The English Department dates back to when the Western Reserve University was founded as Western Reserve College in 1826. English and Rhetoric was listed as a curricular group in the 1834 Catalog. At this time, all students took the same courses for their degrees.

In 1888 Flora Stone Mather College was established. English was a curricular group beginning in the 1888/89 Catalog. Cleveland College was established in 1925. There was no mention of Cleveland College in the 1925/26 Catalog; however, English was listed as one of the courses of instruction in the 1926/27 Catalog.

Case Institute of Technology was founded as Case School of Applied Science in 1880. An English Literature and Rhetoric course was taught as part of freshman year beginning in 1885/86. In 1894/95 English was first listed as a department. It had various names over time (such as English & Rhetoric, Language and Literature). By the time Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University merged to establish Case Western Reserve University in 1967 the current designation, the Department of English, was standard.

–From records in CWRU Archives