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Best Graduate Degrees for English Majors

There are a variety of graduate degree options for students who selected an English major during their undergraduate career. We'll explore these options and their respective focuses.

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Individuals who have obtained or are enrolled in bachelor's degrees in the field of English may be curious about what kinds of related graduate programs are available if they are interested in pursuing further education. While English majors could qualify for a variety of graduate programs, there are several programs that would be an especially good fit for students interested in continuing their study of English or a closely related field. We will discuss some of these options below.

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  • American Literature
  • British Literature

Graduate Degrees for English Majors

We will discuss three different graduate programs that English majors may want to consider. A student's career goals and individual interests will likely help them decide what kind of graduate program to apply for, as the options below could potentially lead to very different careers.

Master of Science in Journalism

Students who are drawn to the field of journalism, or have an interest in working in the media, may want to think about applying to a one-year Master of Science in Journalism program. With a background in English, students will likely be well-prepared for this degree program especially if they choose to pursue one of the more writing-heavy specializations that are often offered, like investigative reporting or politics and national security. Common course topics in these programs methods in journalism, modern journalism, ethics, and digital journalism. Students who complete these degree programs may go on to careers as newspaper writers, investigative journalists, and authors, among a number of other options.

Master of Arts in English

Some students may be interested in continuing their studies of English by enrolling in a Master of Arts in English program. This degree will focus on various periods of literature, both American and British, and may offer students the option of specializing in a track like literature or rhetoric. Generally, these programs take two years to complete and culminate in a thesis or capstone portfolio project. Some courses that are common to Master of Arts in English programs include medieval literature, literary theory, and linguistics. Some students enroll in these programs if they are planning to become teachers at the post-secondary level in literature or English.

Master of Education

Another option for students who have an undergraduate background in English is to enroll in a Master of Education program. There are typically a very large number of options when it comes to selecting one of these programs, as most schools offer a number of pathways and specialization options depending on your interests. For example, individuals who are interested in working as teachers may enroll in a Teacher Education or Early Childhood Special Education pathway, while others who are more interested in policy and administration may prefer an Educational Leadership and Policy Studies specialization. The curriculum of these programs varies significantly depending on the particular pathway that you choose.

Admission Requirements for Graduate Programs

Admission requirements vary by program, but having a bachelor's degree is always a prerequisite to being considered for admission. Some programs, like Master of Arts in English programs, have a minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0 in all undergraduate coursework. Most of these programs require that students submit GRE scores in order to apply, along with a personal statement, transcripts from their undergraduate institution, a resumé, and the application form itself.

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