The Department of English is the biggest and strongest department at the university. It was founded in June 1944 and English was one of the first disciplines established at the university. For more than half a century, it has made outstanding contributions to English teaching and research, and represents the nation’s highest level in this field. In 1981, the National Degrees Committee (of the State Council) awarded this department the authority to confer doctoral degrees in English language and literature. In 1988, the State Education Commission made the department one of the two key institutions in the country for the teaching of English Language and Literature.
The English Department aims at training students to become high-level professionals with good command both in English and in specialized knowledge. For the undergraduate program the first and second years were devoted to comprehensive training in the basic language skills, such as listening, speaking, reading and writing. The third and fourth years, while consolidating and enhancing the students’ language skills, aim at enlarging their scope of knowledge in three areas including Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, English and American Literature, English-Speaking Counties Studies (UK，US, Australia, Canada and Ireland).
The graduate programs run on MA and PhD levels. The programs offer degrees in 7 research areas: English and American Literature, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, American Studies, British Studies, Australian Studies, Canadian Studies and Irish Studies. The goal of the graduate training is to develop high-level English-language professionals competent for senior-level language jobs and university academic jobs.