BA in English

You may be surprised by all that a Mason English degree offers. In addition to providing a traditional grounding in literature and writing, the degree will introduce you to courses in film and media studies, linguistics, folklore and mythology, and cultural studies. This means that as an English major you can study the poetry of Shakespeare, the folklore of Mexico, and the films of Bollywood. You will have the chance to expand your writing skills through courses in editing and style, creative writing, and digital media.

Our BA in English offers unparalleled opportunities and prepares students for a variety of careers. PayScale's College Salary Report recently ranked Mason as the #1 best school for English majors based on the opportunities we provide. In fact, Mason 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. Many of our students are involved in Mason’s rich literary scene: the student newspaper, literary magazines, and Stillhouse Press.

Our classes are small because we are dedicated to teaching each of our students to read critically and write carefully. You will have the opportunity to be mentored by faculty who are recognized experts in their fields and have the chance to study abroad. Our students frequently participate in the London Theater Tour, Oxford Summer School, the Creative Writing Workshop in Ireland, the Florence Semester Experience and more.

Employers in the region want to hire creative, critically minded researchers and writers. Many of our graduates go into research and writing, from technical editing to publishing, across the major industry sectors of the Washington, DC region, including government, arts and entertainment, and science and engineering.


All students have opportunities for research, global-engagement, public service, and career preparation.

  • If you excel in the classroom, apply to the English Honors Program. Work closely with a professor on a research project of your own. Read more >>
  • Pursue the Accelerated Master’s Program in English (Concentration in Linguistics). Read more >>
  • Take English courses for credit through Mason Study Abroad.
  • Complete licensure to teach English in the public schools. Read more >>
  • Gain valuable career experience through an internship at places such as: 
    • Smithsonian Institution or Library of Congress
    • Folger Shakespeare Library
    • Falls Church News Press  
    • Entertainment Industry Council

Read more about internships >>


Literature Film Linguistics Folklore Writing Rhetoric English