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.
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.
Literature and Writing are interwoven; literature in its broadest definition is any kind of writing as an art form. Literature is often classified into:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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]
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.