Master of Arts Program


The Master of Arts (MA) in English is for students interested in deepening their knowledge of Anglophone literature while sharpening their skills in close reading and incisive writing. Over the course of our two-year program of study, students will work closely with English Department faculty, develop relationships across the department’s graduate student community and have the opportunity to engage in a long-form research and writing project—all while being immersed in our culturally-rich nation's capital.

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


Program Tracks

MA students may choose to pursue a thesis or non-thesis track, depending on their interests and professional goals.

  • Non-Thesis Track – The first track culminates 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 non-profit work.
  • Thesis Track – The second track culminates in the research and writing of a master's thesis in the final year and is designed to appeal to students who wish to prepare for future research in a rigorous PhD or other advanced degree program.

Regardless of track, all students are able to follow engaging seminars on a wide array of topics, as well as take a limited number of courses outside of the department and in the Washington Metropolitan Area Consortium of Universities to which GW belongs.


Program 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; including 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.

 Visit the program website for additional information.