Indiana On-Campus English Graduate Programs

Graduate Schools for English degrees could make the study of literary texts and genres engaging and lively. Most campus English programs require extensive reading on one’s own, though classes are often highly interactive.

Students might be challenged to articulate their points of view, persuade others, share feedback and think critically about narratives.

What Degrees Do Graduate Schools for English Offer?

Two of the degrees that Graduate Schools for English might offer are the Masters in English (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in English. A Masters degree or Doctorate in English could stimulate thought, broaden literary knowledge and foster an ability to read closely and write with good penmanship.  

Certificates, which some universities may also list, are usually devoted to a singular topic. One example is a Teach English as a Second Language (TESOL) certificate.

About Graduate English Programs

Most English graduate programs explore and interpret a wide variety of texts and genres, and are often flexible enough to study what you want. Participants often consult with an academic advisor to guide them in their choice of course topics.

Graduate students often take part in the forms of scholarship and intellectual exchange that characterize the work of faculty members. Courses at the graduate level in literary fields typically ask students to write long essays (perhaps 20-25 pages) that may make use of students’ independent research and reading.

As the authors of these papers, students could be challenged to find lots of sources for information and may start to question and think critically about literary theory. Not to mention, key linguistic and literary skills could come in handy in other liberal arts disciplines such as education, business, marketing and journalism.

Three Things You Might Study in English Graduate Programs

True, not all English Graduate Programs are identical. Interested students might fast forward to a school syllabus before ironing out other details. Nonetheless, here are three (potential, but common) things students might study in a Graduate English Program.

  1. Literary Analysis – to build knowledge of literary terms and learn to apply them in an analysis of poetry, fiction, and drama
  2. Literary Theory – to examine the variety of methods for critiquing literature. For example, Aristotle’s poetics and more recent trends such as Postmodernism, Feminism, & Eco-criticism
  3. Academic Writing – to learn to write focused papers with the depth and style that may be expected from PhD programs and academic publishers


O’Net reports that 50% of English Professors have a Masters degree, 47% a Doctorate degree, 4% a Professional degree. i

Masters in English Programs

Graduate Schools for English Masters programs generally award the Master of Arts (MA) degree. Core courses could take students further in their love of language and devotion to the written word to include research, literature and criticism. In tandem, most programs at this level include some type of thesis or project-based work with texts.

Unlike undergrad English, there are no general education courses. A degree plan is all about English in one form or another. Here are a few course topics as examples.

  • British Literature
  • American Literature
  • Modern Rhetoric
  • Scientific and Technical Writing
  • Editorial Theory
  • Seminars in Individual Authors

That said, Masters in English programs may be designed for students who are: (a) present or prospective teachers of English on the secondary or college level, (b) contemplating a PhD in English, and (c) already involved in careers in publishing, business, writing or media.

Students may be able to pursue any of the above interests through a university’s areas of emphasis. Some of the common concentrations often include literature (e.g. a specific historical period, author, genre), writing, creative writing and pedagogy.

Admission information varies, since each graduate school has their own standards. That said, applicants have earned a Bachelors degree and may need to submit the following along with official transcripts.

  • Résumé
  • Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • GRE General Exam Scores

PhD in English Programs

Graduate Schools for English PhD programs offer terminal research degrees where students may work closely with faculty mentors as research assistants and teaching assistants.

A PhD in English could be a balance of literature, theory, and cultural studies. PhD program requirements may be supported by a wide range of courses and may vary depending on faculty strengths.

4 Focal Points

  1. Historical Periods of English and American Literature
  2. Literary and Critical Theory
  3. Post-Colonial and Global Literatures
  4. Teaching of Writing

Students may be able to broaden knowledge across these areas and, pursue a major area of expertise. The area chosen by each student could anchor their dissertation work, and are not the same across all schools.

Textual Studies and Digital Humanities, Nineteenth Century Studies, Modern Literature, Medieval and Renaissance Literature are a few possibilities.

Schools do set their own standards for PhD candidates, so it is preferable that applicants refer to individual programs. In some universities, in order to be admitted to a PhD in English program, students may need an MA (and possibly, a record of distinction). Or, be a BA graduate who shows promise for graduate work. Schools may also want to see the following.

  • GPA (some schools set the bar at 3.5)
  • Writing Sample
  • Statement of Purpose

5 Great Reasons to Choose a Campus English Program

You likely don’t want to just get some classic titles to read, so start getting excited about what graduate schools for English majors might have up their sleeves.  

  1. Groups. Many university English Departments are home to a variety of groups that bring students and faculty together around a shared scholarly interest. This could be a Modern Reading Group or a Pedagogy Seminar
  2. Class Sizes. Some graduate schools boast small class sizes and student-teacher ratios where it may be possible to get guidance and mentorship. This is not a given, but should be a detail provided by individual schools and their program descriptions
  3. Faculty-Driven Research. Faculty may be active scholars who also take pride in teaching at the graduate level. Often, prospective students could read about professors to see what they are interested in or have published
  4. Concentrations. Each school may have a unique set of emphases to choose from. Whether you long to uncover secret meanings in Shakespeare, or be able to motivate high school students to compose better sentences. Look beyond the hub of compulsory courses to see how to study topics that are meaningful to your professional goals or academic interests
  5. Live Symposiums. On-campus students may take part in live symposiums and workshops to develop their ability to write well and effectively convey ideas in front of a group of peers and professors

Compare & Apply to Graduate Schools for English

Set some filters to use this directory to your advantage. Choose the degree level – Masters, Doctorate or Certificate.

Refine your preferences with a location choice. For instance, you could search for a Masters in English program in Boston or PhD English programs in Chicago.

Your filters yield a list of partner graduate schools for English degree programs to apply to with the on-page forms. Get started now.


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