The Master of Arts in English focuses on writing, teaching, and literary studies. Serious intellectual work takes place in the landscape of the Northern Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone region. Students develop close mentoring relationships with faculty members who have expertise in fields such as Writing Studies, education and pedagogy, British literature, and the literature of the American West. The literature courses in the MA focus on how writing is born from, intersects with, and creates landscapes. Our graduate classes cover a range of literature from different countries of origin and time periods, but always with a focus on the vital role of space. Such inquiry considers the iconic terrain of the American West, the battlefields of Europe, and other settings both rural and urban. At the same time, a full understanding of landscape entails mapping narrative minds as we delve into the myriad fascination that writers and readers have with places both familiar and alien.

The Master of Arts degree requires 30 credits. Students may elect to write either a scholarly thesis (Plan A) or a professional paper (Plan B) in our two-year program. Plan A involves 24 hours of course work and 6 hours of professional paper. Plan B entails 20 hours of course work and 10 hours of thesis.  Please see Program Requirements for more information.

Students’ interests for earning the degree varies. The MA in English can prepare students to go on to PhD programs in literature or writing studies, as well as MFA programs in creative writing. Students also go on to teach in secondary education and higher education, work in the business sector, and work for non-profit agencies. Others pursue the degree for personal enrichment.

Note: Most of our graduate students have completed the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree in English. Students with undergraduate degrees other than English are encouraged to apply; however, you may be required to take additional English courses as a condition of your acceptance.

Financial Assistance

Graduate students may apply for departmental teaching assistantships, which are awarded on a competitive basis. The department typically awards up to six teaching assistantships to our top applicants each year.  To apply for an assistantship, discuss your interest in teaching in the personal essay you will submit as part of your application packet.