Studying English at the graduate level has several different paths. You could exit school with a master's degree or go on to earn a doctorate if you wish to become a teacher yourself. Below are just a few of the many California schools that offer graduate study in English and details about their programs.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- American Literature
- British Literature
Schools in California Offering Graduate Programs in English
California State University, Northridge
CSU Northridge contains three distinct study areas for a Master of Arts in English. In the Creative Writing track, you will hone your craft to become an expert writer and potentially teach others about the art form. With Rhetoric and Composition, you focus on theoretical approaches to the practice of writing and research. Finally, the Literature track allows you to study a number of different literary periods and the history surrounding their relevant events. A teaching assistant program is available for all students in the English graduate program, giving you necessary experience for a future career as an English teacher.
California State University, Los Angeles
The LA branch of Cal State has a Master of Arts in English. If you want to teach writing at the community college or university level, you could use this degree to secure a job in the future. The degree also qualifies you for a career as a professional in media, whether you want to write or work in book publishing. Creative writing, composition, and literary criticism are all covered in the degree's plan of study. You could also use this M.A. to move on to a doctoral degree in English.
University of California, Los Angeles
Unlike other English graduate programs, UCLA does not contain a terminal master's degree. Instead, direct admission to a Ph.D. in English is offered. The school admits anywhere from 10 to 12 students per year, and you can learn about critical methodologies and different canons of literature. A number of different research centers are located in UCLA, including the Getty Research Institute and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. You will receive full funding for your studies during your time as a Ph.D. student at UCLA.
Loyola Marymount University
Similar to the other schools, LMU offers a Master of the Arts in English. Admitted students can choose from three areas of study: Composition and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, or Literature. Regardless of your specialization choice, you will be able to perform research about different periods of literature that all remain relevant to today's canon. Once you reach the end of the program, you will work on a final project that reflects your advancement and accomplishment as a student. This could take the form of an independent research project or a capstone piece of creative writing. LMU is in Los Angeles.
California Baptist University
Located in Riverside, CBU offers a Master of Arts in English. The two-year program lasts for a total of 30 credits, and it contains three options for concentrations. Along with Literature and English Pedagogy, there is a concentration option for TESOL. You can study British and American literature as part of your master's degree, along with film study and rhetoric. You may also be able to work with the English department newsletter during your time as a student.
Admissions Requirements for English Graduate Programs in California
As with any graduate program, you will need a bachelor's degree before applying to a graduate program in English. If your degree is not in English, it should be in a closely related field from the humanities. GRE scores should be submitted to each school you are attending, unless they provide an exemption for those with high GPA averages as an undergraduate. Prospective Ph.D. students should take both the General GRE as well as the Literature in English Subject Exam. Writing samples should be between 15 and 25 pages, and you can provide what you think is your best work in your specialty field. Letters of recommendation should be written by your instructors who are familiar with your ability as a writer, researcher, and/or future teacher.
Choosing a graduate plan of study in English largely comes down to what you want to do in the future. California offers several levels of degrees for aspiring writers and educators alike, and concentrations in areas like literature, creative writing, and rhetoric are available.