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Graduate Studies in English

Program Director: Jake Mattox
(574) 520-4408

Why Pursue an MA Degree in English?

IU South Bend’s Master of Arts in English equips students with skills that are highly valued by employers and provide strong intellectual enrichment, including writing and analytical skills. It also provides specialized knowledge in areas such as textual analysis, research, pedagogy, and editing. Our graduates are employed as English teachers in public and private schools and colleges, as researchers and writers in service and information industries, as journalists, as advertising executives and public relations managers, and in other professions that require well-honed writing, research, and analytic skills.

Teaching at the college level is one of many career paths open to those who hold a master’s degree in English. According to a recent Modern Language Association (MLA) report, “Rethinking the Master’s Degree in English for a New Century,” nearly half of those who teach English at the college level have a master's degree, not a Ph.D. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary teaching opportunities are expected to grow by 15 percent over the next decade, which is significantly faster than the growth anticipated for most occupations.

The master’s degree is also often a springboard to doctoral studies, which open up additional opportunities in education. Recent graduates of our program have attended Ph.D. programs at Purdue University, North Carolina State University, Kent State University, and Bowling Green State University.

MA in English Highlights:

• Complete the 36-hour master’s program in just two years through evening classes.

• Attend graduate classes on weekday evenings, taking up to three classes (12 hours) per week.

• Choose from two concentrations to focus your English graduate degree: creative writing or literary analysis.

• Study in intimate classes that allow professors to provide extensive one-on-one attention to students and their work.

• Study with educators who are all published authors and regular speakers at national and international conferences in their fields.

• Discover how the publishing process works and what it takes to get a work in print.

• Learn from accomplished, award-winning authors who visit class through our Visiting Authors Series.

• Develop editorial skills through involvement with the department's 42 Miles Press and the annual 42 Miles Poetry Prize.

• Apply to teach in the Writing Program in your second year.

• Write an English master’s thesis in an area of your choosing and under the close guidance of a faculty advisor.

What Our Students Are Saying:

  "When I appliekaiserd to the MA in English program at IU South Bend, all I knew was that I liked writing and wanted to do something with it. With the support of the faculty in the program and the opportunities the  department has offered me, I now have multiple fiction publications, experience in teaching first-year composition, and confidence in my knowledge about writing and pedagogy. My MA has been a great stepping-stone to teaching at the university level, and now, as I'm receiving fellowship and funding offers from universities, it's helping me go on to get my doctorate."

 Alumnus Jessica Kaiser is now in the doctoral program in American Studies at Purdue University


“I started my Master of English program in Florida while I was working as Director of Operations for a home for special needs orphans in China. My goal was to gain the skills to bring some of the stories of the children to life. When I moved to South Bend, I wanted to continue my degree. The first class I took was Creative Non-fiction. This course, taught by Dr. Ken Smith, was a complete joy. I quickly found that all the classes I took in my creative writing program were just as worthwhile and helpful. The instructors are also prolific, published writers themselves, so they can really give us insights into what it takes to get published.”

Leah Zimmer, Graduating Class of 2012

Learn More About:

Courses in the Master's of Arts in English.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Graduate Studies at IU South Bend.