MA in English


GW English MA Program a lecture hall with 3 rows of students


The Master of Arts in English is ideal for students interested in deepening their knowledge of Anglophone literature while sharpening their skills in close reading and incisive writing. MA students are immersed in the cultural and literary opportunities that the nation's capital has to offer, from internships with institutions like the Folger Shakespeare Library to research opportunities at the city's world-class Smithsonian museums.

Over the course of the two-year program, students develop relationships with fellow students and faculty mentors. They also have the option to pursue a thesis or non-thesis track, depending on their interests and professional goals. All students are invited to follow engaging department seminars on a wide array of topics, as well as take courses through the Washington Metropolitan Area Consortium of Universities.



Graduate Virtual Open House



Graduate Virtual Open House: October 18–28

Registration is open for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) Graduate Virtual Open House! The online event includes program-specific information sessions and opportunities to engage with current graduate students, faculty and our admissions team.

The English Department is hosting an information session for prospective graduate students on Thursday, October 21 at 10 a.m. EDT. 


Program Tracks

  • Non-Thesis Track: Studies culminate in the completion of a master's portfolio during the final year of study, an appropriate endpoint for students with career aspirations in fields including, but not limited to, education, journalism, media, law and nonprofit work.
  • Thesis Track: Students complete the research and writing of a master's thesis in the final year. This track is designed to appeal to students who wish to prepare for future research in a rigorous PhD or other advanced degree program.


Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

N​on-thesis option—30 credits in required courses and a final master’s portfolio; thesis option—30 credits, including 24 credits in required courses and 6 credits of thesis.  

ENGL 6100Introduction to Literary Theory
For students pursuing the thesis option only
ENGL 6998Thesis Research
ENGL 6999Thesis Research
The remainder of the program is developed in consultation with the departmental advisor.

Students must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.25.