Master of Arts in English (Literature)

Jonathan Hope, Director

Samantha Franze, Graduate Academic Advisor


The Department of English offers instruction leading to the Master of Arts in English with a track in literature. Graduate students at ASU work closely with world-class scholars and teachers. This is an academic community that cares about its students and prepares them for successful careers in a variety of paths, including education, publishing, scholarships, and more. Students in the MA Literature program learn how to conduct dynamic new research, sharpen their analytical reading skills, argue persuasively, publicly present their work, and become professional writers. Our faculty offer seminars on exciting topics, such as Victorian Sexuality; Mysticism and the Body; American Shakespeares; Chicano Latino Autobiographies; Jane Austen's Novels, Fans, and Critics; The Sympathetic Republic; Representations of Empire and National Identity; Magical Realism; Faulkner and Morrison; and Science and Literature. In this flexible program, students may choose to write a traditional thesis or they may design creative intellectual projects connected to their individual professional goals through a non-thesis option.


The deadline for applicants wishing to be considered for Fall admission is July 22The deadline for Spring admission is December 14th.

Note: The committee reviews applications shortly after the deadline. The application must be complete with all supporting documents before review. This is the applicant's responsibility. Please plan accordingly when submitting an application.

Applicants for admission to the Master of Arts in English (literature track) must submit the following items:

  1. Graduate application
  2. Three letters of recommendation from faculty familiar with the applicant's academic work.
  3. Resume or vita.
  4. One to two page, single spaced statement of purpose detailing the student's background, reasons for wanting to do graduate work in literature, and plans for the future.
  5. Academic writing sample relevant to the field of literary studies.
  6. Official transcript.

*The GRE is not required for admission.

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

Students must have earned a 3.00 GPA in their junior/senior years of undergraduate work and have (or be in the process of completing) a bachelor's degree in English. See Department of English application process for more information.

Those who do not have degree in English may be considered for admission if they have taken the following cluster of English courses (or equivalent) with a 3.00 GPA. Supplemental courses may include:

ENG 200 Critical Reading and Writing
ENG 221 or 222 Survey of English Literature I and II
ENG 241 or 242 Literature of the United States 1860 to present
ENG 421 or 422 Shakespeare
400-level course in English Literature before 1660
400-level course in English Literature 1660-1900
400-level course in American Literature before 1900
400-level course in 20th-century British and American Literature

Students should consult with the director of the master's in literature program for advice on nondegree and/or supplemental course work.  Applications for non degree admission can be completed online: