Online Masters in Literature and Writing MFA Degree Programs

Online Masters in Literature and Writing Programs offer the working adults the opportunity to study remotely instead of having to commute to class. Often a Masters degree in Literature and Writing is appealing to teachers who seek credentialing in order to teach at a 4-year college in the English faculty, or as a springboard to a Doctorate degree. Distance-learning allows you to schedule study around your other activities; if you need some flexibility in order to earn a graduate degree, an Online Masters in Literature and Writing Degree warrants consideration. Online Masters in Literature and Writing MFA: Program Basics

Online Literature and Writing Masters Degree Programs Information

Online Masters in Literature and Writing Programs may be very similar to their on-campus counterparts as more and more graduate schools adopt web-based programming options. Applicants need a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, and may also have to furnish letters of recommendation and some form of writing sample or portfolio. Attending full-time, one may be able to complete an online master’s program in literature and writing in one to two years. However, there are part-time programs available for those who have full-time jobs. In addition to courses, a thesis may be required and in some programs, a comprehensive exam must be passed.

DID YOU KNOW? Technical Writers are also called Technical Communicators (BLS).[i]

In terms of accreditation for online graduate schools and programs, the agency recognized by the United States Department of Education is the Council for Education in Higher Learning (CHEA). Accrediting organizations that are “recognized” have been reviewed for quality by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE).

Types of Online Masters in Literature and Writing

Typically offered as Online Master of Arts and Online Master of Fine Arts degrees, students can choose a general or more specialized emphasis for their degree.

  • Online Comparative Literature Masters Programs: If your goal is to learn another language, translate and understand literature from a global perspective.
  • Online Creative Writing Masters Programs: If your goal is to author a novel, write a screenplay, learn editing techniques, and potentially get published.
  • Online Literature Masters Programs: If you aspire to teach composition and literature at the college level; work towards a PhD to potentially teach in Universities.
  • Online Professional Writing Masters Programs: If you are interested in writing from the communication standpoint, and to learn analysis, strategy, writing, style and editing.
  • Online Technical Communication Masters Programs: If you want to learn how to write how-to manuals or other publications where fact or technology is communicated to users.

Potential Features of Online Masters in Writing and Literature Programs

Typically, in an online program, course material is delivered via a web-based learning Blackboard system and students have 24/7 access to pre-recorded lectures. Sometimes there may be live-streaming lectures or featured seminars where e-learners have to log in at specific hours; formats may vary between universities.

One of the things you may find if you want to pursue a masters in creative writing or other writing mfa degree online is that there may be some on-campus requirements along with your online courses. Sometimes this comes in the form of a summer intensive, a week end workshop, or another low-residency experience that is in-person. Why? Interaction amongst participants is important, both to help refine writing styles in student workshops and engage in rhetorical discussion about literary works. Usually these in-person requirements are kept to a minimum, but are usually in place for the benefit of students. Still, online degrees are considered flexible in that when you are completing your work assignments, all you need is a reliable Internet connection.

Potential Courses in Literature and Writing Online Masters Programs

Since programs vary from school to school, there is no set curriculum, although some of the course topics students might expect in an Online Masters in Literature and Writing Degree could include:

  • Composition
  • Research Methods
  • Pedagogical Grammar
  • Rhetoric
  • Literary Theory
  • Teaching Literature
  • Major Authors, Genres, Eras, Topics in Literature
  • Creative Writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama)
  • Techniques for Writers Block
  • Critique

Remember too that Masters in Writing online programs require lots of writing (or typing on your computer) which is something that can also be done remotely; Masters in Literature online programs also require writing in addition to lots of reading! Some of the material may be available through the online library tools, or you may have to buy hardcover or paperback print.

In addition to courses, students may need to fulfill a practicum or internship requirement. Course credit breakdowns depend on the program you are in, although often there is room for electives or the opportunity for independent study according to your interests or goals.

Take the Next Step

If you are autonomous and commuting to class routinely is not a possibility, ‘online’ is a learning delivery method that makes sense. GradSchools.com makes it easy to find sponsored listings, just choose your subject and results are generated such as Online Master of Arts –Literature and Writing, Online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and Online Master of Fine Arts in Writing. Request info from the graduate school to help you narrow it down to the one that best aligns with your aspirations and interests!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/technical-writers.htm | bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm | bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/mobile/high-school-teachers.htm

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