The Department of English and Comparative Literature (DECL), College of Arts and Letters is one of the pioneer Departments in the University of the Philippines. Founded in 1910, just two years after the University was established, the DECL has since given birth to the College of Mass Communication, and the Departments of Filipino and Philippine Literature, Speech Communication and Theater Arts, and Arts Studies. It remains the second largest department in the University of the Philippines and is bigger than most colleges in the system. The Commission on Higher Education has declared it a Center of Excellence in Literature and in the English Language.
For almost a century, the Department has distinguished itself as the seat of English Studies and Comparative Literature not only in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia. It is a leading institution in the fields of English language instruction, literary and cultural studies, and creative writing. Its faculty has produced a great body of scholarship in literary and cultural studies including folklore, language and literature, ethnicity, discourse on women, and a cross-section of world literatures, as well as creative works in both English and Filipino.
Among the DECL faculty are distinguished educators and researchers and creative writers, who have received national and international recognition.
Over the years, the DECL has been successful in producing outstanding graduates who have held positions of leadership in the various professions. Its programs offer excellent training in teaching, creative writing, and research. Many of the DECL graduates hold academic and administrative positions within the U.P. system. Others are well-equipped for careers in law, advertising, journalism, broadcast communication, public relations, foreign service and business.
The Department’s mission is to facilitate access to the mainstreams of knowledge, to expose the students to different world views, and to turn out graduates whose exposure to and understanding of the greatest achievements of the human race in language and literature will be a lifetime foundation for being fully human, while pursuing whatever profession they may choose. The high-level of English proficiency and excellent communication skills of these graduates will give them an edge in their respective fields.