Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare

London Globe, Dean's Scholars in ShakespeareDean’s Scholars in Shakespeare—a signature program in GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences—offers a select group of students a unique opportunity to explore the works of William Shakespeare in a global and multimedia context. The two-year, co-curricular interdisciplinary “living and learning” experience exposes students to specially-tailored introductory seminars, guest artists and lecturers, film festivals, performances, and programs in Washington, D.C., London, and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Based on the beautiful Mount Vernon Campus, the program culminates in a partially subsidized faculty-led study-abroad trip to London and Stratford-upon-Avon. Upon successful completion of the program students will receive the notation "Dean's Scholar in Shakespeare" on their transcript.

Program Highlights

  • 2 years, 5 courses (16 credits), 1 trip to England
  • Enjoy small classes and intimate interaction with award-winning professors
  • Join a partially subsidized, faculty-led tour of London and Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Meet the head of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and world-renowned scholars and artists
  • Attend performances at the Folger Theatre and The Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C.
  • Participate in events at the Folger Shakespeare Library and on campus
  • Take advantage of undergraduate research fellowships
  • Use cutting-edge digital tools for the study of Shakespeare and for creative work such as and

Housing: Living and Learning Residence

Mt Vernon Campus houses several residential and special academic programs, including the Elizabeth Somers Women’s Leadership Program, Dean’s Scholars in Globalization, University Honors Residential Program, University Writing Program, and Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Program.

Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare


  • Reside in the GW “Living and Learning” residence with the cohort
  • Live in double rooms with your own microwave and fridge; beautiful sports complex; gym; six-lane outdoor pool; cable TV; high-speed Internet
  • Extensive DVD collection and popcorn
  • Ride free 24-hour shuttles to and from the Foggy Bottom Campus
  • Live among people with shared intellectual passions and academic goals
  • Plan cultural events and the annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration


  • As a sophomore you can apply to continue to live on Mt Vernon or move elsewhere
  • Ride free 24-hour shuttles to and from the Foggy Bottom Campus
  • Live among people with shared intellectual passions and academic goals
  • Plan cultural events and the annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration

Compelling Themes

  • Shakespeare on film
  • International politics in Shakespeare
  • Women, minorities, and representations of power
  • Leadership lessons from Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare and the American founding fathers
  • Shakespearean London
  • Early modern Europe in Shakespeare’s Eyes
  • Early modern manuscript and print culture
  • Histories of cultural globalization and Shakespeare
  • What makes us human?

Why Shakespeare in Washington?

Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare provides students unparalleled access to the resources of the nation’s capital. These include The Folger Shakespeare Library,  home to the largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art; the award-winning Folger Theatre, which has earned a reputation for producing innovative interpretations of works by Shakespeare and his contemporaries; and the Shakespeare Theatre Company, a major international player in the presentation and preservation of classic theatre.

The George Washington University Department of English, its award-winning faculty in Shakespeare and early modern studies, and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute offer unparalleled resources. Students can also take advantage of GW’s connections with leading DC institutions, including the Shakespeare Theatre Company and Folger Shakespeare Library.

More Information 

No separate application is required for admission to the program. All students who are admitted to GWU will automatically be considered for a place in this special program, but it will be helpful if you indicate your interest in this program in your college application essay. For admission requirements for the university, click here. For questions about the Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare, send an email to or contact Professor Alexa Huang.

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