Washington, DC 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 |
- 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.
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&...
Saint Leo University
- 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...
University of Edinburgh
A unique distance learning programme engaging with the culture of Scotland and its popular traditions.
Union Institute and University
Union Institute & University's online Master of Arts program is designed for working adults.
Johns Hopkins University
The Graduate Certificate in Science Writing is a flexible, part-time program of online classes, infused with the prestige,...
The limited-residency MFA in Creative Nonfiction offers non-traditional students nationwide a rigorous and exciting graduate lev...
This program involves the study of children's books, in all forms, and also their influence within our culture.
Distance learning is a speciality of our provision at Lancaster. Our distance learning MA in Creative Writing is tutored by professional writers and e...
Northern Arizona University
NAU offers an 18-hour Certificate in Professional Writing.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
This Program is available ONLINE. The Department of Language and Communication has much to offer to its graduate students.
Royal Holloway University of London
One-year Masters programs, four by practice; one by theory A wide range of research programs.
University of Bradford
The MA in Creative Writing Practice is an innovative MA which will seek to support and enable the use of creative writing as a...
California State University, Fullerton
These programs have been developed to offer something for writers at all stages, from introductory to master courses.
University of Maryland University College
The curriculum covers emergency management-related research and management theories and their application, including the...
Southern Polytechnic State University
The MS in IDC delivers the leverage you need for a fulfilling, enduring career in communication and design.
Seattle Pacific University
The low-residency MFA at Seattle Pacific University is a creative writing program for apprentice writers-both Christians and those of other traditions...
Sheffield Hallam University
This course is for experienced technical authors seeking a qualification in the field or to expand knowledge and skills, or a graduates seeking to ent...
University of California - Riverside
This online program is designed to meet the growing demand for more effective communication of technical material through manuals, reports and online...
- Greensburg, PAGreensburg, PA
Seton Hill University
This one-of-a-kind program teaches writers to create – and market – the fiction that sells.
This Graduate Certificate Program is designed for working professionals who want a straight path to publishing in the field.
University of Central Florida
The Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing addresses the theory and practice of organizational writing.