The Bellarmine English Department educates in the belief that all the essential components of life—individual and social, historical and scientific, cultural and spiritual—are experienced through the study of literature. The department is committed to developing students who read, reflect, speak, and write both critically and creatively. Our program offers a progression of courses which challenge students to develop both oral and compositional skills, as well as an understanding for and appreciation of a variety of lives, cultures, and philosophies.

Bellarmine requires students to complete eight semesters of English in order to graduate. 


The English Department's Honors and AP Program is designed to provide a rigorous course of study for students who enjoy discussing and analyzing literature. Students are placed in English 1 Honors their freshman year based on test scores and writing samples. Informed Enrollment is employed for any honors/AP course beyond that, meaning that interested students must first solicit feedback from their current teacher, parents and counselor—and secure counselor approval—prior to enrollment. 


All freshmen must take either English 1 or English 1 Honors.


All sophomores must take either English 2 or English 2 Honors.


The junior year includes continuing work in vocabulary, composition (critical, creative and research), and literary analysis. Juniors may choose from the following scheduling options -

British Literature 1 + one semester English elective
British Literature 2 + one semester English elective
British Literature 1 and 2
English Literature AP

Eligible electives are included in the course list below.


The elective program in English offers a wide variety of courses for student selection. These offerings range from basic surveys to thematically-organized courses, to special seminars on specific authors, with each course covering approximately five major works and several minor works per semester. The typical composition students write at this level is approximately three pages in length. Students are expected to write four such essays each semester. They also study topics such as outlining, introductions and conclusions, transitions, and parallel structure designed to develop specific skills necessary for the writing of effective essays.