Bachelor of Science in English


An English major is a good foundation for careers in communications, business, law, social work, the fine arts, and teaching. Course work introduces students to important literary texts and to the development of the English language and the origins of western literature and culture. Students can develop reading and writing skills, rigorous critical thinking skills, and the ability to communicate complex ideas persuasively, all while obtaining a broad liberal education.

required course work

All University College undergraduate students must satisfy the same general-education requirements. Before enrolling in any literature course, you must satisfactorily complete English Composition 101.

English majors are required to take 10 courses as noted below: two required introductory courses; four required 300-level courses (Introduction to Literary Theory, three historical); and four 300-level electives.

Two Introductory Courses

Intended to be taken first, which are critical surveys of the literary history of the major literatures in the English language. Along with an understanding of the historical movements in literature, these courses also will help students develop a vocabulary of critical analysis and literary criticism:

  • Early Texts and Contexts (U65 261)
  • Modern Texts and Contexts (U65 262)
Four 300-Level Courses

  • Introduction to Literary Theory
  • Three Historical Courses. You must select at least one course from each of the following groups:
    • Group 1: Medieval, Early Modern
    • Group 2: The Eighteenth Century, The Nineteenth Century, The Twentieth Century and later
Four 300-Level Electives

application requirements

Completed application form

The online application is available online on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed, required documents have been received, and the application fee is paid.

Official transcripts from all previous college work

Contact the registrar at each previous college or university attended to request an official transcript. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar to University College.

Personal statement

Tell us about yourself in a brief essay (about 250 words). Why are you applying to University College? What are your goals, both academic and professional? What do we need to know when considering your application?

TOEFL scores (if applicable)

If you are not a U.S. citizen, official TOEFL scores must be forwarded to University College.

Graduates of a U.S. university or college or Canada, Australia, and U.K. residents are exempt if they have earned a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree from such college or university.

$35 application fee

You may pay by credit card online, or via check or money order payable to Washington University in St. Louis. You may also pay the fee by cash at the University College office. 

This fee is waived for all WashU staff.

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"Getting a degree from Washington University has opened so many doors for me. I utilize the skills I learned in my current job, in my personal life, and in just about anything that I do."

―Michelle EllisM.S. in Clinical Research Management, B.S. with a double major in English & Psychology

See Michelle's story

Still have questions?

Administrative Assistant for Academic Programs: Holly Schroeder | (314) 935-6759 |

Director of Advising and Student Services: Elizabeth Fogt | (314)935-6778 |