is restricted to 20 students.

Experience

Great Writers, Great Readings

Students learn from award-winning faculty. Their honors include the Clark Library Fellowship, the Folger Library Fellowship, and the Faculty Fellowship with the Washington Internship Institute. The literature faculty has presented research at international conferences in Turin, Oxford, Helsinki, and Kent.

Hofstra's proximity to New York City provides students with exceptional opportunities to attend major events, such as the Brooklyn Book Festival and BookExpo America, the largest annual book trade fair in the United States.

We also have exciting events on campus. Students who opt to join the student-run Hofstra English Society may participate in weekly creative writing workshops, book blogs and open-mic nights. They also have opportunities for hands-on experiences as part of the editorial team which produces Windmill: The Hofstra Journal of Literature & Art, as well as editing and publishing the student literature and arts magazine, Font.

Since 2004, Hofstra has presented the Great Writers, Great Readings series, which presents famous novelists, playwrights, poets and essayists. Students are encouraged to meet and question these important contemporary writers about their craft. Recent guests have included Pulitzer Prize winners John McPhee, Jennifer Egan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Jeffrey Eugenides, and MacArthur "Genius" Award winner Claudia Rankine.

The Hofstra Cultural Center also invites numerous authors to campus to speak on a wide variety of topics. The English Department also hosts a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English Honor Society.

Meet Hebah Uddin

Hebah Uddin

Hebah Uddin was a senior studying English with a concentration in literature when she became a published author. Her young adult novel, The Gauntlet, published by the Simon & Schuster imprint Salaam Reads, features a protagonist who is a Muslim girl of Bangladeshi descent like Hebah. "I think Hofstra is a huge part of the Gauntlet story,” she said, "and my story as an author."