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Graduate Certificate Programs in English Literature

Oct 16, 2019

Non-degree graduate certificates in English literature focus on time period writing as well as particular genres. Some students might choose to pursue a graduate certificate to augment their higher learning while others wish to gain valuable teaching experience.

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A graduate certificate in English literature can give learners the tools necessary to teach at the high school or lower collegiate level. Some students pursue a graduate certificate in English literature as a part of another graduate course of study or for supplementation of their course schedules.

Graduate Certificate in English Literature

English literature graduate certificates are usually around 18 credit hours in length, or 6 courses long, and some programs will require a final exam or paper. Courses often cover notable writers such as Shakespeare, specific time periods in literature, or specific geographic areas of literature. Find out more about common courses below.

Theory Courses

Famous authors are studied in these courses to give students a well-rounded education in literary theory. Sociocultural movements are studied within the literature as well as the dawning of certain writing techniques. Examples of theories examined are the thoughts of Freud or Queer Theory in writing.

Composition Courses

Courses in this subject will focus on form and technique. Often students work in cohorts and with advisors to learn mechanics and the finer art of writing. Students often will study example material to better understand complex literary concepts and how to apply them to writing.

Genre Courses

Courses may cover a specific genre in depth or several comparatively. Poetry, fiction, theater, and non-fiction are all examples of genres that could be studied in these courses. Reading selections will include renowned authors and playwrights in each of these categories (e.g. Shakespeare for theater, Mark Twain for literary fiction, etc.).

Period Courses

These courses cover a specific time period in the history of literature. Popular time periods to study are the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, the Renaissance, or the Reformation. Some classes will go back even further in history to cover the 16th century, medieval era, and ancient texts.

Geography Specific Courses

Geography specific courses will focus on a particular country or region's literature. For English literature, this may be Colonial studies or American literature, as well as British literature. Due to the historic robustness of the English Empire and then the United States, there are several geographies throughout the world that offer unique perspective in literature.

Program Admittance Requirements

Most schools will require undergraduate transcripts before entering a graduate certificate program as well as an application. Some require students have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, and GRE scores could be necessary. A personal intent statement and letters of recommendation are typical for admission. A writing sample may also be a requirement for literary certificates. Programs designed for students who are graduate students in other academic subjects must declare their intent to their departments before registering. Programs designed for post-bachelor's teachers of high school and lower collegiate level literature do not have this requirement.

Graduate certificate programs in English literature could include classes on theory, composition, and genre. Students may need transcripts and personal statements to gain admission, and programs may require six courses.

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