Requirements: English Major

The major in English is the study of the arts of literature. Although the emphasis is on the critical analysis of great works, students are expected to attain a general knowledge of the historical development of English and American literature by the end of the senior year.

A student wishing to major in English must complete a total of twelve courses on the 200-, 300-, and 400-levels in the English Department in the following areas:


  • Three courses selected from English courses on the 200-level, excluding ENG 204, 205, 206
  • Also includes ENG 101 (Beginning with students who matriculate in the fall of 2016.  Previous students took ENG 101 for the first-year graduation requirement.  In this case it does NOT count for the major.)


  • Three courses in pre-1800 literature (ENG 205/206 “Shakespeare” will also be counted here)
  • Three courses in post-1800 literature
  • Two electives
  • Jr Seminar (required of all students in the fall of the junior year)

Note: Students who both major in English and minor in creative writing may “double count” no more than two courses.

Senior Capstone Experience

English majors must also register for and complete the Senior Capstone Experience in their senior year. Please see the department’s page on the Senior Capstone Experience for more information.

Course Catalog

For full course descriptions, please visit the Washington College course catalog.