BA in English


GW CCAS English Major Photo: A group of students discussing in classroom


The Bachelor of Arts in English is designed to help students foster both an appreciation for literary works of art and an ability to communicate passionately and elegantly about the topics that matter most to them.

Through reflection on literature, students connect reading practices with lucid writing and persuasive argumentation. The flexible English major requirements allow students to tailor their program of study to their interests.



Learning Objectives of the English Major

The English Department has set educational goals for students enrolled in the English major. By the time English majors have completed the requirements for their degree, they are expected to be able to:

  1. Recognize and demonstrate knowledge of the traditions and global diversity of literature in English (Literary Traditions and Diversity)
  2. Analyze texts within their cultural, historical, and aesthetic contexts (Critical Analysis)
  3. Write lucidly and compose compelling arguments based on close reading and informed critical reflection (Argument/Close Reading)


Course Requirements

Any one introductory, non-creative writing course at the 1000 level. Suggested courses include:
ENGL 1000Dean's Seminar
ENGL 1050Introduction to Literary Studies
ENGL 1300The Bible as Literature
ENGL 1305Colonial/Post-Colonial British Literature
ENGL 1315Literature and the Financial Imagination
ENGL 1320Literature of the Americas
or ENGL 1320W Literature of the Americas
ENGL 1330Myths of Britain
or ENGL 1330W Myths of Britain
ENGL 1340Essential Shakespeare
or ENGL 1340W Essential Shakespeare
ENGL 1351Shakespeare Seminar
ENGL 1360Fantasy and Speculative Fiction
ENGL 1365Literature and the Environment
ENGL 1370Topics in Global Cinema
One course in creative writing at the 1000 or 2000 level. Suggested courses include:
ENGL 1210Introduction to Creative Writing
ENGL 2210Techniques in Creative Writing
ENGL 2240Play Analysis
ENGL 2460Fiction Writing
ENGL 2470Poetry Writing
ENGL 2560Intermediate Fiction Writing
ENGL 2570Intermediate Poetry Writing
Two introductory survey courses at the 2000 level. Suggested courses include:
ENGL 2100Introduction to Asian American Studies through Literature
ENGL 2410Introduction to English Literature I
or ENGL 2410 Introduction to English Literature I
ENGL 2411Introduction to English Literature II
or ENGL 2411W Introduction to English Literature II
ENGL 2510Introduction to American Literature I
or ENGL 2510W Introduction to American Literature I
ENGL 2511Introduction to American Literature II
or ENGL 2511W Introduction to American Literature II
ENGL 2610Introduction to Black Literature of America I
or ENGL 2610W Introduction to Black Literature of America I
ENGL 2611Introduction to Black Literature of America II
or ENGL 2611 Introduction to Black Literature of America II
ENGL 2710Postcolonialism, Race, and Gender in Global Anglophone Literature and Film
or ENGL 2710W Postcolonialism, Race, and Gender in Global Anglophone Literature and Film
ENGL 2711Postcolonialism and Migration in Global Anglophone Literature and Film
or ENGL 2711W Postcolonialism and Migration in Global Anglophone Literature and Film
ENGL 2712Bollywood Cinema
or ENGL 2712W Bollywood Cinema
ENGL 2830Introduction to Tragedy
ENGL 2840Introduction to Comedy
One course in critical theory:
ENGL 2800Introduction to Critical Theory
or ENGL 2800W Introduction to Critical Theory
One minority/diversity course at the 3000 level. Suggested courses include:
ENGL 3570Nineteenth-Century Black Literature
ENGL 3660Twentieth-Century Irish Literature I
ENGL 3661Twentieth-Century Irish Literature II
or ENGL 3661W Twentieth-Century Irish Literature I
ENGL 3730Topics in Global Postcolonial Literature and Film
or ENGL 3730W Topics in Global Postcolonial Literature and Film
ENGL 3800The Literature of Hawaii
ENGL 3826Toni Morrison and William Faulkner
ENGL 3840Gender and Literature
or ENGL 3840W Gender and Literature
ENGL 3850Ethnicity and Place in American Literature
ENGL 3910Disability Studies
ENGL 3912Disability and the Holocaust
ENGL 3920U.S. Latina/o Literature and Culture
ENGL 3930Topics in U.S. Latina/o Literature and Culture
or ENGL 3930W Topics in U.S. Latina/o Literature and Culture
ENGL 3940Topics in African American Literary Studies
ENGL 3945African American Poetry
ENGL 3950Cultural Theory and Black Studies
ENGL 3960Asian American Literature
or ENGL 3960W Asian American Literature
ENGL 3965Topics in Asian American Cultural Studies
ENGL 3970Jewish American Literature
or ENGL 3970W Jewish American Literature
ENGL 3980Queer Studies
or ENGL 3980W Queer Studies
Four additional ENGL courses (12 credits) at the 3000 level, excluding creative writing courses. Up to two of these courses may be taken in foreign literature if determined to be equivalent to 3000-level English courses by the English Director of Undergraduate Advising.

With departmental approval, courses with appropriate subject matter may be substituted for those specified above. A single course may fulfill only one requirement.