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Master of Arts in English

Our graduate students arrive with the passion and ambition to learn about English-language literature, and leave with the ability to put their knowledge to use in rewarding careers.

The M.A. in English is designed to provide a broad background in English literatures and to introduce students to methods of critical analysis and scholarship.

John Carroll’s Master of Arts students benefit from a comprehensive selection of course offerings, providing an in-depth study of literature. The program allows ample opportunity to improve students’ research and writing skills so that our graduates can make exemplary contributions to their chosen fields, whether that means doctoral programs, university or secondary-school teaching, or a host of other careers that value critical thinking and skillful communication.

Our program also offers paid Graduate Assistant positions. Supported by close faculty mentoring, Graduate Assistants develop their professional capacities by teaching in the classroom and tutoring in the John Carroll Writing Center.

For more information, please see our MA Handbook or contact Director of Graduate Studies in English Jean Feerick

To apply, fill out an online admission form.

Graduate Assistant Scholarships

Financial aid is available in the form of graduate assistantships, including teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Those awarded teaching assistantships receive tuition remission and a nine-month stipend to support their study. 

Graduate Assistants provide crucial professional services in the Department of English. Graduate Assistants are full-time students, but their workload typically includes assisting a faculty member in a composition course during the first semester of study and then teaching one composition course during the second semester of the first year.

Second-year GAs typically teach one or two composition courses each term or work in the office of Assessment. GAs serve as tutors in our writing center.

A Department of English faculty committee selects Graduate Assistants from among a pool of applicants. The process is competitive.

Students interested in applying for the position should request application materials from the Office of Graduate Studies.

The selection committee pays special attention to these materials submitted by applicants:

  1. Academic writing sample
  2. Personal statement of the candidate’s aims for graduate study
  3. Evidence that shows preparation for or promise of effective classroom teaching
  4. Recommendations by former literature professors

The Master of Arts in English is designed to provide a broad background in English literatures and to introduce students to methods of critical analysis and scholarly technique. The department welcomes students interested in preparing themselves for doctoral programs, teachers intent on deepening their understanding of literature, and persons eager to enrich their lives through reading and writing. The program cultivates broad reading, rigorous analysis of texts, and extended writing informed by research. It includes coursework spanning a range of historical periods from the medieval to the present.

Students will:

  1. Analyze and evaluate texts to form and articulate accomplished interpretations of those texts.
  2. Produce extended written analyses of literary texts, informed by research, that demonstrate awareness of audience, knowledge of critical theory, understanding of formal elements of language and genre, formulation of an original question of thesis within the field, sophisticated organization, and clear and persuasive argumentation.
  3. Build oral communication skills by listening to others’ ideas and articulating their own responses and questions clearly to situate themselves in a larger critical and/or theoretical conversation that begins in but extends beyond the classroom.
  4. Incorporate knowledge of cultural and historical contexts of Anglophone and translated creative works into original interpretations of those works.

We invite applicants from any accredited college or university who wish to pursue graduate studies in English, American, and Anglophone literatures. Applicants to the programs usually have taken at least six upper division undergraduate courses in English, American, and world literature. Details on the application process can be found at this link!

Students are required to take four courses that examine pre-Romantic materials, and four courses that examine materials from the Romantics onwards. The MA project is either an essay that engages with the scholarship on a particular literary work (or works) or for those on the writing track, a creative project in poetry or prose. 

Please see the Graduate Bulletin for more detailed information.

  • A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. Graduate assistants are given a tuition waiver for up to 15 credit hours per year plus a stipend. Students are expected to spend 20 hours per week working for the department. Graduate assistants teach composition courses and work in the Writing Center.
  • The University’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid offers assistance on student loans.