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Home / Admission / Graduate Admission / MA English Online

MA English Online

Elizabeth Downs, Graduate Academic Advisor

Program Overview: The Master of Arts in English with an Online track in English Studies is a unique master’s degree that provides a selection of representative courses from across our disciplinary areas of study (literature; writing, rhetorics and literacies; linguistics; film and media studies; cultural studies) including some courses that investigate the relationship between our discipline and others across the campus, such as science and English. After completion of this degree, you will be able to articulate and translate complex cultural, historical, literary, and artistic ideas into accessible material for a general audience and prepare yourself for career opportunities in public humanities, libraries, teaching, and museums.

Qualifications: Applicants with undergraduate majors in English, foreign language, history, philosophy, liberal studies, or other areas in humanities will be considered. Typical applicants are students looking to use history, knowledge, and skills in the following areas: secondary education, community college education, adult BA-degree holders living abroad or in other geographically distant locations, publishing employees, military, public service, business sector, personal interest (literature, film, writing, language).

Application Process:  The application is completed online.  Choose "online" for campus.  Choose "English Studies" for specialization. The following supporting documents are required to apply for the MA English online degree program:

1. Official transcripts. Note that applicants need a grade point average of "B" (3.0) or higher in the final two years of work leading to the bachelor's degree.*
2. A two-page, single-spaced Statement of Purpose. This document should explain how the applicant's academic and professional interests fit with our online MA English program. This document serves as the writing sample. 
3. A resume. This document should convey important experiences for degree success.
4. Two academic or professional letters of recommendation. A third letter is optional. These letters should provide a clear picture of the applicant's potential for successfully completing a master's degree.

*Note: Past upper-division English related coursework is desirable.

The GRE is not required for this program.

International students for whom English is not a native language must submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English (Academic) score. Please refer to the English Proficiency Score requirements.

Application Deadlines: 

  • Summer Admission: April 19 session A, June 2 session B (in the application, select "Summer (May)")
  • Fall Admission: July 22 session A, September 15 session B (in the application, select "Fall (Aug)")
  • Spring Admission: December 14 session A; February 15 session B (in the application, select "Spring (Jan)")

Note: Complete applications will be reviewed within 14 days of receipt. The application must be complete with all supporting documents before review. This is the applicant's responsibility. Please plan accordingly when submitting an application.

International students must have an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS score report sent to Graduate Admissions. Please refer to this webpage for English Proficiency Score requirements:

Tuition and Fees: Students whose campus is online will be charged the graduate tuition online rate. In addition to the online tuition, students pay a program fee of $70 per credit hour ($210.00 per 3cr. course). This fee supports the development, construction and maintenance of the online courses. Each session students will also pay a FA Trust fee and a tech fee. For a breakdown of the tuition and fees, please see ASU Online What it Costs. Take a look at our Fund Your Graduate Education webpage for funding details.

For questions about the application process, please contact or 1-877-326-6744.

Program Requirements (with the exception of the capstone, classes can be taken in any order):

  • ENG 501 Approaches to Research (3 credit hours)
  • One course in linguistics (3): LIN 510, LIN 517
  • One course in literature (3): ENG 502, ENG 504, ENG 534, ENG 535, ENG 536, ENG 560, ENG/WWS 568, ENG 598 (Studies in Environmental Humanities)
  • One course in writing, rhetorics, and literacies (3): ENG 551, ENG 552, ENG 553, ENG 556
  • One course in English Education (3): ENG 507, ENG 540
  • Electives (12): 6 of these credits should be additional courses from those listed above and 6 of these credits can be taken outside of the department (Foreign Language^ courses are an example or they can be taken from other online courses in the department with an ENG, LIN or FMS prefix)
  • Culminating Experience:  ENG 597 Graduate Capstone Seminar (3) - taken in the last semester session B

Language Requirement A reading knowledge of a language other than English is required to graduate. Students should fulfill their language requirement early in the program so it does not delay graduation.

^Foreign Language (SPA/GER/FRE/ITA) courses are pre-approved electives, however, other courses (ie. BLE, History, etc.) will need to be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Online Director.

*For more information about the program check out the online Handbook.

Culture of Respect: Graduate students are expected to treat their peers, faculty, and staff with respect and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Disrespectful behavior on the part of students toward any member of the ASU community will not be tolerated. Students can expect to be treated with courtesy and professionalism, and the same is expected of them. Students are welcome to contact the department with any questions or concerns.

Course Catalog


Online Tutoring for University Academic Success Programs at ASU 

Graduate Writing Center – ASU’s Online Graduate Writing Center specifically serves students enrolled in 500, 600 and 700 level classes. Using Adobe Connect, this real-time, appointment-based assistance allows students to meet one-on-one with a graduate writing consultant to receive feedback on their writing projects at any stage in their development and writing process. The center is open Sundays-Thursdays with appointments available between the hours of 2pm and 10pm.

Academic Mentoring – Using Adobe Connect, academic mentors meet with students one-on-one for a personalized approach to improving academic skills such as time management, blackboard reviews, test preparation, and more.

Students can make appointments through the website or by calling 480-965-9072

Smarthinking: 24 hour online tutoring

1. How long will it take to complete the degree?

- An ambitious and hardworking student may be able to complete the degree in one academic year. Although, it does depend on several factors: A student would need to take 2 courses per 7.5 week session which is a heavy workload but not undoable if you have enough time every week to devote to studying. Also, some students have done some graduate work before entering the program which they are able to transfer into the program.

2. Can graduates of this program teach at a community college? Can they go on for a PhD?

- Yes, students with a MA in English can teach at the community college level and they can apply for PhD programs.

3. Can I take iCourses as an ASU Online student?

- No, ASU Online students can only take ASU Online classes. iCourses are courses offered to in-person ASU students only.

4. What are the options to fulfill the language exam?

- The MA English program has a language requirement, which requires the student to possess an intermediate level reading knowledge of a language other than English. MA online students, before completion of course requirements, must complete certification of their foreign language to graduate. To complete this requirement, students must translate a passage under electronic monitoring to earn certification. Please contact for more information and to set up an exam. Students may also take one of the reading knowledge courses offered by School of International Letters and Cultures to fulfill the requirement, if offered as an ASU online course.

5. If I am admitted to the MA English online degree, can I count coursework taken prior to admission?

- Yes, with the approval of the advisor, 12 preadmission credits can be used on a graduate plan of study. The courses must be graduate level with a grade of B or better and must not be over three years old. The courses must not have been used on another degree. In order to apply these to the plan of study, ASU must have official transcripts from the accredited transfer institution. The student must have the advisor’s approval for any elective or transfer courses.

6. What if I do not have a degree in a related field?

- If students have experience in literature, rhetoric, writing or linguistics they may apply. This can be through a class they took during their BA. Those without a related degree should have strong scores in upper division undergraduate courses in literature, rhetoric, composition and linguistics, or film and media and proof of ability to complete high level undergraduate work. Also, courses such as Critical Reading and Writing about Literature (ENG 200) provide good background for applicants.

7. Can I be admitted to an in-person graduate certificate while working on my MA English Online degree?

- No, because they are offered on different campuses (Tempe and Online).