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All about the Master of Arts in English Literature

Thursday, December 20, 2018
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All about the Master of Arts in English Literature

If you're a lover of poetry, prose and every form of the written word, you might be interested in going back to school to pursue the subject at a higher level. A bachelor's degree in English can be fulfilling. This degree can provide you with job opportunities and enrich your knowledge of literature and the English language. If you'd like to delve further into the classic and modern written works, you may consider enrolling in an advanced degree in English & Literature.

In a graduate program, you will be pushed to read and comprehend literature at a higher level than you did during your bachelor's studies. You will discuss and write evaluations of the readings in complex, insightful ways. This sounds challenging, but the effects your hard work will have on your skills to read and write effectively make an M.A. in English Literature valuable.

woman looking at books in a libraryIf you are interested in comprehending literature on a deep level, you may benefit from an M.A. in English Literature.

Course requirements for an M.A. in English
While the exact courses needed to complete a master's degree in English literature vary from one university to another, they generally require courses in the following areas:

  • American literature
  • British literature
  • World literature
  • Literary theory
  • Film studies

Some programs encourage students to pursue a broad range of literature studies, while others persuade students to study a specialized form of literature. Most English Literature master's programs require students to complete a thesis on an approved topic in order to graduate. Under the supervision of a faculty member, graduate students will complete a polished essay that meets the university's desired word count. They may have to present their thesis to their peers or to the rest of the faculty, or they might submit the written thesis on its own.

After graduating with a master's in English Literature, students can take a few different routes. They can apply for Ph.D. programs in English, in which they can take their knowledge in the subject to new heights, or they can jump into a career in which they can put their exceptional written and verbal skills to use.

Career outlooks for English literature graduates
Most traditionally, degrees in literature are a means of propelling the graduate into a career in teaching. However, a broad range of careers have begun to open their eyes to the value of a degree in English. According to Southern New Hampshire University, a master's in English can lead to a career in the following areas:

  • Content writer
  • Editor
  • Post-secondary instructor
  • Survey researcher
  • Freelancer

Depending on the type of work you choose to pursue, you might work traditional nine-to-five hours in an office setting or variations of the eight-hour workday based on your environment. If you are able to work as a freelancer, however, you have the freedom to choose your own hours, making it a flexible, adaptable professional option.

Admissions expectations for M.A. students
Applying to a master's degree may take some time, but if you approach the process in an organized, systematic way, you will make the process more feasible. Although different graduate schools vary in their application requirements, the standard pieces of information that universities will take into account include:

  • Personal statement
  • Recommendation letters
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • GRE or other applicable test scores
  • Writing sample

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Queens College
Queens College offers more than 100 master's degrees and advanced certificates in the liberal arts, sciences, social sciences, and teacher education.
www.qc.cuny.edu