Composition and Literature, MA

Learn more about the Composition and Literature MA program, including course information and how to apply.

Four English graduate students study together at a table outside the library

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Prepare for a Competitive Job Market with Our MA in Composition and Literature

Gain expertise in two subfields of English with our master's degree in Composition and Literature, and increase your career options. Choose from a variety of courses to tailor your master's degree to your interests and professional goals, or create a specialty, such as literary theory.

Our program offers you intellectually challenging classes taught by a dynamic, engaging, and supportive faculty. Graduate students stay connected to campus life through our student organizations and an extensive selection of campus opportunities.

Graduates of our MA in Composition and Literature program are well qualified for teaching positions at community colleges or for doctoral study in either literature or composition. If you are a high school teacher, you can apply this dual-focused degree toward Act 48 professional development requirements (as they fit your school's guidelines).

The master's degree may also help you advance in related careers. Our English graduate student alumni network includes professionals in a variety of fields, including higher education, healthcare, and government service.

Full-time or Part-time: Your Degree, Your Way

  • You can begin classes in June and complete your MA degree by May of the next year.

  • Working professionals can take classes during summers or evenings and still graduate in two years.

  • Our summer class options are ideal for practicing K-12 teachers.

  • Current undergraduates can enroll in our 4+1 BA/MA option to save time and tuition.

Financing Your Degree

  • Graduate assistantships can reduce your costs while providing hands-on work experience.

  • Research grant opportunities are available to reduce your cost.

  • Travel funding is available for professional conferences and presentations.

  • Competitive service and research awards enhance your professional profile and your curriculum vitae.

Added Value of Our MA Program: Satisfy Act 48 and More

  • Study in one of the few English master's programs in the country that bridges both composition and literature.

  • Prepare to teach in either subject area at community colleges.

  • Satisfy some of your professional development requirements under Act 48.

  • Plan ahead with individualized mentoring and professional preparation.

  • Join our two graduate organizations, which host a regional conference and coordinate presentation and publication workshops with MA Composition and Literature faculty.

  • Check out our three established journals for writing, editing, and publishing opportunities.

  • Explore opportunities and get funding to present your work in public forums.

  • Connect with our community of scholars to build your professional network.

  • Take classes that enable you to translate what you learn in the classroom into the work environment.

  • Get intensive training in research, writing, and presentation skills.

Faculty with Strong Reputation

Our English faculty publishes and presents its work regularly at national and international forums. Though they are active professionals who share their expertise, our professors focus first on teaching. We teach you about language and literatureand how to deliver this knowledge to other people. Our commitment to innovative pedagogy will provide you with experience-building course syllabi and lesson plans.

Great Place to Live and Study

IUP is based in Indiana, Pennsylvania, a college-focused town located in the beautiful foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Students can hike, ski, bike, or boat in the state parks, forests, and rivers in the rural areas nearby. Pittsburgh's rich urban atmosphere, with its museums, restaurants, and sports teams, is only 55 miles away.

IUP's campus hosts more than 200 annual cultural and entertainment events along with recreational, fitness, and athletic facilities. Faculty members work closely with students and offer opportunities to publish and present research. Our students have opportunities to meet with faculty members outside of class and to work with graduate students who hail from across the United States and around the world.

Recent IUP MA in English Program Courses

Looking for more information about the types of classes you will take in earning your MA in Composition and Literature degree? Consider some of the courses offered by the English Department in recent semesters:

  • War and Literature
  • Language and Social Context
  • Holocaust Literature
  • Composition Theory and Practice
  • Teaching Writing
  • Propaganda and Literature
  • Human Rights in Literature and Composition
  • Love and Madness in Literature

To Apply

Apply online by creating your online profile and filling out the online application form. Visit Graduate Admissions to learn more about the process and the materials you will need.

Program Coordinator
Dr. Michael T. Williamson
English MA Program Director
Sutton Hall 350

“At its core, the Master's in Composition and Literature Program emphasizes teaching, which has prepared me and given me confidence to teach both disciplines (within a community college setting). Faculty encourage students to expand their academic research by pursuing outside scholarship opportunities. Adopting the idea that together students and faculty are members of a community of scholars,' support abounds in this program!”

Lynn Haraldson, Class of 2018, MA in Composition and Literature