Master of Arts in English (MA)

Visit the Master of English Program.                                                                                                               View pdf flyer

Visit the Department of English.

Visit the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Program Overview 

The program in English is designed to prepare students for professional advancement and for further study in literature and writing. Graduate students in English may select either a literature or a writing track. The literature track emphasizes the study of literary texts with related study of writing.  Conversely, the writing track emphasizes the study and practice of writing with related study of literature.  Both tracks also require study of related theory, as well as an internship in the context of an undergraduate literature/writing course and a portfolio of written work.  Students in both programs will not only become familiar with the aesthetic, formal, and theoretical underpinnings of their field of study, but they will also learn how to address their audiences by means of professional discourse.

Estimated Time to Complete the Program

Students carrying full-time course loads can reasonably complete the Master of Arts in English program in two years.  Part-time students may take up to five years to complete the program.

Semester Hours Required 

The Master of Arts in English Program has a minimum requirement of 30 semester hours.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements of the Graduate School, applicants for the MA in English program shall include the following material with the application:

  1. An essay of under 1500 words stating what the applicant expects to achieve from the study of English (literature and writing) at the master's level.
  2. A writing sample (professional, critical, creative) that the applicant deems to be representative of the quality of his or her work.  The sample may be an undergraduate paper, professional work, or work prepared for personal use.  (The sample will not be returned.  Please submit a copy.)
  3. Two letters of recommendation from references whose discipline is English literature or writing or from employers who have experience in the field of literature or writing.  For those applicants who no longer have contact with either, the recommendations should be from those who can comment on the applicant's ability to benefit from a graduate program in English.

* Please note: The GRE is not required for admission to the MA in English program.

Faculty Research Interests and Related Specialties

Christine Blouch

18th Century British Women Writers

18th Century British Literature

Susan Brill de Ramirez

American Indian Literature

Literary Criticism and Theory

Timothy Conley

Early American Literature

American Literature/Studies

Literary Theory

Martha Craig


Peter Dusenbery

Technical/Professional Writing

Danielle Glassmeyer

20th Century American Literature
Jean Jost

Medieval Literature

Chaucerian and Arthurian Literature

Seth Katz


Computer-Supported Literature


Language Theory



Melinda McBee Orzulak

Composition Theory

English Education

Young Adult Literature

Caitriona Moloney

Irish Writers

Contemporary British Literature

Jeanne Muzzillo

English Education

Young Adult Literature

Thomas Palakeel

18th Century Post-Colonial Literary Theory

Creative Non-fiction

Robert Prescott


19th Century Romantic Literature

Romantic Poetry

Kevin Stein

20th Century American Poetry, Criticism and Aesthetics

Creative Writing Poetry

The Literary Marketplace

Kevin Swafford

19th and early 20th Century British Literature

Laurie Vickroy

18th/20th Century Novel

Literature and Psychology

Women Writers

Demetrice Worley

Composition Theory/Pedagogy

African American Literature

Creative Writing

Visual Imagery and Writing

Department Contact information

Department Chair
Mr. Lee Newton, (309) 677-2471,

Graduate Coordinator 
Dr. Susan Berry Brill de Ramirez, (309) 677-3888,

Department Secretary
Shelly Walker, (309) 677-2490,