The MA in English provides the opportunity for students with diverse backgrounds and interests to develop their strengths and explore possibilities in a range of areas.
Students select one of three tracks to apply to:
- A traditional concentration in Literature, including film studies
- The Creative Writing track, which includes both creative writing and supporting literary study
- An innovative track in English Studies, where students develop an individualized plan of study in which they may choose coursework for Literature, Creative Writing and/or Professional and Technical Writing, according to their interests.
The program is small enough to foster a lively integrated community across the different tracks, yet graduate students have access to a wide range of course options. They get to work intensively with advisors of their choosing as they develop their research or creative interests.
Individuals teaching in Iowa community colleges are not required to hold state-issued teaching licenses. However, graduate course work in postsecondary education may strengthen one’s qualifications for teaching at a community college.
The program is small enough to foster a lively integrated community across the different tracks, yet graduate students have access to a wide range of course options.
Assistantships in various roles in the Department also give many students applied learning opportunities and a chance to further hone professional skills.
Find out More
Have questions or want more information? Fill out the form to the right and someone from the department will contact you directly. To receive general university information from UNI’s admissions office, please visit Request More Info About UNI.
Why choose UNI for your English M.A.?
My time in UNI’s MA English program allowed me the space to explore and discover. It was one of the most creative and productive times in my life so far and opened many doors for my future. The faculty are top-notch and deeply care about your development and success, both professionally and as a person. The depth of insight that is fostered through the study of literature, through writing, and through reading as a writer has enabled me to better understand and communicate with others.
Darek Benesh, Associate Dean, Global Learning & Past Professor of English, Kirkwood Community College
How to Apply
What you need to apply
Students interested in this program must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list for other application requirements. English MA applicants must submit the following to be considered for admission:
/ Statement of Purpose
/ Two letters of reference
/ Official transcripts
/ Applicants to the Literature emphasis and English Studies emphasis must submit a writing sample that consists of an analytic, technical, or research paper of at least seven pages or, if the applicant does not have one available, a piece of writing demonstrating comparable skills.
/ Applicants to the Creative Writing emphasis must submit a writing sample that consists of an analytic, technical, or research paper of at least seven pages or, if the applicant does not have one available, a piece of writing demonstrating comparable skills. In addition, creative writing applicants must submit approximately 25 pages of poetry, fiction, and/or creative nonfiction.
/ Official TOEFL or IELTS English proficiency scores (International applicants only)
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission to the program.
For full admission, applicants from non-native English speaking countries are required to submit official scores from one of the following tests to demonstrate English proficiency: a score of 100 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), a score of 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a score of 120 on Duolingo.
A student may be required to take additional English language improvement courses at the discretion of the English Graduate Faculty. This does not count toward the minimum of 30 to 36 hours required to complete the selected emphasis.
Individuals teaching in Iowa community colleges are not required to hold state issued teaching licenses. However, graduate course work in postsecondary education may strengthen one’s qualifications for teaching at a community college. Contact individual colleges to determine the requirements for teaching appointments at each institution.
The English MA is available with the thesis and non-thesis options degree. Applicants must select one of the following emphases:
/ Literature: minimum 30 semester hours - thesis and non-thesis options
/ English Studies: minimum 30 semester hours - thesis and non-thesis options
/ Creative Writing: minimum 36 semester hours - thesis option only
A minimum of 15 hours of 6000-level course work is required for each option. Successful completion of a final field examination is required for all English students. Those pursuing the non-thesis option are required to complete an approved research paper.
Graduate assistants in English, TESOL, and TESOL/Spanish may be assigned teaching positions, or they may be assigned research-related positions; these include a range of non-teaching positions relevant to the student’s area of study, such as working for individual professors on projects, working for UNI’s Culture and Intensive English Program (CIEP), or working for the nation’s oldest literary magazine, the North American Review.