GW English Department students discussing in classroom


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

Our dedication to small classes, strong faculty mentorship, study abroad, undergraduate honors research and multiple pathways through our requirements allows students to define and achieve their educational goals.

Alumni have gone on to pursue varied and successful careers in the arts, business, education, entrepreneurship, journalism, law, publishing and public service.



Programs of Study


Student Resources

GW English Undergraduate Students talking to each other at a book event

Declaring and Advising

The Department of English provides guidelines for students interested in declaring the English major.

GW University Writing Center pen in the hand of a student

University Writing Center

The GW Writing Center conducts free, one-on-one sessions with students to assist them with course writing assignments, research papers, theses and personal statements.

Katherine Bradshaw GW English Undergraduate Awards

Undergraduate Awards

The Department of English awards four prizes to undergraduate writers each year.



There is no foreign language requirement.

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

The GW Study Abroad Office has more information.

Yes. In certain cases, you may be able to register for ENGL 4470—Internship: Research, Writing, Editing—and earn academic credit for your work. For more information, visit the Internships and Independent Study page.

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

Yes. The department offers MA and PhD degrees, but it also offers a 5-year combined 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 Program page for more information, or contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies