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

Group of IUP English graduate students sit in an open room talking with a professor

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New Worlds in Literature Open New Career Pathways

Earn a master's degree in literature to move yourself ahead in your career, or use your MA as a smart, strategic step toward a doctoral degree.

In our program, you'll discover new worlds through literature, enter and inhabit those worlds, and emerge with the skills to share knowledge about them. We never lose sight of the power of literature to stimulate our minds and hearts in new and exciting ways.

Our professors are dedicated to sharing the joys of reading and writing about literature in a wide range of genres, both established and new. They also provide professional preparation and guidance through personalized support and mentorship.

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.

To Contact Us

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

For general inquiries, email grad-eng@iup.edu.

100 Percent Success Rate for Entry into a PhD Program

Our MA in Literature program explores traditional and nontraditional literary works, as well as the critical and theoretical approaches of the field. For those interested in pursuing teaching opportunities at four-year colleges and universities, it's a great preparation for the pursuit of a doctoral degree.

Our May 2017 MA graduates had a 100 percent application and funding success rate to PhD programs around the United States.

Career-Growing Potential from a Literature Degree

A literature master's degree can support your advancement in careers that require analyzing information, creating compelling arguments, and drawing defensible conclusions. You'll get extensive training in the analytical skills, inventive research skills, and presentation skills needed to share your expertise and knowledge at a professional level.

Our English MA programs regularly graduate students who find jobs in publishing, government, healthcare, and small businesses. We also prepare students for academic teaching jobs at community colleges and two-year colleges, as well as careers in government and military service. English teachers in high schools can broaden their literature knowledge with an advanced degree in the field.

Full-time or Part-time: Your Master's Degree, Your Way

  • Our 30-credit literature degree can be completed in just one calendar year full-time.
  • Professionals can choose a part-time alternative to spread classes out around their work schedule and build professional qualifications without sacrificing their current position.
  • Our summer class options—including a summers-only option—are ideal for working teachers.

Get Involved: Journals, Film Center, Grad Student Organization, and Pop Culture Group

  • Our two graduate organizations host a regional conference and coordinate presentation and publication workshops with MA in Literature faculty.
  • We have three firmly established peer reviewed journals: Works and Days (37 years), Pennsylvania English (39 years—internships available), and Studies in the Humanities (44 years). Our classes encourage you to develop and present your ideas in public and to revise your work for publication.
  • You can explore the Center for Film Studies as well as the Center for Digital Humanities and Culture.
  • The English Graduate Organization (EGO) is run by graduate students who host workshops, social outings, and an annual conference.
  • The Popular Culture Methodologies Group (PCM) is a graduate student and faculty group devoted to developing research and presentations related to global and classical literature, digital media, gaming narratives, conflict resolution, and other forms of popular culture.

Recent MA in English Program Courses

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

  • War Literature
  • Madness and Love in Literature
  • Literature as a Profession
  • Spy Fiction, History, and Espionage
  • Jane Austen in Context
  • Holocaust Literature
  • Human Rights in Literature
  • Teaching College Writing
  • Teaching College Literature
  • Literature and the Environment

Great Place to Live and Study

View of Sutton Hall at IUP during the summerIUP 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.

“The faculty of IUP's English MA programs is 100 percent committed to student success. Professors are willing to dedicate time to work one-on-one with students to hone writing, reading, speaking, and research skills that are essential to professional success in the field.”

Eric Wentz, '17 MA in Literature, and current IUP English Literature and Criticism PhD candidate