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Literature | Master's Program


  • Literature
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    Battelle Tompkins, Room 237

    Rangel-Mullin, Rebecca
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MA in Literature

Admission to the Program

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, applicants should have a grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate literature courses. The Graduate Record General Examination is required. An undergraduate major in literature is desirable, but applications from candidates who have majored in other fields will also be considered, provided that substantial study of literature has been done. Two letters of recommendation, a 15-20 page sample of critical writing, and a 350-500 word statement of purpose are required. Part-time as well as full-time students are welcome in the program. The College of Arts and Sciences uses a rolling admissions process, though to be considered for a merit award applications must be received by February 1. Apply online or visit the Graduate Admissions website for additional information.

Degree Requirements

  • 36 credit hours of approved graduate work with at least 18 credit hours in 500- or 700-level courses 
  • A written comprehensive examination based primarily on literature taught in MA seminars and other literature courses 

Course Requirements

  • LIT-520 Theories and Methodologies (3)
  • 6 credit hours from the following: 
  • LIT-521 Readings in Genre: Poetry (3) 
  • LIT-522 Readings in Genre: Drama (3) 
  • LIT-523 Readings in Genre: Novel (3) 
  • LIT-524 Readings in Genre: Cinema (3) 
  • 18 graduate credit hours in literature, with at least 9 credit hours at the 700 level 



  • LIT-730 Teaching Composition (3) 
  • LIT-731 Teaching of Writing Practicum (3) 
  • an approved graduate course in literature, education, linguistics, or anthropology (3) 


  • LIT-732 Literary Theory (3) and LIT-793 Directed Research in Literature (3) plus another 700 level course in literature or LIT-797 Master’s Thesis Seminar (6) or 6 credit hours in literature at the 700 level 


  • 9 additional graduate credit hours in literature 


  • 9 graduate credit hours in another department or departments, in a individually-designed program of study as approved by the MA program director 

Additional information about concentrations can be found on the concentrations page.

Master's Program

Visit the program homepage for additional information about the MA in literature.


MA in Lit Helps Students Find Their Niche

Professor Anita Sherman teaching class.

From pursuing PhDs to teaching high school to becoming writers and editors, graduate students get personal attention at AU.

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Video: Look Inside the Literature MA Program

Keith Leonard

Learn about the MA program and campus/DC community of scholars.

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Student Research

Taylor Roosevelt at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

MA student Taylor Roosevelt took part in a semester-long immersion in graduate-level research methods at the renowned Folger Shakespeare Library.

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