The Department of English offers a major in English, a minor in English, and a minor in Creative Writing

Major in English

Requirements for the A.B. Degree in English 

The major in English requires 10 courses and 30 credits as follows:

  • 1 course in Ways of Reading (ENGL 1095)
  • 2 Identities courses (tagged with the “College: ENGL/Identities” attribute in the Schedule of Classes)
  • 2 Histories courses, one pre-1800 and one pre-1900 (tagged with the “College: ENGL/Hist 1” and “College: ENGL/Hist 2” attributes, respectively, in the Schedule of Classes)
  • 1 Senior Seminar (any course numbered ENGL 4960-4969)
  • 4 additional English electives

Additional Information

Except for extraordinary reasons and upon petition to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in English by the individual student, electives offered by other Georgetown departments will not count as electives toward the English major, unless they have ALREADY been approved and cross-listed in the Schedule of Classes. All approved cross-listed courses will count as electives in the English major, but they will not fulfill the Ways of Reading, Identities, Histories, or senior seminar requirements without specific approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Nota Bene: The English major curriculum was revised and the above requirements updated effective Fall 2024, for the incoming class of 2028. Students in the class of 2025 will complete the old major, while students in the class of 2026 and forward will complete the requirements of the new major. Students completing the old major requirements will be able to take ENGL 1091 and 1092 in Fall 2024 or Spring 2025; they may substitute ENGL 1095 Ways of Reading for the old 1090 Critical Methods requirement. Students pursuing the new major who have taken 1091 and/or 1092 may apply those courses to the Histories requirement or as electives.

Integrated Writing Requirement: Writing is a core component of the English major at every level of our curriculum, but especially in our electives and senior seminars.

Transfer Students

During orientation, transfer students meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the English department and determine which courses taken at the previous institution can count toward the English major at Georgetown. At that time and in subsequent meetings, students have the opportunity to discuss their individual programs. Students must fulfill all requirements for the English major and take at least six courses in the English department.

Study Abroad

Transfer of credit from study abroad toward the English major requires the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students are strongly encouraged to have their program of study approved before they go abroad. In general, students can seek approval to have one study abroad course fulfill a specific requirement; any other study abroad courses will count as electives.

Summer School

Transfer of credit from summer programs outside Georgetown toward the English major requires prior approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Honors in English

Admission to the Honors Program is competitive and by application in the spring of the student’s junior year. Details about the program and application process are listed on the department website. Students admitted to the Honors Program are required to take a two-semester, six-credit sequence (ENGL 4989 and 4940) in their senior year, the first semester of which replaces and fulfills the standard senior seminar requirement in the major. Students present their finished work to the public at a colloquium at the end of their senior year. In order to graduate with honors, a student must earn a grade of A- or better in ENGL 4940 for a thesis project produced under the mentorship of an English Department faculty mentor. The grade for ENGL 49401 will be an assessment of the thesis itself as an average of the assessments of the mentor, the second reader, and the Director of Honors.

Accelerated AB/MA English Program

The English Department’s AB/MA program allows qualified undergraduate majors to enroll in up to two graduate-level English courses during each semester of their senior year. Up to two of these courses will count toward the undergraduate major in English in addition to a prospective graduate degree. The Graduate School considers AB/MA students part of the Master’s program, and they are automatically admitted following their undergraduate graduation, though they are not obligated to continue

To apply, undergraduate students should follow the standard application procedure for the MA program during their junior year. The GRE requirement will be waived. Students should direct questions about both the AB/MA and the MA programs to the current Program Administrator and/or the Director of Graduate Studies.

Minor in English

Requirements for the Minor

The English minor consists of six courses: one Ways of Reading course (ENGL 1095); one course in either Identities (tagged with the “College: ENGL/Identities” attribute in the Schedule of Classes) or Histories (tagged with the “College: ENGL/Hist 1” or “College: ENGL/Hist 2” attribute in the Schedule of Classes); and four electives.

Minor in Creative Writing

The Department of English offers a minor in Creative Writing, drawing on the strength of its faculty and programming in the literary arts and related fields. The minor is designed to be progressive, moving from an introductory multi-genre course through a series of genre workshops, and then culminating in a Creative Writing senior seminar (or independent study project) in which students produce and revise a well-developed manuscript of poetry, fiction, or creative prose. The minor is also interdisciplinary, in that three of the six courses will draw from forms, disciplines, and materials outside the student’s chosen genre of writing. Students may choose relevant course offerings in related departments and programs (e.g., Journalism). Other enriching and broadening experiences will come through our Lannan Program’s visiting writer reading and seminar series, the annual Lannan Symposium, the Caine Prize Writer residency, and the various writers who visit classes each year.

The minor in Creative Writing requires six courses: an introductory multi-genre course, an introductory genre course, an advanced genre course, two electives, and a Creative Writing senior seminar or independent study project. 

Requirements for the Creative Writing Minor

  • One introductory multi-genre course: Intro to Creative Writing, ENGL 2800
  • One introductory genre course: ENGL 2810–2900, ENGL 4500, or a selected MHUM course that is x-listed with Creative Writing
  • One advanced genre course: ENGL 4510–4590
  • One English elective: ENGL 1090–4990
  • One additional elective in the student’s field of interest: ENGL 1090–4990, JOUR 1000–4999, or other courses as approved by program director
  • Creative Writing Senior Seminar* (ENGL 4910–4940) or independent study project** 

*Students who have fulfilled all other requirements for the minor may take the senior seminar earlier (i.e., in junior year) with permission of the director.

**Students interested in pursuing an independent study project in place of the senior seminar should discuss with the director no later than the end of junior year. 

Note: Course substitutions to any of the above requirements must be reviewed and approved by the program director. Minors are encouraged to discuss their interests with the director and plan their course choices accordingly. 

The minor in Creative Writing is by application, capped at 20 students per year. Application process: before fall or spring registration periods, students who have taken (or are taking) at least one creative writing workshop or equivalent may apply for the Creative Writing minor by submitting a brief statement of purpose, a short writing sample, and an unofficial transcript to the Director of the Creative Writing Minor. Exceptions can be made for junior transfer students with a strong background in creative writing. 

For more information and exact deadlines, please visit the Creative Writing webpage on the Department of English website.

For course listings for English see the Schedule of Classes