Student creating a handmade book in class.

English brings literature, culture, creativity and communication together

With a focus on literature, rhetoric, culture, language, theory, criticism, history, pedagogy and creative writing, the Department of English plays a leading role in helping students develop a global perspective and an understanding of diverse cultures — essential in our increasingly connected world. Our English majors and minors learn to think critically and write expressively across media and genres. Our award-winning Expository Writing Program and Interdisciplinary Writing Program are national models for effective writing instruction, and the Creative Writing Program is ranked among the top 10 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. Our faculty includes several MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows and the winner of a National Book Award. 

 

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An open book, with pages spread in an arc.
Student writing a story on his laptop.
10 Students awarded Mary Gates Research Scholarships since 2010  

Careers

The skills our students develop — writing, editing, problem solving, critical thinking and analysis — are essential and in demand by employers in nearly every profession. Graduates have translated their versatile English degrees into successful careers in business, education, law, medicine, library science, advertising and journalism. They also excel in the nonprofit sector and the Northwest’s vibrant e-commerce and technology economy.

Career Paths

Graduates have been successful in a variety of roles, including: 

  • Copywriter
  • Educator
  • CEO 
  • Attorney
  • Publisher
  • Operations manager
  • Communications director
  • Game designer
  • Sales engineer
  • Business owner 
  • Writer
  • Editor 
  • Journalist 
  • Television and film producer 
  • Marketing specialist 

 

Faculty member Anu Taranath

Explore language further

Research in the Department of English takes many different forms, from text-based and field research to technology-based digital humanities work to pedagogical research to artistic expression. In addition to a broad range of specializations particular to English as a discipline, we have strengths in interdisciplinary areas of scholarship including textual and digital studies; feminism and gender studies; critical race studies; queer studies; genre and popular culture studies; sociolinguistics and critical applied linguistics; writing studies; translingual and transnational literacy studies; and environmental humanities. The department is home to many research groups, including: 

  • Reading and Writing Affect
  • Comic Studies 
  • Medieval Studies Graduate Interest Group
  • Teaching with Technology 
  • The Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Works-in-Progress Group 

More About English Department Research 

 

Find Yourself in English

Experience the power of literature, language, and culture through the study of English.

Department of English Stories

Michelle Liu

Short Stories, Big Questions

Professor Michelle Liu shares literary works with employees at Microsoft and other companies to explore complex workplace issues. 

Portrait of Nancy Jooyoun Kim

The Last Story of Mina Lee

Nancy Jooyoun Kim (MFA, Creative Writing, 2006) talks about her novel, The Last Story of Mina Lee

Cherry tress on the UW quad.

Two Views of the Korean American Experience

Two UW authors share very different stories about the Korean American experience.