English Masters Degree Programs with Career Information
Students who want to pursue a career as an English or writing instructor may prepare by enrolling in a master's degree program in English. Most of these programs confer a Master of Arts in English degree.
Master's Degree in English
Students enrolled in a master's degree program in English explore literature in a variety of genres, authors, time periods and movements. Not all schools require students to complete a comprehensive examination during the program; however, most graduate English programs require students to research and write a thesis as part of the graduation requirement.
Depending on the type of degree program, students may be expected to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language prior to graduation. Students may, in some cases, be allowed to pursue teaching certifications while completing their studies. Master's degree programs in English are usually completed in about two years, and available concentrations may include creative writing, rhetoric and composition, transnational literature, linguistics or English education.
Applicants to English master's degree programs must possess a bachelor's degree, and some schools require English as the applicants' major. Writing submissions may also be required along with Graduate Record Examination scores.
The curriculum may vary based on the degree concentration chosen. However, all students typically have to complete some courses on topics such as British and American literature, literary criticism and research methods. Concentration coursework may include subjects such as:
- Old English
- English language history
- World literature in English
- Theory and practice in rhetoric
- Novel writing
- Writing nonfiction
Popular Career Options
Graduates of English master's programs generally qualify for careers in writing and teaching. Some careers, such as teaching at the secondary or university level, may require further certification or study. Possible jobs include:
- High school English teacher
- Community college English professor
- High school creative writing teacher
Continuing Education Information
Graduates may pursue a Ph.D. in English. This advanced degree can be especially useful for those interested in teaching at the postsecondary level, particularly at 4-year universities. Graduates interested in teaching middle or high school English typically need to pursue state teaching certifications. Requirements for certification vary by state, but typically involve studying education and gaining practical teaching experience.
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