United States Masters in Literature and Writing MFA Degree Programs
Masters in Literature and Writing programs offer students the opportunity to take their theoretical literary knowledge or proficiency in written modalities to the next level of professionalism and academics. Whether your passion is creative writing or English Literature, choose from a variety of masters and master of fine arts (mfa) degree program options. While you can find general Master of Arts in Literature and Writing Programs, concentrations within these fields may have their own appeal and warrant some consideration for those seeking to fine-tune a particular skill-set or aptitude.
Masters in Literature and Writing MFA Degree Program Basics
Typically, Masters in Literature and Writing Degrees are 1 to 2-year programs if completed full-time. This may mean 33 hours of graduate course work, or thesis programs, it could break down to 27 hours of coursework with the additional 6 hours of graded coursework applying to the thesis component. You can expect some variables in terms of programs and graduate schools.
Prospective applicants to Writing and Literature Masters Programs are usually expected to have earned a Bachelor’s degree and maintained a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher. Other application materials might include transcripts, a statement of purpose, multiple letters of recommendation and possibly a written essay or writing sample. The GRE scores may or may not be required depending on the university and program.
Master of Arts in Literature and Writing
Literature and Writing are interwoven; literature in its broadest definition is any kind of writing as an art form. Literature is often classified into:
- Categories such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, drama
- Genres determined by literary
- technique of content (e.g. tragedy, comedy, drama, epic)
- Literary techniques such as linear or nonlinear narrative
Writing is a mode of communication that takes language and inscribes it through symbols, vocabulary, grammar and semantics.
There are different motivations for writing such as:
- Dissemination of information
- Fact keeping
A general Master’s degree in literature and writing gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of literary works in the English language, with an emphasis on critical theory and the opportunity to apply your own creative writing to your study and research assignments. This type of program may foster a sense of holistic enrichment of reading, thinking and writing.
More Specific Literature and Writing Masters Programs
For the student who knows what they want to study in depth, choosing a concentration area might be a good option. Some of the ones to consider are:
- Comparative Literature
- Creative Writing
- Professional Writing
- Technical Communication
Students interested in a global or interdisciplinary approach to literary study might find a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MSc) in Comparative Literature program interesting. This type of program typically involves translation, literary criticism, and mastery of a foreign language.
Students who associate with the term “bookworm” are likely to find a Master’s in Literature (MALit) appealing and stimulating. Depending on the type of literature you are studying, this type of program could involve reading classic and contemporary texts. Intellectually stimulating, students may learn through interpretation of diverse works to analyze complex information and draw effective conclusions.
Usually offered as a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing, these programs may appeal to students interested in cultivating their own writing style and voice, as well as learn what editors and publishers tend to look for in terms of plot, character development, and narratives.
Master of Professional Writing programs often focus on specific areas of writing (e.g. fiction, nonfiction, poetry, scriptwriting). Sometimes a blend of theory, perspectives and technique, students often learn how to produce a manuscript.
Typically offered as a Master of Science (MSc) in Technical Writing, this type of program could be a good fit for students who are interested in potential careers in areas such as web design, software and hardware documentation, industrial training and development, medical communication, or environmental and agricultural communication. Technical writing may involve explaining something technological to an audience or learning to write according to specific guidelines and communication techniques.
On-Campus, Online, Hybrid
Broadly, Masters in Literature and Writing Programs are available as on-campus, online or hybrid degrees. Students looking for a traditional program with hands-on learning and face-to-face interactions might want to search for graduate schools by location; use the city, state or country tabs on GradSchools.com to yield sponsored listings. Those learners seeking less time on campus might look into a distance-learning option. Some online programs actually have campus requirements and may be found under the hybrid section. This is because participation, rhetoric, critique and interchange usually play a large role in graduate programs in literature and writing. When you find a degree or school that looks interesting, request info from the graduate school, and you are on your way to pinpointing the Masters in Literature and Writing degree program that aligns with your goals.
Concerned whether your program or graduate school is accredited? The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as the national agency for accreditation and quality assurance.[ii]
Take the Next Step
Whether you aspire to teach courses in English language and Literature, are seeking a managerial position in public relations[iii], want to use the Master’s degree as a platform for continued education, or want to refine and build on your writing strengths. The great thing about looking into Masters in Literature and Writing Programs is that there are options. Start searching through the directory of sponsored listings to find choices such as Master of Arts – Literature and Writing, Master of Arts in Science Writing, MFA in Creative Writing, or M.A. in Classical Studies.
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
Johns Hopkins University
The Master of Arts in Science Writing is a flexible, part-time program of online classes and face-to-face residencies, infused with the prestige, quality and value of Johns Hopkins University. Journalism, Creative Writing, Communication and Multimedi...
- Riverside, CARiverside, CA
La Sierra University
La Sierra offers the only Seventh-day Adventist graduate religion and ministerial training program in the western United States, drawing students from around the world to study on our campus...
Full Sail University
If you want to learn how to craft the compelling stories behind film, television, games, and other entertainment media – and gain the skills to effectively market your work – Full Sail University’s online Creative Writing Master of&...
- Tampa, FLTampa, FL
University of Tampa
The University of Tampa low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program is designed to help poets, fiction writersand creative nonfiction writers advance their command of craft through exposure to literature from a writerly perspective...
- Plainfield, VTPlainfield, VT
Learn the craft of creative writing one-on-one with advisors — all of whom are working writers — who specialize in the genre you’re passionate about...
- Fort Lauderdale, FLFort Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern University
Seeking a job in teaching, writing, publishing or digital media? NSU’s master’s degree in Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media can kick start your career with its multi-faceted curriculum that will prepare you for success in both the classroom and th...
- Huntsville, TXHuntsville, TX
Sam Houston State University
Gain practical experience and intensive instruction...
- Incline Village, NVIncline Village, NV
Sierra Nevada College
Our program was built entirely by writers, to guide authors organically through the exploration of their craft and thorough preparation for a sustainable life of creation and publication...
- Madison, NJMadison, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
FDU’s low-residency MFA program in Creative Writing is ideal for students who want a more flexible academic schedule.
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
The Graduate Program in Writing M.F.A. consists of several core classes and seminars taken over four semesters (two years), with the goal of producing a final manuscript, performance, or collaborative event.
- Denver, CODenver, CO
University of Denver
The University of Denver’s department of English is small and intimate, with 22 faculty members, who all publish widely and seek to translate their learning into shared experiences by working closely with students in and out of the classroom.
- Chestnut Hill, MAChestnut Hill, MA
Offering M.A. degrees in Latin, Greek, or Latin and Greek...
- Lafayette, LALafayette, LA
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
The Departments of English and Modern Languages offer courses and concentrations in folklore studies for students who are pursuing degrees in English and Francophone Studies. In both departments, folklore is an integral component of the study of languag...
- Denton, TXDenton, TX
Texas Woman's University
The Department of English, Speech, and Foreign Languages offers study leading to the Master of Arts degree in English, and to the Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric. The major objectives of the department include both the provision of broad cultural found...
- Salt Lake City, UTSalt Lake City, UT
University of Utah
- Anchorage, AKAnchorage, AK
University of Alaska - Anchorage
The MFA in Creative Writing is a professional degree designed to accommodate students needs.
- University, MSUniversity, MS
University of Mississippi
Join us for graduate study at a university where the people are friendly, the size is not overwhelming, and where you can study with nationally known...
- Newark, NJNewark, NJ
New Jersey Institute of Technology
The MS in Professional and Technical Communication (MSPTC) is designed to prepare students for careers in the rapidly growing field of technical commu...
- New Orleans, LANew Orleans, LA
- Greensburg, PAGreensburg, PA
Seton Hill University
This one-of-a-kind program teaches writers to create – and market – the fiction that sells.
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
California College Of The Arts
CCA's MFA in Writing Program is dedicated to embracing the full range of literary paths and possibilities.
- Northampton, MANorthampton, MA