Graduate Program

What can you do with an MA in English?

Our program prepares students for teaching English at the middle-school, high school, and college levels. (An MA in English can sometimes lead to a pay increases for teachers.) Our students have received offers to competitive PhD programs (including Duke University, University of Washington, University of Illinois—Chicago, UC Los Angeles, UC Irvine, University of South Carolina, University of Kansas, and Claremont Graduate University). Finally, some of our students have gone on to work in corporate and non-profit organizations as professional writers and editors.

MA in English Studies

The English Studies graduate program provides a strong foundation in primary knowledge areas, including history of the English language, the major genres and the theory of genre, approaches to literacy, and the impact of technology on reading and writing. The program invites MA candidates to build on this foundation by developing an expertise in teaching, and by expanding their content knowledge with courses in rhetoric, literature, film, and applied linguistics.

  • Outstanding applications that arrive before March 1 of each year, for Fall or Spring enrollment, will be considered for merit-based partial tuition scholarships. 
  • We are part of the Western Regional Graduate Program, which allows students from several participating states to pay in-state tuition if accepted to our graduate program. Click here for more information, and to find out if you're eligible.

Master of Arts in English Studies Requirements

I.  General Requirements (15 hours)

  • ENGL 5100 Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • ENGL 5135 Linguistics & Global English
  • ENGL 5145 Theory (Literary and Rhetorical Theory)
  • ENGL 5155 Genres of Writing
  • ENGL 5165 Technologies of Writing

II. Electives (12 hours)

Students may choose to concentrate 12 hours of English graduate courses in a particular area of study that meets the student’s goals in the program. 

III. Language Diversity Requirement

The English MA Language Diversity Requirement can be fulfilled in the following ways:

  • First language other than English
  • Two semesters (or the equivalent) at the college level of any second language, including Old English, American Sign Language, computer coding, translation
  • ENGL 5601: Principles and Practices of Second Language Acquisition (would also count as an elective)

IV. Capstone Project (3-6 hours)

  • ENGL 6970 Portfolio Exam (3 hours) OR
  • ENGL 6950 Master's Thesis (4-6 hours) 

V. Additional Information

Candidate for Degree:

Graduate students must be registered for at least one credit hour during the semester that they graduate. Those who have completed all required courses and requirements may register for Candidate for Degree: CAND 5940 section 900

Teaching Assistantships:

Graduate students who receive a teaching assistantship must take ENGL 5913 Practicum in Language and Rhetoric in the fall during their first semester as a teaching assistant. ENGL 5913 may also be counted as an elective.

Independent Study:

Graduate students may only count 6 credit hours of Independent Study toward the English degree.

Total Hours Required: 

30-33 hours  **All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted**.

For questions about the MA in English Studies or to schedule a Zoom meeting to talk about the program, please contact Gillian Silverman, Graduate Director, Department of English