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Excel in the art of textual analysis and discursive persuasion through critical examination of pivotal literary and cultural narratives.

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.

Why Clark University

  • Earn your advanced degree 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.
  • Work with archival resources at major research libraries, including the world-renowned American Antiquarian Society.
Jacqueline Schnieber

A New Take on a Timeless Classic

Master’s candidate Jacqueline Schnieber’s thesis examines Ernest Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories through a new lens. She considers the significance of the inclusion of non-white characters in these celebrated short 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 T.A. 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.
  • The ability to analyze both written texts and broader cultural narratives
  • An understanding of the social and cultural contexts that shape literature
  • Independent and in-depth research skills with a range of archival resources
  • Familiarity with historical and cultural frameworks that influence our daily life
  • Advanced Studies in Shakespeare
  • Literary Theory and Global Culture
  • Traumatic Tales: British Romantic Literature and Nationhood
  • Special Topics in 19th-century Literature: Queer Victorians
  • Fictions of Empire: Studies in Global English Literature
  • Special Topics in African American Literature: African American Science Fiction
  • Ecologies in Crisis: Views from the Humanities


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.