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The Department of English, the largest humanities unit at VCU, offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees: a BA in English, an MA in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing; it is also a core unit for the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Media, Art, and Text. This diversity of programs meets a wide range of curricular needs and interests at all educational levels. We are a welcoming and inclusive department that offers innovative and interesting classes.
The BA in English provides students with the critical, expressive, and cultural skills necessary to negotiate life in a competitive world: it constitutes a base for graduate study as well as for careers in a variety of professional fields. The department also offers undergraduate minors in English, Creative Writing, Professional Writing and Editing, British Studies, and American Studies. Students additionally have opportunities to pursue independent studies or internships in social media, with Blackbird (our online literary journal), or any other related field. Those particularly high-achieving students seeking an opportunity to write a scholarly, creative, or scholarly/creative hybrid thesis during their senior year can apply to pursue the Distinguished English Major.
The MA in English and the MFA in Creative Writing provide nationally recognized graduate programs in the humanities. The MA in English, a thirty-hour program, is a flexible degree program enables students to develop intellectually in a stimulating and supportive environment; we help students identify and realize the next steps in their professional and intellectual journey. The MFA in Creative Writing, a forty-eight credit program, is designed to provide talented writers with the chance to work closely with outstanding faculty to strengthen their craft, develop their literary aesthetics, and enrich their understanding of existing traditions.
The PhD in Media, Art, and Text, one of the most innovative and interdisciplinary PhD programs of its kind, equips future generations of college teachers and researchers with the tools for taking leadership roles in a media-driven culture.
Our faculty have published dozens of important books, edited editions and collections, and award-winning creative work across multiple genres. Collectively, they have garnered awards as diverse as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Program, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Guggenheim Foundation.
As scholar-teachers, the English faculty are committed to balancing teaching, mentoring, and research as mutually beneficial endeavors. Through research and teaching, our faculty work to expand knowledge of language, literature, and various expressive media in local, national, and global contexts.