The Online M.A. in English

The English Department is proud to announce its new online Master of Arts program, designed to make the UNO M.A. in English more accessible to our students. Its focus is basically two-part—giving students advanced subject-matter expertise in both literature and rhetoric/professional writing. To earn this degree, students must complete 36 credit hours of coursework. Up to nine of these hours may be taken on campus.

Students are advised each semester by the Graduate Coordinator, working out a program of study that best fits the student’s needs. Online courses are taught by the same English Department faculty members who teach in the on-site M.A. and M.F.A. programs. A diverse group of students enroll in our online courses: students from the online and on-site M.A. programs, as well as those who are enrolled in the resident and low-residency M.F.A. programs.

Core Courses

Students begin their study with five core courses (15 total hours):

  • Introduction to Graduate Studies in English (ENGL 6280)
  • A course in British Literature,
  • A course in American Literature,
  • A course in Rhetoric, and
  • A course in Professional Writing.


The Online Master of Arts program requires students to choose one of two concentrations: Literary Studies or Rhetoric and Professional Writing. For each of these concentrations, a student works with the Graduate Coordinator to choose three additional courses beyond the core (9 hours).

Course Descriptions


In addition to the core and concentration, a student in the Online M.A. chooses four additional courses (12 hours) to complete the 36 hours for the degree.

Comprehensive Exams and/or Thesis

As conclusion for their study, students must either
successfully complete one comprehensive exam (usually an exam in the student’s concentration) and write and defend a thesis (the thesis counts for 3 hours of credit);
or successfully complete two comprehensive exams.


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. Most of 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