Scholarships & Opportunities

Several scholarships and awards, many of significant monetary value, are available each year to English majors. While most are based on academic merit, community service, or financial need, the annual departmental writing awards are based solely on writing samples.  All students are encouraged to submit to the writing awards, and to apply to any scholarships and awards for which they meet the criteria.

Board of Visitors Award

An annual award is given each year to a VCU student with an outstanding GPA (3.7 or higher) who has displayed a history of community engagement on the VCU campus, the local Richmond community, and beyond.  Students who wish to be considered for this award should send a letter detailing their community engagement, along with a resume, to Gretchen Comba ( no later than September 30th.

E. Allen Brown English Scholarship

In honor of the long-time chairman of the Department of English , a scholarship is awarded each year to an English major of rising senior status (75–90 credit hours) who has an outstanding GPA (usually 3.7 and above.) Students who meet these criteria are invited to submit applications at early in the spring semester.

The Dinah Grossman-Wolfe Book Award

This award, established by Mrs. Marilyn Ruben and husband Joel Ruben in memory of Mrs. Ruben’s mother and a 1968 graduate of the VCU English Department undergraduate program, Dinah Wolfe, provides recognition, incentive, and limited financial help to a rising junior English major (60-75 credit hours) with a GPA of at least 3.5 or higher who is having difficulty meeting the costs of completing an education at VCU.  This book award is designed to help the student offset his/her educational expenses related to textbook purchases.  Candidates should show a strong commitment to creativity, active participation in cultural events, and proven scholarship.

Students who meet these criteria are invited to submit applications at early in the spring semester.

The Riely Scholarship for Women

This scholarship, funded by and honoring the family of a two-degree graduate of the VCU English department, Jean Roy Riely, is offered to English major women who have earned a total of 60-90 credit hours, and who have returned to education after a significant interruption. These students, who should be in at least their second semester at VCU, should have a GPA of at least 3.0 since their return and have been successful in at least one upper level English course. Students who meet these criteria are invited to submit applications at early in the spring semester.

English Department Writing Awards

Each spring the English Department offers monetary prizes to students in the following categories: Critical Essay, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry.  The call for submissions begins late fall semester and runs through early to mid February, and is open to the entire VCU student community, though English majors who have taken creative writing courses are strongly encouraged to submit.  (Note: the category of Critical Essay is restricted to essays on literary topics.)  For submission guidelines contact R. Dale Smith at

Outstanding English Major

Each semester at least one graduating English major is selected for this award. Criteria for selection include outstanding grade point average (3.7 or higher), record of service to the department, school, university, and community, and recommendations of faculty. Eligibility for this award is determined from graduation applications submitted to R. Dale Smith, Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising. No separate application is necessary.

The Black History in the Making Award

This award is given each year to an African American English major of rising junior or senior status (60–90 credit hours) who has a strong GPA (3.5 or higher) and shows potential for graduate level work.  The English faculty chooses a recipient each spring. No application is necessary.


English majors can receive course credit for internships involving writing, editing, research, or teaching.  Although not required for graduation, internships can provide students with professional experience and a sense of how their major can translate to a work setting.  For a list of area organizations and businesses that offer internships to VCU English majors, contact R. Dale Smith at Students interested in Blackbird internships should email the Associate Editor at

ENGL 493 VCU Student Internship application

Gretchen Comba, Director of Undergraduate Studies
R. Dale Smith, Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising

Upcoming Deadlines

Fall Break
OCTOBER 19, 2017

Course Withdrawal Deadline
NOVEMBER 03, 2017

Thanksgiving Holiday Break
NOVEMBER 22, 2017

Last Day of Classes
DECEMBER 08, 2017



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