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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, and our award-winning Program in Writing and Rhetoric and Program for Writing Across Campus are national models for effective writing instruction. Our faculty includes several MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows and the winner of a National Book Award. 


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10 Students awarded Mary Gates Research Scholarships since 2010  


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

Taiko Aoki-Marcial and Cristina Sanchez-Martin standing with greenery behind them.

Learning Through Storytelling

Through a UW-led storytelling workshop and course, English language learners in the Seattle area strengthened their language skills and built community.

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Meet Our 2023 Graduate Medalists

Three graduate students who earned doctoral degrees in spring 2023 received the Graduate Medal from the College of Arts & Sciences. 

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An Animated Life

Nathan Jones (2015) tells stories through animation. Both of his UW degrees — creative writing and art — are reflected in is his work.