English M.A.

Foster a lively, integrated community

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.

student with book and flying papers

Boost your 

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. 

Small Class

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 about English M.A.

Tell us more and we'll send information on how you can succeed with a graduate degree in English from the University of Northern Iowa College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences.

Karen Tracey, Ph.D.

Graduate Program Coordinator

(319) 273-2571


Career Opportunities

Careers are broad depending on the emphasis you choose. For example, these careers might be:

  • Adjunct Instructor
  • Content Writer
  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • English Instructor
  • Grant Writer
  • Independent Consultant
  • Publisher
  • Teacher
  • Technical Writer
  • Writing Coach

Courses & Curriculum

  • Methods of Graduate Study in English
  • Electives: Research, Creative Writing Workshop, Seminar in the Teaching of English, Topics in Literary Criticism.

Emphases and final project options are: 

  • Literature: thesis and non-thesis
  • English Studies: thesis and non-thesis
  • Creative Writing: thesis 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.

Next Steps

Requirements for Admission

  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Two letters of reference
  • Writing Sample (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)
  • Creative Writing applicants must submit approximately 25 pages of poetry, fiction, and/or creative nonfiction
  • 2.75 is the minimum GPA to be accepted without provision; applicants with a GPA lower than 2.75 may still be admitted provisionally, at the discretion of the program and the Graduate College
  • Application fee (this can be waived or deferred, see if you qualify).

Although the program has rolling admissions and admits students for both Fall and Spring semesters, applications must be on file by February1st for full admission and funding consideration.