English Major

The English major includes five main elements, which are together designed to introduce students to the basic approaches for studying literature, rhetoric, and media; to the structures and effects of the English language; and to theories and practices of writing from the creative to the professional. 


The major offers students a foundation in multiple scales of history, from the local to the global, and in forms, methods, and writing—all with a sustained focus on civic and cultural engagement. Students also then develop their own area of specialization:

  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Language, Writing, and Rhetoric
  • Media Studies
  • Creative Writing

The major’s flexibility lets students participate liberally in a wealth of experiential- or service-learning opportunities around the department, the university, and the D.C. metro area, as well as to pursue a sustained research or creative project as part of our English Honors program. These elements and opportunities together allow students to prepare for careers in fields such as education, law, journalism, creative writing, film production, professional writing, game design, and information science. If you would like to declare the major, contact the English Undergraduate Studies Office at (301-405-3825 or visit us in 1128 Tawes Hall. 

Please note: If you declared the English major before 1/1/2018, then you are under the previous English major requirements. If you would like to switch to the new major requirements, please schedule an appointment with an English advisor to learn more about the program. Click here to learn about a double major in English-Education.