A student being superimposed in front of a violet background.

Let Your Passion for Literature—and New Opportunities—Flourish

Discover new worlds and create new career possibilities with the MA in Literature degree program at IUP.

You’ll experience the excitement of immersing yourself in advanced literary study, and build the analytical, research, and presentation skills you need to share your expertise at a professional level. Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared to start—or advance—your career in any field that requires analyzing information, creating compelling arguments, and drawing defensible conclusions.

Why Choose IUP for Your Master’s Degree in Literature?

If you have a love for literature and are ready to grow your options for the future, this could be the program for you. Here are just some of the reasons that make the MA in Literature unique for you:

  • Align your studies with your passions. Dig into what you love, conduct interdisciplinary research, and be trained to present your findings to other professionals who share your fascination with the world of imaginative literature.
  • Develop as a teacher-scholar. You could reach students and professionals in a variety of fields and be well on your way to new opportunities post-graduation.
  • Learn from supportive faculty dedicated to your success. IUP faculty are active researchers who publish regularly and can provide you with extensive chances to network.
  • Complete your degree in less than one calendar year. As a full-time student, you can begin classes in June and complete your degree by May of the following year.
  • Get hands-on work experience and reduce your costs through graduate assistantships and research grants.

Imagine Your Future

What will you do with your MA in Literature? Graduates of our program are well-prepared for careers in the public or private spheres, inside and outside of academia.

  • Become an English teacher or professor. Interested in teaching at four-year colleges and universities? The program is great preparation for the pursuit of a doctoral degree.
  • Combine your analytical and creative talents as a communications professional or in publishing.
  • Embark on a career as an author or researcher. Our courses prepare you to develop and present your ideas in public, and to revise your work for publication.
  • Step into roles as a team leader, project manager, or intelligence expert.

Similar Occupations

Explore these and other similar occupations you can pursue with a master's in English.

  • Author
  • Content writer
  • Copywriter
  • Director of communications
  • Editor
  • English teacher
  • Grant writer
  • Instructional designer
  • Professor
  • Public relations manager
  • Publisher
  • Technical writer
  • Tutor

Classes and Requirements

As a master’s student in literature, you’ll be introduced to a variety of literary texts, approaches to literature, pedagogies, and career paths. Take theme-based courses to explore literature from around the globe across thousands of years. You’ll have ample exposure to a wide range of ideas, opening the door to new areas of research and new ways to share literary worlds.

Our 30-credit program is designed to foster the skillset and mindset you’ll need for a successful, fulfilling career, whether you’re entering your first job or aiming to advance in your field.

Program Handbook

Program Requirements for the MA in Literature

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

  • Loading...

Facts to Know

Here are just a few of the reasons why you can feel good about choosing the MA in Literature program at IUP.

  • Proven preparation for a doctoral degree. Our 2017–2019 MA graduates had a 100 percent success rate for entry into a PhD program.
  • Complete your degree in less than one year (June–May) by enrolling full-time.
  • Dive into a broad range of perspectives. Explore traditional and nontraditional literary works, as well as critical and theoretical approaches in the field.

Enroll as a Full-time or Part-time Student: Your Degree, Your Way

Pick the MA path that’s right for you.

  • Choose the part-time alternative, an ideal option for working professionals. Take classes around your work schedule and build your qualifications without sacrificing your current position.
  • Enroll as a full-time student, and our 30-credit literature degree can be completed in just one calendar year.
  • Select our summer class options, including a summers-only option. This path is ideal for working teachers.

Find Your Community at IUP

From journals to student organizations, there’s no shortage of ways to get involved and forge meaningful connections.

IUP Graduate Admissions: How to Apply

Ready to apply? Visit the School of Graduate Studies and Research to access:

  • Admission requirements and application instructions
  • Admissions application and international forms
  • Tuition and fees information

For general information about graduate applications, please call the School of Graduate Studies and Research at 724-357-2222, or e-mail graduate-admissions@iup.edu.

Admissions Requirements Specific to the MA in Literature

In addition to meeting IUP’s general graduate admissions requirements, candidates to the MA in Literature program should be aware of the following:

  • Minimum 2.5 overall GPA expected. If your GPA is below a 3.0, we recommend that you also submit a critical writing sample (normally an essay of 10–20 pages written for an upper-level English course or an excerpt from a senior thesis).
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) not required, but you may submit it to bolster your application.
  • If you have a strong academic record but a background in another discipline, contact mtwill@iup.edu and grad-eng@iup.edu for advisement prior to applying.


Priority review will be given to applications received by the following deadlines:

  • For fall semester: January 15 for early decision or March 15 for second round, pending availability.
  • Applications received after March 15 may be considered on a rolling basis, but only in the case that there are still openings in the program.

Adherence to these deadlines will ensure that accepted students are able to register with continuing graduate students in the program.

Financing Your Degree

When it comes to achieving your dreams, you have options for support at IUP.

  • Competitive service and research awards enhance your professional profile and your curriculum vitae.
  • Graduate assistantships can reduce your costs while providing hands-on work experience.
  • Research grant opportunities are available to reduce your costs.
  • Travel funding is available for professional conferences and presentations.