Children's Literature Master's Degree Online

Although rather scarce, master's degree programs in children's literature are sometimes offered fully online or as hybrid programs with residency requirements. Here you will find common requirements, typical courses, and possible career paths for these degree programs. Schools offering English Language & Literature degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Earning an Online Children's Literature Master's Degree

Graduate students who enter these programs are often interested in literacy or creative writing and typically will be expected to have a bachelor's degree in English, creative writing, communications, or a related field, with demonstrated skills in literary analysis, composition, and critical thinking. For online children's literature master's programs, students will spend approximately 2 years or earn 30 credit hours in courses such as the following.

Children's Literature

These courses typically focus on specific texts geared toward children and related topics in children's literature. Topics may include the work of influential authors. Students might analyze these influential works and discuss them in term of historical context, societal impact, predominant themes, subjects, and messages conveyed.

Young Adult Literature

These courses usually highlight literature written for youth and young adults. Topics may include widely-read authors, with discussions about literary elements, context, and influence. By studying literature for both young children and teens, students can receive a broad education that may help them choose a focus for their own research and projects.

Creative Writing

Depending on the program chosen, students pursuing children's literature master's degrees online may be able to take creative writing courses. Courses in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction can help students hone their compositional skills while teaching them about plot, dialogue, analogy, and many other literary elements they will encounter while reading and writing children's and young adult literature. Well-rounded creative writers could then graduate with a firm grasp of the craft for their own endeavors and further study.

Literary Form and Genre

These courses are often intended to introduce students to the diverse forms that children's literature may take and the genres into which it may fall. Topics may include picture books, graphic novels, poetry, adventure, ghost stories, fables, young adult romance, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, or dystopian fiction. The way children's literature has evolved and continues to evolve over time may be emphasized, and the courses might also focus on a particular time in history.

Special Topics in Juvenile Literature

Such courses could critically address topics such as the relationship between the child audience and children's literature, along with the reader's ability to connect to and find meaning in the text. Topics explored may include narrative elements, plot devices, character development, and personal relevance. The unique dynamic between the young audience and the typically adult or older narrator may be a focus of these courses, which may delve into psychology and education topics.

Careers Related to Online Children's Literature Master's Degrees

Author

Children's literature authors create original works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, or comic books. A firm understanding of the craft of writing and the literary elements of plot, narrative, characters, and themes are necessary for this position. Successful authors may top bestseller lists and reach a young audience of millions with impactful, quality work.

Editor

Editors help prepare material for publication by proofreading, organizing, and making revisions or suggestions for improvement. Many editors work for publishers, including those of children's literature. Having a keen eye, a love for the written word, and the ability to work within tight deadlines are all required in this position.

Author Agent

In order to effectively represent those who write for children and young adults, agents will probably want to know something about the literature, itself. Potential agents can learn more about the craft through these types of master's degree programs. It's also not uncommon for author agents to pursue publication, themselves.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-28)*
Writers and Authors $62,170 0%
Editor $59,480 -3%
Author Agent $66,040 (agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes 10% (agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Children's literature master's degrees with a focus on literacy or creative writing are occasionally offered fully online or as hybrid programs with residency requirements. Programs typically span about 2 years or require 30 credits, through courses in literature, creative writing, literary form/genre, and various special topics related to juvenile works.

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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