Best Graduate Degrees for Writers

May 13, 2018

Writers can best benefit from a graduate degree in English or creative writing. These degree programs have many course options in common and may carry most of the same entry requirements.

It's true that anyone can be a writer, but some degree programs prepare students to excel in this area. Graduate degrees in English or creative writing can teach you about various genres of literature, the roots of the English language, and the best methods for writing. Find out more about possible course options and common entry requirements below.

Solid Graduate Degrees for Writers to Pursue

Anyone who wants to become a writer could benefit from earning either a Master of Arts in English or a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Dual programs that combine certain aspects of each may also be found. These degrees offer options such as the following courses to help support your writing goals.

American Literature

Studies in American literature can be divided into different time periods. Courses will examine the various works, writers, movements, and genres that have defined American literature over its history. Students will explore literary themes of specific movements and periods, along with the possible influences on society.

British Literature

Courses in British literature look at the writers who defined Britain. As with American literature, these classes may focus on a specific period or can broadly look at the history of this literature. Students might explore readings within the context of various cultural or political phenomena.

Teaching Writing

Not uncommonly, these graduate degree programs also involve learning about how to teach writing. Some may choose teaching as a way to augment income, while others may select this avenue as a way of reinforcing their own writing skills. Courses in teaching pass on the pedagogy and theories of education, and students might learn strategies for teaching learners at various levels.

Film Study

Various courses might delve into the history of film, in addition to film theory and contemporary film criticism. Film genres may also be examined, including the various styles, actors, and directors. Students interested in screenwriting may find that these courses offer a firm foundation on which to understand the main elements of traditional screenplays.

Personal Writing

Either of these graduate degrees will require that you write. If your passion is fiction, you could explore how to appropriately present characters, depict points of view, and evaluate the fiction of others. You might also hone your writing skills through the practice of creative non-fiction or by writing literary analyses and criticisms.

Entry Requirements

Admissions into graduate programs in English or creative writing often ask students to demonstrate that they maintained a minimum GPA of 3.0, although students will sometimes be provisionally accepted if they maintained a GPA of 2.75. Students might also be asked to submit graduate test scores. Depending on the program, you may also be required to submit a writing sample or portfolio of written works.

Graduate degrees in English or creative writing introduce you to literature and films from numerous genres and give you the tools necessary for their written analysis. You can also sharpen your own writing skills and learn methods for imparting those strengths to others.


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