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Master of Arts in English

Where can literature take you?

The English M.A. program allows you to read closely, think deeply, and ask important questions about literature's relationship with a wider world. 

Program Requirements Apply Now

Our updated curriculum emphasizes literature's relationship to social change, with new course offerings in areas like disability studies and literature and the environment. 

Students in the M.A. program will hone analytical and communication skills that are valued across a range of professions. Secondary teachers will deepen their subject area expertise and broaden their horizons, and our evening classes are designed for working adults. 

Our program also provides a solid foundation for students who plan to pursue a Ph.D., and we are proud to have recent graduates studying in top-tier doctoral programs at UM-Ann Arbor, UT-Austin, and The Ohio State University. 

M.A. students are eligible for funding in the form of Graduate Assistantships. For current undergraduate English majors, we also offer a Combined BA/MA program, which allows students to double-count up to 12 credits, saving both time and money.

For more information, please contact Joanne Lipson Freed ([email protected]


 The M.A. program in English admits students on a rolling basis with the following deadlines: 

  • February 15 (early), April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester

Students interested in Graduate Assistantships are strongly encouraged to apply by the regular admissions deadline. Most successful applicants have completed significant undergraduate coursework (a major or minor) in English or a closely related field; generally, successful candidates will have earned a 3.5 average in English courses.

How to Apply

Please apply now through the Office of Graduate Study.

A complete application for the program will include the following: 

  • Completed online application form
  • Undergraduate transcripts, and graduate transcripts, if applicable
  • Personal statement (500-1000 words), describing applicant's past academic experiences, areas of interest, and reasons for pursuing an M.A. in English. 
  • Writing sample, a critical or interpretive essay of no more than 2000 words that demonstrates preparation for advanced literary study.
  • Letters of recommendation from three faculty members who can speak to the student's demonstrated academic abilities and level of preparation to pursue graduate study.

Please note that we do not require GRE scores for admission.

The department offers multiple Graduate Assistantships, which provide significant financial support, as well as training and mentorship in teaching and/or research. In addition, we award the Cole Pope Scholarship on the basis of academic merit and financial need.

Graduate Assistantships

The English department offers several kinds of Graduate Assistantships; the most common are Teaching Assistantships (T.A.s) although the department occasionally appoints Research Assistants (R.A.s) as faculty needs dictate. G.A. positions are awarded on a semester by semester basis and are renewable. They include a full tuition remission and a stipend of approximately $4,000 per semester. 

Check Handshake to find our open G.A. positions, or you can indicated your interest on your graduate application to be considered for an Assistantship. 

Cheryl Cole Pope Scholarship

The Cheryl Cole Pope Scholarship honors Ms. Pope dedicated work ethic, commitment to professional excellence, service to her community and practical generosity to those in need.  Awarded annually, the scholarship is open to current or prospective students in the English M.A. program, and is awarded on the basis academic merit, financial need, and demonstrated commitment to community service.

Students typically can apply to the combined program in their junior year. Once admitted, they can enroll in up to 12 credits (3 courses) at the 5000-level that will be counted toward both the B.A. and M.A. and billed at the undergraduate tuition rate. Typically, these 5000-level courses replace 3000-level electives in the English major.

Once all requirements for the B.A. are complete, combined program students are automatically admitted into the M.A. program. If a student chooses not to pursue the M.A., any graduate courses taken as an undergraduate still count toward their undergraduate degree.

Combined program students will receive early and frequent advising to help guide them through the program.


To apply for the Combined B.A./M.A. program students must:

  • have completed 20 credits toward their English major, including English 2100 and at least one 3000-level course
  • have a GPA of 3.5 in English courses and 3.2 overall
  • submit an application, which includes a writing sample, a statement of purpose, and at least one letter of recommendation from an OU English Department faculty member

For more information, contact Joanne Lipson Freed at [email protected].

Department of English, Creative Writing and Film

O'Dowd Hall, Room 544
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3700
fax: (248) 370-4429