Literature and Writing Graduate Degrees (Creative Writing, Technical Writing & Literature)
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 in literature and writing and doctorate degrees in literature and writing 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 Writing
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.
Find Graduate Programs in Writing and Literature
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
Full Sail University
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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...
- Conway, SCConway, SC
Coastal Carolina University
Our Master of Arts in Writing provides project-based learning supported by an academic press, an acclaimed literary journal, and opportunities to teach college composition classes...
- Fort Lauderdale, FLFort Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern University
Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media (M.A.)
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- 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.
- Chestnut Hill, MAChestnut Hill, MA
Offering M.A. degrees in Latin, Greek, or Latin and Greek...
- Tacoma, WATacoma, WA
Pacific Lutheran University
The Northwest's Premier Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing. An innovative environment in which your work will flourish.
- Moraga, CAMoraga, CA
St. Mary's College Of California
The MFA Program is a two-year course of study in creative nonfiction, fiction, or poetry.
- Hamilton, ONHamilton, ON
- Melbourne, FLMelbourne, FL
Florida Institute of Technology
The development of career-oriented written, oral, and analytical skills necessary for success in business, industry, and management is the goal of the...
- Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton, FL
Florida Atlantic University
Comparative Literature degree with fields in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Latin American literatures, or Translation Studies.
- West Lafayette, INWest Lafayette, IN
Comparative Literature is a Master of Arts and Ph.D. granting program where students can study literatures and cultures.
- West Lafayette, IN
- Fort Wayne, IN
- Glassboro, NJGlassboro, NJ
This M.A. program leads to a master's degree in writing, specializing in two areas, composition studies or creative...
- Auburn, ALAuburn, AL
The MTPC program has been highly successful in preparing students for workplace or academic careers.
- Lulea, SwedenLulea, Sweden
Lulea University of Technology
- Harrisonburg, VAHarrisonburg, VA
James Madison University
Enable graduates to grow as professionals and, ultimately, to contribute to the developing field of technical adn scientific communication. The M.A. a...
- Winchester, United KingdomWinchester, United Kingdom
King Alfred's College
Students work together with tutors to learn more about the processes of writing, and to develop a crtical awareness of their own work.
- Shipai, ChinaShipai, China
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
New College of California
The New College Poetics Program is unique. Neither a conventional English Literature program nor a Creative Writing program, it combines aspects of bo...
- Leiden, NetherlandsLeiden, Netherlands
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- Leiden, Netherlands