About the Department

Books and Snow

The English Department at George Mason provides a learning environment that stresses the importance of writing and reading in both creative and scholarly pursuits. Our programs offer unparalleled opportunities and prepare students for a variety of careers. PayScale College Salary Report recently ranked Mason as the #1 best school for English majors based on the opportunities we provide. In fact, our English graduates earn the highest average starting salary nationally. With Washington, D.C. next door, it's no wonder that Mason students and graduates have a competitive edge. You can intern at the Library of Congress, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Smithsonian Institution, and hundreds of other professional associations.

The English Department includes instructors who are engaged scholars and writers, dedicated to classroom teaching. The majority of our classes are small (25 students or fewer), creating the feel of a small liberal arts college with the benefits of Virginia’s largest state university.

Our Undergraduate Programs include a BA and the only Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) in Creative Writing in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The BA has 7 concentrations (Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, Film and Media Studies, Folklore and Mythology, Linguistics, Literature, and Writing and Rhetoric) that allow students to focus their studies in one or two concentrations. All undergraduates complete a senior capstone project that provides an opportunity to create creative or research projects. Undergraduates can pursue secondary education certification or apply to one of our accelerated Masters degree programs. The BFA provides students with an interest in Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Non-fiction an opportunity to develop their craft working with our award-winning Creative Writing Faculty.

Our Graduate Programs include Masters in Literature, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Folklore Studies concentration) and Ph.D. programs in Linguistics and Writing and Rhetoric. We also offer 18-credit graduate certificates in English Pedagogy, Folklore Studies, Professional and Technical Writing, and Teaching English as a Second Language.

Writing is central to all aspects of your college career, and our department is a committed partner in the Writing Across the Curriculum Program, ranked one of the top 11 programs in the nation (alongside Harvard, Princeton, and Duke Universities) for the last 14 years by U.S. News and World Report.