English as a field of study deals with learning the many aspects of the English language and the related literature. English degrees provide training in book appreciation, theory analysis, prose and verse critique, and an applied criticism of words used in the real world. The main goal, overall, is to train students to think critically and analytically concerning the English language.

Various educational institutions, usually in English-speaking countries, have focused on the study and improvement of the English language and literature. Several universities have risen above others in terms of the quality of education and the expertise of their produced graduates. Here are some of the best English schools worldwide.

Top English Schools in the World

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford started when the first forms of teaching occurred on the campus in 1096, which developed rapidly from 1167 under Henry II. The succeeding centuries are marked by extensive innovations in all the disciplines taught within the Oxford system.

Oxford’s Faculty of English officially started in 1894 and remains the largest in Britain and the most illustrious English school in the world. The faculty covers traditional teaching and research, from the history of English literature to language studies, while also branching out to other frontiers in the discipline. Indeed, Oxford University is among the best English schools in the world.

The Faculty of English innovates further by supporting its existing research centers for various aspects of the English language and literature. Such efforts have ensured the quality of English-inclined research and graduates from the University of Oxford, placing the university at the top position of international universities offering the discipline.

2. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge started in 1209 following the influx of students from Oxford to Cambridge, the United Kingdom, and received its Royal Charter from Henry III in 1231. Cambridge remains the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world as it continues to improve its fields of study.

The University of Cambridge’s Faculty of English focuses its research and teaching on Old English to contemporary literature. The faculty is one of the largest English faculties worldwide, internationally known for its reputation for excellent teaching in the field.

The Faculty of English’s exceptional expertise, marked by their prestigious awards and prizes for their work, and extensive learning facilities have continually created quality students and graduates. The University of Cambridge remains one of the best universities for English education globally.

3. Harvard University

Harvard University dates its history to the creation of the first college in the American colonies in 1636, which received its charter in 1650. The university earlier adopted the name Harvard College in 1639, later Harvard University, in honor of its benefactor, John Harvard.

Harvard’s timeline is marked by continuous innovation and development, leading to its recognition as a university and beyond. The university is currently one of the premier universities teaching various disciplines, including English language and literature.

English education in the Department of English means empowering students with a broad knowledge of the discipline, as well as expertise in the tools of scholarship related to languages and bibliographic methods. Such focus on the field of English has catapulted Harvard University to as among the top English institutions.

4. University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley started in 1868 upon merging the College of California in Oakland, a private institution, and the Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College, a land-grant institution. The site for the university was moved from Oakland to its current location in Berkeley, California, in 1873.

Prospective students of this outstanding English school aspiring to acquire one or more degrees under the English Department should expect to learn knowledge in the history of written English literature, the methods and theories of literary and cultural analysis, and training in critical writing.

The UC Berkeley English Department maintains multiple programs to enrich the learning of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as continuing researchers affiliated with the department. The effectiveness of such programs shows through the quality of its graduates and research outputs, ranking above most universities worldwide.

5. Yale University

Yale University is another excellent English school worldwide. It traces its history to the 1640s when colonial clergy initiated a local college, later chartered by the Connecticut Legislature in 1701. The institution was renamed Yale College in 1718 in honor of its Welsh benefactor, Elihu Yale.

The nineteenth century heralded the start of the history of the Yale English Department, which continued its development in the succeeding decades. Various field giants in English language and literature graced the halls of the department, either as teachers or students.

The English Department offers many levels of degrees in English except for a master’s degree, which is only upon consideration of the Yale University Graduate School. However, the English instruction and research at Yale University remains one of the best globally, as evidenced by the quality of its graduates.

6. Stanford University

Stanford University started in 1885 through the initiative of California Senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane Stanford. The university’s doors officially opened in 1891 and continued to develop its disciplines, staying true to its mandate to empower students through high-quality education.

Stanford’s English Department was one of the founding departments of the university when it officially started in 1891. Although a master’s degree in English is available only for Stanford Department of English undergraduate students, the faculty exudes exceptional research and teaching across all areas of the discipline.

The resulting expertise of English Department graduates and researchers is widely accepted globally and is empirical proof of the level of excellence maintained by Stanford. The English Department places Stanford University among the best English schools in the world today.

7. Princeton University

Princeton University started in 1746 when the Presbyterian Synod founded the College of New Jersey in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Princeton’s present charter was granted in 1748, and the university moved to its current location in Princeton, New Jersey in 1756.

Princeton University focuses on utilizing its taught knowledge and skills to benefit humanity. The university aims to focus its community’s research, education, and lives on the benefit of society. Such philosophy also applies to the core mission of the Department of English.

Princeton’s Department of English encourages its students and researchers to decide and plan their ideal pathways for their stay in the university while focusing on their future careers as English language and literature professionals. Such focus on the many possibilities for students in the Department of English has created expert graduates that catapulted Princeton University at the top of world university rankings for English instruction.

FAQs about Studying English Language

What Can I Specialize in As an English Major?

Different Universities offer different courses for international students who want to specialize in specific areas of English. If you are passionate about the past and the English culture, you can specialize in British or American Civilization. You will learn all about the ruling system in England before the Magna Carta and to this day. You can also learn a lot about America from the first day the pilgrims set foot in the new world to the current system governed by the three different branches of the government. If you are interested in writing and writers, English literature is your sanctuary. You can learn all about the different literary periods and the prominent writers of every era and get to experience their prose and poems every single day for your academic journey. If, however, you’re more interested in the science behind the language, consider specializing in Linguistics. You can study the language as a system and get to dissect it to its smallest components and theorize about language acquisition and learning. All in all, the final choice boils down to your own personal preference. Unfortunately, we can’t assist you any further with that choice as we are yet to add recommendations for English Courses to our database. Feel free to check back soon or visit our website to check out all the available courses.


We hope this article on the best English schools in the world was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more about studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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