College of Arts and Sciences

The undergraduate English major offers students a broadly based, historically grounded introduction to the literatures of Britain, the United States and, increasingly, Anglophone literature from around the world. Courses in literature emphasize techniques of literary analysis, theoretical problems posed by the interpretation of texts, the social, historical and political context of literary production and reception and the pleasures of reading. Most courses require significant written work and stress the development of critical thinking skills. Courses in language study examine the structural, historical, social and aesthetic dimensions of English. Our Creative Writing Program offers a range of workshops in verse, short story, novel and creative nonfiction or expository writing. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as media and communication, business, government, nonprofit, marketing, and education.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Curricular options: Creative Writing, Language & Literature

Topic: Arts

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline:
  • You must enroll at the UW before applying to this major. Please contact the department for additional details.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Career outcomes