United States Literature and Writing Graduate Programs & Schools
Literature and Writing Graduate Programs offer students interested in the writing process or the study of different types of literature the opportunity to enhance technical proficiency and expand their theoretical understanding of different topics. Some graduate writing programs include the study of literature in support of writing skills. It is perhaps more common for writing graduate programs to focus on practice in writing essays, research papers, and creative genres such as poetry and short fiction. Graduate level literature programs emphasize theory, critique and cultural studies. For those who want to build on an undergraduate education with more focused knowledge and training, graduate level literature and writing programs and master of fine arts (MFA) degrees warrant consideration.
We asked Jennifer Sanfilippo about how earning a literature and writing graduate degree can kick start your career:
My experience in grad school helped me improve on the skills that I need to work in marketing and content creation. I learned how to code, which is useful when writing online, I improved my writing skills, and I was able to work with real organizations to learn about their marketing needs. These experiences apply to my current job at Ruane Attorneys.
Literature and Writing Graduate Program Essentials
Literature and Writing Graduate Programs are available as graduate certificates, masters and doctorate degrees whether your passion is critical literary theory or creative writing. Prospective applicants typically need a bachelor’s degree for master’s programs and a master’s degree for PhD programs; submission of writing sample and GRE scores may also be necessary. Requirements may vary between universities and colleges so it is a good idea to
find out whether you need a background in a specific field or whether a related prior degree is acceptable.
DID YOU KNOW? Technical writers also have job titles such as Engineering Writer, Expert Medical Writer, Technical Communicator and Narrative Writer (O'Net).[i]
Is There a Difference Between Literature and Writing?
If you aspire to use a graduate degree in literature and writing as a preparation for a potential career, it may be helpful to differentiate between the two to see what type of program best aligns with your goals and interests.
Literature generally refers to any kind of writing.This could mean technical business writing, scholarly writing that has an intellectual or artistic essence, as well as genre. Literature is usually defined by category such as poetry, fiction, non-fiction, prose (e.g. novels, short stories), as well as by techniques.[ii] Graduate Literature courses often focus on the research and analysis of major genres such as poetry or the novel, or on specific periods of history such as the Renaissance. Literary study may also focus on the writings of various cultures such as American or Russian literature, or literature designed for specific populations (e.g. children’s literature).
Writing is a form of communication, the result of which is called text.[iii] Writing takes into account things like language, vocabulary, and grammar. Graduate writing programs are often given in a small class format to encourage active student participation. This might include peer editing, group projects and reading assignments that support various writing skills, such as narrative development.
Literature and Writing
In terms of choosing a Literature and Writing Graduate Program, literature classes generally encompass extensive readings and research in critical writings about literature, whereas writing classes focus on writing skills and fluency and may concentrate on a specific style of writing.
For the student interested in research, critical reading, rhetoric, literary traditions and theory, a Literature and Writing Graduate Degree might be considered professional training for further graduate study in English, or as a preparation for potential careers in library and information science, and for careers in teaching.
Types of Graduate Programs in Literature and Writing
For the student interested in a concentration area, Literature and Writing Graduate Programs are available in:
- Comparative Literature
- Creative Writing
- Professional Writing
- Technical Communication
For the student interested in the study of literature and cultural expression, the academic study of comparative literature is influenced by critical and literary theory. Often, this is an interdisciplinary approach that may involve learning another language.
For the student interested in written expression using narrative, character development and tropes, the academic study of creative writing is usually separated into fiction or poetry. Often, classes help students uncover their own style as opposed to teaching them to copy an existing genre.
For the student interested in studying fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose of a particular period in history, or a specific genre such as Greek drama. Literature covers historical, scientific, philosophical, and journalistic writings.
For the student interested in learning techniques associated with writing as a profession, professional writing involves communication, persuasion and rhetoric, information or entertainment.
For students interested in conveying scientific, engineering or other technical information, technical writing involves research methods, documentation and factual communication about products and services.
Campus or Online Graduate Program in Literature and Writing?
For many students, deciding on a program format is really important. Do you want the opportunity to study amongst others or are you currently working and better suited to distance learning? If you are looking for campus-based Literature and Writing Graduate Programs you can use the navigation tabs on GradSchools.com to locate sponsored listings by city, state or country, for those who want to study abroad. Otherwise, use the ‘online’ program type to generate results. For instance, review options such as Master of Arts in Science Writing, Master of Arts in Literature and Writing and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Then, request info from the school to find out more.
Take the Next Step
Do you want to learn how to communicate effectively in specific writing situations and to specific audiences? Do you want to question, interpret, research and critique literary movements and periods that have shaped the way we view literature today? If so, combine your creativity and attention to detail with critical-thinking in a Literature and Writing Graduate Program.
sources: [i] onetonline.org/link/summary/27-3042.00 | [ii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literature |[iii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing | en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_literature | en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_writing | en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_writing | en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_communication |
Johns Hopkins University
The online Master of Arts in Teaching Writing at Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Program prepares teachers at all levels and in all disciplines to become master teachers of writing, acquiring new and innovative ways to teach writing to their students...
- Baltimore, MD
- 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...
- 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...
- 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...
- Boulder, COBoulder, CO
University of Colorado - Boulder
Immerse yourself in the Applied Shakespeare graduate certificate program! Begin with an online, fully interactive graduate introduction to the upcoming Colorado Shakespeare Festival plays and other major Shakespeare works.
- Huntsville, TXHuntsville, TX
Sam Houston State University
Gain practical experience and intensive instruction...
- 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
Our small, intimate program with 22 faculty members, offers a PhD in English with concentrations in creative writing, literary studies and rhetoric and theory, as well as an MA with a concentration in literary studies.
- Chestnut Hill, MAChestnut Hill, MA
Offering M.A. degrees in Latin, Greek, or Latin and Greek...
- Anchorage, AKAnchorage, AK
University of Alaska - Anchorage
The MFA in Creative Writing is a professional degree designed to accommodate students needs.
- Salt Lake City, UTSalt Lake City, UT
University of Utah
- Bronxville, NYBronxville, NY
Sarah Lawrence College
The Master of Fine Arts in Writing offers a distinguished faculty who balance lives of imaginative engagement in their own creative work with serious...
- Montclair, NJMontclair, NJ
Montclair State University
The Graduate Certificate Program in Teaching Writing is designed to familiarize students with the guiding research, theory, and practice of compositio...
- Denver, CODenver, CO
University of Denver
The Certificate in Creative Writing is for students interested in developing their skills in the creative genres of fiction,...
- Springfield, MASpringfield, MA
Western New England University
If you are looking for a program to take your writing to the next level, to help you fine-tune your craft, and gain insight into the world of publishing, explore the low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Fiction).
- College Station, TXCollege Station, TX
Texas A&M University
- Lincoln, NELincoln, NE
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The Classics Department prides itself on the thorough training it provides in both Latin and Greek as well as in Hebrew, Sanskrit, Egyptian and Coptic...