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Conduct original research within a close-knit community that examines vital connections between literature and culture.

The advanced study of literature at Clark University brings you into deep and sustained engagement with the cultural forces that have shaped societies in the U.S. and around the world. You will immerse yourself in texts that span genres, time periods, and national boundaries. You’ll also analyze the varied contexts in which stories emerge and evolve and choose a specific focus for in-depth research in collaboration with faculty mentors.

Our Master of Arts in English has proven to be ideal preparation for doctoral study and a career in fields ranging from advanced teaching, public policy, and print and digital media, as well as in corporate and nonprofit organizations.

All admitted students are automatically considered for merit-based teaching assistantships and tuition-remission scholarships. Teaching assistantships include support for living expenses and full-tuition remission and require two years in residence on campus.

Why Pursue a Master’s in English at Clark University?

  • Earn your M.A. in English in as little as three to four semesters with at least one year of study in residence.
  • Conduct original research with close faculty consultation and complete an extended thesis project.
  • Join one of the few master’s programs in English to offer teaching assistantships and merit-based scholarships.
  • Connect with New Earth Conversations (an interdisciplinary group devoted to the study of climate and the environment), the Higgins School of Humanities (on-campus events and speakers), the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies.
Jacqueline Schnieber

A New Take on a Timeless Classic

Jacqueline Schnieber’s master’s thesis considers the broader implications of Ernest Hemingway’s portrayal of non-white characters in his celebrated Nick Adams stories.

Good literature will challenge you to expand your horizon or look at something from a different perspective.

The Essentials

Program Overview

Our curriculum includes a required introduction to literary studies, as well as elective special-topics seminars in a range of geographical contexts and time periods. Working closely with your adviser, you will identify an area of focus for your thesis research and complete a project that builds on your unique scholarly interests.

Most students earn their degree in three or four semesters. Students must be in residence for at least one year (two years are required for recipients of a teaching assistantship award).

In addition, students must:

  • Attend the Departmental Colloquia, a noncredit course in which faculty and students present work in progress, share thesis updates, and hear guest speakers.
  • Successfully complete an oral defense of their thesis before two or more faculty readers.

Our students engage capacities and skills that have import within and beyond the study of literature. Such skills entail:

  • Analyzing both written texts and broader cultural narratives that shape the political and social world.
  • Crafting insightful and illuminating arguments.
  • Conducting independent and in-depth research with a range of archival sources.
  • The Book in the Early Modern World
  • Reading Voraciously: Food and Literature in the 20th Century
  • Ecologies in Crisis: Literature and Environment
  • Shakespeare and Race
  • Making Gender through the Eighteenth-Century Novel
  • Fictions of Empire: Studies in Global English Literature
  • Ethnic America: Literary and Theoretical Perspectives
  • Special Topics in African American Literature
  • Queer Modernisms
  • Traumatic Tales: National Trauma in Romantic Literature
  • Toni Morrison
  • Fictions of Asian America


3 to 4 semesters over 1.5 to 2 years

8 course units

  • 2 core courses
    (Introduction to Graduate Studies and a thesis course)
  • 6 electives

Course Catalog

Explore what the Department of English has to offer.