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English

Department Overview

A101 Padelford

The Department of English offers courses in English, American, and related literatures. Courses in literature emphasize techniques of literary analysis; theoretical problems in the interpretation of texts; the social, historical, and political context of literary production and reception; and the pleasures of reading. Most require significant written work and stress critical thinking skills. Courses in language study examine the structural, historical, social, and aesthetic dimensions of English. The creative writing program offers workshops in verse, short story, novel, and expository writing. English majors are exposed to many critical perspectives, and pursue interests in literary history, critical theory, language studies, and creative writing.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
A2B Padelford, Box 354330
(206) 543-2634
engladv@uw.edu

The Department of English offers the following program of study:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English. A creative writing option is also available.

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: Foreign languages, classics, English history, American history, and philosophy.

Department Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum grade of 2.0 in both ENGL 301 and the attached writing link, ENGL 297.
  2. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00.
  3. Minimum cumulative English GPA of 2.50.
  4. Students apply to the English Advising Office, A2B Padelford, during the first two weeks of autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Transfer students must be enrolled at the UW before applying.
  5. Admission is competitive. Completion of the above requirements does not guarantee admission.

Additional requirements for admission to the creative writing option:

  1. Admission to the English major.
  2. Completion of ENGL 283 and ENGL 284 or transfer equivalents.
  3. Submission of an unofficial transcript and a writing sample of 3-5 poems and 5-10 pages of fiction (preferably a complete story).
  4. Students interested in the creative writing option should apply to the Creative Writing Office, B-25 Padelford, during the first three weeks of autumn and spring quarters.
  5. Admission is competitive. Completion of the above requirements does not guarantee admission.

Major Requirements

Minimum 55 credits, as follows:

  1. Minimum grade of 2.0 in both ENGL 301 and writing link ENGL 297 (10 credits).
  2. Minimum grade of 2.0 in ENGL 302 (5 credits).
  3. English Core (15 credits): At least 5 credits from each of the following categories: (1) theories/methodologies of language and literature; (2) forms/genres/media; (3) histories. A list of approved courses is available from the department advising office or department website: depts.washington.edu/engl/.
  4. English Electives (20 credits): Must be 200-level or above.
  5. At least 15 credits must be in courses focused on pre-1900 literature.
  6. Minimum grade of 2.0 in an approved 400-level senior capstone English course (5 credits). List of approved senior capstones available at depts.washington.edu/engl/ugrad/ugbareqs.php.
  7. Maximum 15 credits of 200-level courses and maximum 5 credits of creative writing may be applied towards the major.
  8. Minimum 25 credits of English at the 200-level or above must be completed in residence at the UW.

The department strongly recommends, but does not require, 5 credits in one of the following English language courses: ENGL 370, ENGL 371, ENGL 373, ENGL 374, ENGL 478, ENGL 479, or LING 200.

Creative Writing Option

Minimum 60 credits, as follows:

  1. Minimum grade of 2.0 in both ENGL 301 and writing link ENGL 297 (10 credits).
  2. ENGL 283 and ENGL 284 (10 credits)
  3. English Core (20 credits): At least 5 credits from each of the following categories: (1) theories and methodologies of language and literature; (2) histories of language and literature. A list of approved courses is available from the department advising office or department website.
  4. At least 15 credits must be in courses focused on pre-1900 literature.
  5. ENGL 383 and ENGL 384 (10 credits)
  6. 10 credits of approved 400-level creative writing courses.
  7. Maximum 15 credits of 200-level courses may be applied towards the major.
  8. Minimum 25 credits of English at the 200-level or above must be completed in residence at the UW.

Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the departmental adviser or refer to the department website.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Good writing, analytical ability, research skills, and broadened perspectives are among the practical accomplishments majors acquire, all of which can be applied to a range of careers, including, but not limited to advertising, business and marketing, law, library science, the media, public administration, publishing, the social services, and teaching.

    The undergraduate program of study in English concentrates on developing students' critical and interpretive abilities with regard to literatures written in English. Students become familiar with the critical developments in the study of language and literary forms, including especially understanding the cultural and historical contexts of various forms of literature. Students are, accordingly, asked to cultivate a habit of self-conscious and careful reading of written texts. Honing a successful habit of reading depends on acquiring an early awareness of the broad range of critical and interpretive methods available to readers of literature, as well as comprehending the basic purpose and effects at stake in different reading methods. Finally, students develop the ability to compose effective and persuasive written analyses of texts in a manner that demonstrates comprehension of the complexities or nuances of language, literature, and culture.

  • Instructional and Research Facilities: Computer labs in Mary Gates Hall for computer-integrated sections.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: The English internship program maintains an active list of over 200 local employers, including publishers, arts organizations, the media, advertising agencies, social service groups, schools, and businesses. Credit is available to declared English majors (ENGL 491).
  • Department Scholarships:
    • English Department scholarships are available to declared English majors enrolled at the UW for at least two quarters with a UW GPA of 3.50 and a UW English GPA of 3.70. Scholarship recipients must enroll for at least two quarters and carry at least 6 credits each quarter during the term of the scholarship. Applications, due in early March, are available in A11 and A2B Padelford.
    • Additional scholarships and prizes in creative writing are open to UW English majors only. Applications, due in early March, are available in B25 and A2B Padelford.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: Bricolage is a student literary arts annual published entirely by UW undergraduates and features the works of University students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Students from all majors welcome. Contact: brico@uw.edu for details.

Of Special Note::

  • Students considering teaching English at the secondary level should consult an English adviser regarding coursework for the English Language Arts endorsement required for entry into the Secondary Teacher Education Program (TEP).
  • The Department of English offers study abroad opportunities in London and Rome. Students from all majors welcome. See department website for more information.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
A105 Padelford, Box 354330
(206) 543-6077
englgrad@uw.edu

The Department of English offers a complete program of graduate courses and seminars designed to provide aspirants for the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with a knowledge of English literature and language and the necessary scholarship for training in literary criticism and theory, literary history, and English-language study, including rhetoric and composition. It is possible to pursue a literature- or language-study emphasis. The Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing emphasizes projects in imaginative writing in fiction and poetry, supported by courses in criticism and literary periods and types. A special degree program, the Master of Arts for Teachers, is offered for English teachers in secondary schools and community colleges and a Master of Arts for Teachers (of English to speakers of other languages) for those interested in teaching English to speakers of other languages. The graduate program permits completion of master's degree requirements in four to six quarters and doctoral degree requirements in five years (including the master's degree). In a typical five-year Ph.D. program, a student is encouraged to complete course requirements (75 credits) during the first three years, the general examination for the doctorate in the fourth year, and the dissertation in the fifth year. Those admitted with a master's degree from another university can complete the doctorate in four years: two years of coursework, exam year, and dissertation year.

Financial Aid

The department annually awards 10 or more new teaching assistantships. To be considered for the following autumn, applicants must submit an assistantship application and supporting materials for admission to the graduate program by January 15. A statement of purpose, three recommendations, the GRE general test, and a critical-writing sample are required [except MAT (ESOL)]. Teaching assistantship applicants who are not native speakers of English must submit as part of their application a score of 290 or better on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or UW-administered SPEAK test.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

Bachelor of Arts degree: Major in English equivalent to that awarded by the UW preferred. Graduate Record Examination general test [GRE (literature in English) subject test recommended]. Three letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and a critical writing sample.

Degree Requirements

40 credits, to include:

Intermediate-level proficiency in a language other than English. 40 credits, including 30 credits in graduate English seminars. For students continuing to the doctoral program, a 10-credit master's essay. For a terminal master's degree, students may substitute 10 additional credits in graduate English seminars for the master's essay. A maximum of 5 credits may be transferred from an accredited graduate program elsewhere.

Master of Fine Arts

Admission Requirements

Bachelor of Arts degree, Graduate Record Examination general test, three letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, a critical-writing sample, and a creative-writing sample.

Degree Requirements

55 credits, as follows:

20 credits in creative writing, 15 credits in graduate English seminars (5 credits must be from an approved course in criticism), 5 elective credits, 15 thesis credits (including a creative thesis, an M.F.A. essay, and a final oral examination); demonstration of proficiency in a language other than English.

Master of Arts for Teachers

Admission Requirements

Same as for the Master of Arts degree, but usually including prior teaching experience.

Degree Requirements

45 credits, to include:

25 must be in courses numbered 500 or above; including at least one course each in English language or linguistics, rhetoric and/or composition, literary criticism or critical theory, and literature; three courses must have a stated orientation on teaching English; and 5 credits of MAT essay. In addition to the 45 credits, a student with no regular or formal teaching experience is required to complete at least 6 credits of ENGL 601 (Internship); 15 credits may be taken outside the department in courses related to the teaching of English, subject to approval.

Master of Arts for Teachers (of English to Speakers of Other Languages)

Admission Requirements

Bachelor of Arts degree, Graduate Record Examination general test, statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation. Students without training in linguistic method and theory must take LING 400 as a prerequisite for 400-level linguistics courses.

Degree Requirements

45-54 credits, to include:

including ENGL 571, ENGL 572, ENGL 574, ENGL 576; LING 446 or LING 450, ENGL 575 or LING 461; three courses from ENGL 471, ENGL 478, ENGL 479, ENGL 560, ENGL 561, ENGL 562, ENGL 563, ENGL 564, ENGL 567, ENGL 569, ENGL 575, LING 433/ANTH 464, LING 457/PSYCH 457, LING 451, LING 462; one elective course; 3-6 credits of ENGL 570. Intermediate-level proficiency in a language other than English.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

By petition to the Graduate Studies Committee upon completion of the MA degree option in literature. Students with recent master's degrees from other institutions are admitted at the post-master's level following the guidelines for admission to the MA option and must complete two quarters before petitioning the Graduate Studies Committee for admission to the doctoral program. Students transferring with a master's degree from other institutions may be required to submit an equivalent to the master's essay. Students with MFA, MAT, or MAT (ESL) degrees from this University must complete coursework and language requirements for the MA degree option and submit an equivalent to the master's essay.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 102 credits, to include:

75 graded credits of electives in graduate English seminars. Students with a recent master's degree from another university may count up to 30 credits from their master's program, upon approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Students with a master's degree from the UW may count up to 40 credits in courses taken before admission to the doctoral program. Fluency in at least one language other than English, plus whatever additional language study the Supervisory Committee advises. Written examinations for literature emphasis: (1) historical period, (2) specialized field of study, (3) second period, genre, or topic. Written examinations for language emphasis: (1) major approach to English-language study, (2) second approach to language study, (3) textual focus (can be literary period). An oral general examination; 27 credits of ENGL 800 (dissertation); and a final examination based on the dissertation.