Master's Degrees in English: Online and Campus-Based Programs

At the master's degree level, you might choose a specialty within an English program, and you can also choose to complete a thesis or non-thesis track. Find out more about degree program options and potential careers. Schools offering English Language & Literature degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Study in a Master's in English Program?

English master's degree programs provide you advanced training in literature, linguistics and writing. The curriculum explores multiple periods and genres of literature, as well as the theories and principles of composition. You can learn pedagogy methods in literacy, literature studies and writing for teaching in postsecondary institutions. You may choose a general English program or concentrate your program in areas such as these:

  • Rhetoric
  • English education
  • Creative writing
  • Multicultural literature
  • American literature

You may also choose from thesis and non-thesis programs. In a thesis track program, you are expected to write and defend, in front of a supervisory council, an original thesis paper and research. Non-thesis students complete a final research project in lieu of a thesis. However, both options require you to pass a final exam prior to completion of the program.

Concentrations Creative writing, American literature, rhetoric, multicultural literature, English education
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree required; prerequisite coursework standardized test scores and minimum GPA may be required, depending upon the institution
Possible Careers Professor, teacher, librarian
Technology Requirements A computer with internet connectivity that meets the universities' hardware and software requirements

What Are the Prerequisites?

As with most master's programs, you are required to hold a bachelor's prior to admittance into the program. However, if your undergraduate degree was not in English, you may be required to take several prerequisite upper division English and literature courses prior to full entrance into the program. Other prerequisites include meeting a school's threshold for graduate test scores and college grade point average.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

A master's degree provides you with the pedagogical skills, literature knowledge and research ability to work in a variety of positions in English education and related industries. As an English professional, you can find career opportunities in any area requiring literature or writing knowledge including schools, colleges and universities. Possible job titles include librarian, adjunct professor and English teacher.

How Do Online Programs Work?

Online programs offer the same curriculum as on-campus programs; the difference is in the delivery method. Instead of going to campus to attend classes, you will simply log on to your computer at your convenience. You must meet computer hardware and software requirements and have an Internet connection to access online course systems, such as WebCT or Blackboard. You will use instant messenger, e-mail and discussion boards as communication tools to interact with other students and professors. Lectures are typically pre-recorded and can be viewed at anytime; however, assignments will have specified due dates.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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