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Colleges and Universities Offering a Masters Degree in Literature

Earning a master's degree in literature is ideal for students who enjoy reading and writing. Read on for more information on choosing a literature master's degree program and the best universities for English degrees.

Master's degree programs in literature prepare students to work as writers, secondary school teachers or in any other field that requires individuals who can communicate effectively. Literature programs leading to master's degrees may or may not require that students write a thesis in which they conduct extensive research on a specific literary topic or theory.

Top 10 Schools with English Graduate Degrees

The following table details some of the top schools offering English graduate programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Graduate Tuition (2015-16*)
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public $11,220 (In-state)
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit $41,832
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit $45,729
Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit $42,280
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 4-year, Private not-for-profit $43,450
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit $31,068
Yale University New Haven, CT 4-year, Private not-for-profit $38,700
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit $29,500
University of Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, Private not-for-profit $51,624
Duke University Durham, NC 4-year, Private $47,590

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Choosing a Literature School

Literature students may wish to keep the following considerations in mind when deciding on a school:

  • Programs that boast faculty members who hold doctoral degrees from prestigious universities may be beneficial for some students pursuing graduate degrees in literature.
  • Students may wish to consider available specializations in a literature program, such as concentrations in creative writing, linguistics or poetry.
  • Students who work full time or have other responsibilities may prefer applying to schools offering online and other distance education opportunities.
  • Students interested in teaching careers may seek a graduate degree program that provides them with the opportunity to simultaneously earn master's degrees in both literature and education.

Many of the top schools in the country offer graduate programs in English literature. For those students aspiring to teach English literature in a secondary school, completing courses in education is also important in order to find work as English teachers later on.

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