GW English Robert McRuer's Class one student listens attentively


We offer a Master of Arts degree that provides high-level training in literature and culture, preparing students for PhD work or a range of non-academic career possibilities. MA students are fully integrated with PhD students in the classroom and in our scholarly community, but they also have the dedicated services of an MA advisor who works individually with MA students and attends to their specific needs within the program.

Our PhD program offers four high-level research concentrations: Medieval and Early Modern Studies, British and Postcolonial Studies, American Literature and Culture, and Crip/Queer Studies. Within each of these areas, students are invited to construct their own specializations and methodologies, ranging from sociohistorical angles to digital humanities and film studies. Our widely-published and renowned faculty in each of these areas closely mentor PhD students from coursework to the final stages of the dissertation. We pride ourselves on being a collaborative and supportive programme, with faculty deeply engaged in all areas of academic work, from preparing conference papers to developing syllabi for teaching.

Our location in the heart of Washington, D.C., provides rich opportunities for scholarly research – with the Library of Congress within easy reach as well as our close relationship with the Folger Shakespeare Library. Students have access to the Consortium of local Universities, as well as to the many archives and arts and educational programs available in the nation’s capital.


 Programs of Study


Resources for Students

GW English Graduate Admissions a graduate student talking to a counselor

Graduate Admissions

Apply for admission to the MA or PhD programs. Applicants should have outstanding grades in literature or a closely-related discipline, as well as an overall average of at least a B in all their college-level work.

GW English Financial Assistance 3 graduate students looking attentively at the same direction

Financial Assistance

Various funding opportunities are available for graduate students. Most funding will consist of Graduate Teaching Assistantships and other sources within the university. We also accept students with outside funding.

GW English Graduate Course Offerings a selection of books on a bookshelf in a library

Semester Course Offerings

View detailed descriptions of graduate courses offered by the Department of English in the current or upcoming semester.