Master of Arts in English

With concentrations in literature studies, English education, and writing studies, the Master of Arts in English degree will offer you the opportunity for professional advancement in areas such as writing, publishing, and teaching at the secondary or college levels.

Since the MA English is a cohort, new students begin in the fall. Applicants should have a BA or BS in English or an equivalent degree (from the Communications field, for example). Students without a bachelor’s degree in English or substantial undergraduate coursework in English will be evaluated on an individual basis. Typically, 12-15 hours of upper-level English coursework are expected to be completed before admission.


What You’ll Learn

The online MA English program is designed for students to develop a scholarly and professional identity that reflects the growing demand for strong skills in communication, analysis, critical thinking, and collaboration.

In order to reflect the diversity of the discipline and the evolving nature of English studies, the program is divided into three concentrations: literature studies, English education, and writing studies. The core courses build community and foster collaboration across concentrations as well as provide a foundation for courses within each concentration.

Required Common Core Courses for All Concentrations

CatalogCourse NameCredit Hours
ENGL 501An Introduction to Graduate English Studies3
ENGL 671Literary Theory3
ENGL 683Teaching of Writing3

Available Programs

Master of Arts in English

The online MA English program uses a cohort model designed for students to complete the degree in five semesters, including one summer. Each student takes three core courses and seven courses in the concentration for a total of 30 hours. *Concentration courses will be made up of electives as well as required proposal and capstone credit. For a more in-depth look at program requirements, visit our Academic Catalog.

*No-Capstone Option: Students who do not plan to pursue graduate work beyond the Master’s degree may elect a No-Capstone option, choosing to take 2 elective courses in place of the proposal and capstone courses. Interested students must declare that they are choosing this option prior to completing 12 hours of coursework by submitting No-Capstone form to their advisor.

Accelerated Master of Arts in English or Graduate Certificate 

The Accelerated Master of Arts in English program allows Gardner-Webb undergraduate students to begin work in the MA in English or Graduate Certificate in English program while completing their Bachelor of Arts in English degree. 

Qualified students may apply for admission to the Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) in English during their junior year (or after 60 credit hours). If accepted, students can take nine credit hours’ worth of graduate coursework to apply toward their master’s degree or graduate certificate. Six of those hours can earn combination credit and satisfy elective requirements at the undergraduate level.  

Graduate courses in this program are fully online.  For a more in-depth look at program requirements, visit our Academic Catalog.

Graduates from Gardner-Webb University’s BA in English or BA English with Teacher Licensure Program (9-12) will be considered for seamless admission into the MA in English or Graduate Certificate in English program within 1 year of graduation. 

All application fees are waived, and admission requirements are streamlined. See the English, Accelerated Master of Arts section of the academic catalog for more details. 

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What You’ll Do

Upon completion of the program, all graduates will be able to:

  • Read, write, and think critically on a professional level
  • Demonstrate concentration-specific research methods
  • Complete a capstone project of publishable quality (specific projects determined in concentrations).

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