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Undergraduate Programs

Why Study English?

Language is integral to human thought, communication, and action. It provides critical infrastructure for ideas, laws, technologies, social forms, and appeals for justice. It helps us reflect on the many practices of being human, including our ways of knowing and being in relation to one another and the world, and imagining new possibilities. This is why you will find humanities majors in every field and walk of life, working on every imaginable problem.

UW English Ranked Among Top US Schools

USA Today rates UW as one of the very best places in the country to study English.  We place third, ahead of heavyweights such as Harvard, Yale, and Berkeley.  Read more

Studying English at the University of Washington will help you understand English’s global reach and the colonial history through which it came about. It will introduce you to enduring works of literature, give you tools with which to understand how culture works, and teach you to produce clear and compelling writing of your own. Above all, it will help you understand how the English language (its history, multiplicity, and development; its literary and artistic uses; and its global role in shaping and changing cultures) is woven into the fabric of the world, and what it means to engage with this understanding responsibly as we communicate across communities and cultures.

The English major provides a rigorous course of study in the language, literature, and culture of the English speaking world. English Majors can choose to concentrate either on Language, Literature, and Culture or Creative Writing. The department also offers two minors. Students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty at the forefront of their respective fields, with writing-intensive classes providing opportunity for direct instruction. The English Department Honors Program provides an additional opportunity to enroll in small (+/-15 student) seminars, and pursue independent research under the guidance of department faculty.

Use the links below to learn more about our programs and resources for students.

Questions? See our FAQ or contact Humanities Academic Services Center.