M.A.in English

The Department offers graduate studies leading to the Master of Arts in English with concentrations in American Literature, British Literature, Professional Writing, and Teaching, all of which prepare students for careers in teaching, writing, and a wide variety of professional fields or further graduate study leading to the doctorate. Students in the residency program study nearly entirely on campus and must complete between 30-36 hours of graduate coursework, three of which may be thesis work.


The Master of Arts program features advanced study in British and American literature, in professional writing and editing, and in rhetoric and pedagogy.  The program requires students to complete one of four areas of concentration.

American LiteratureAmerican Literature
This concentration enriches the student’s understanding of a national literature and can serve as a stepping stone for a Ph.D. in literary studies.

British LiteratureBritish Literature
Like the American Literature concentration, British Literature gives students an understanding of the national literature and preparation for a doctorate.

Professional WritingProfessional Writing
The Professional Writing concentration accommodates those who plan to pursue careers outside education in professional or creative writing.

The Teaching concentration is designed for those who wish to teach at the community college level and for elementary and secondary school teachers.

Degree Requirements
| Course Descriptions | (PDF)


Many M.A. students work off-campus and pursue degrees part-time; to accommodate them, the department regularly schedules courses in the late afternoon and evening and online. Most students hold undergraduate degrees in English, but students with degrees in other fields may be admitted upon condition that they take necessary background courses.


The Master of Arts program is sufficiently flexible to accommodate a range of academic interests and to help prepare students for several different career paths. Our graduates have gone on to choose one of four options: to pursue the doctoral degree; to teach in secondary schools, junior colleges, colleges, and universities; to undertake further professional training, most often in law; or to work as professional or technical writers.

Careers in English | Research