Maybe You Should Be an English Major...

How do I Begin?

If you’re considering the major, the best place to begin is with either ENGL 1310 or one of our paired introductory literature courses: ENGL 1410 through ENGL 1711.

If you earned a 4 or a 5 on AP Language & Literature, or a 6 or 7 on IB Higher Level English A1, you can skip these introductory classes, although ENGL 1310 is still a good idea.

When you’ve completed one of the introductory courses (or been exempted), you can start enrolling in advanced courses.

Even if you don’t decide until your sophomore year that you want to be an English major, you can still complete the major requirements without taking more than three courses in any semester. [For more on requirements, see Programs of Study.]

What About Foreign Language Study?

There is no foreign language requirement.

Can I Study Abroad?

Many English majors spend a semester or more abroad, usually as juniors, and many venture outside England: Australia, Edinburgh, and Dublin are increasingly popular, and some students have studied in Anglophone Africa. Because we count the literatures of other languages as major electives, English majors have enjoyed study abroad in France, Italy, and other countries.

The GW Study Abroad Office has more information.

Can I do Internships?

Yes. In certain cases, you may be able to register for ENGL 4470—Internship: Research, Writing, Editing—and earn academic credit for your work. See Internships.

Can I Graduate with Honors?

Yes. The department has a small and selective Honors Program.

Are there Opportunities for Graduate Study Once I Earn my BA?

Yes. The department offers the MA and PhD degrees, but it also offers a 5-year BA/MA program for talented students, typically those who come through our Honors Program. The BA/MA program allows students to begin graduate work in their senior year, and enables them to earn the MA in English degree in one, rather than two, years of postgraduate studies. Visit the Honors in English page for more information, or contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

American Literature Research Guide

Gelman Library

Is Hemingway making your head spin? Gelman Library's American Literature Research Guide can help!

An English Experience

Anya Firestone

Recent GW graduate and English major Anya Firestone fell in love with Paris while studying abroad. Returning for a residency program after graduation, Firestone worked on her own mixed media art, received advice from curators, artists, designers and writers, and had her art showcased at the Parsons Paris Gallery.