English Education (MA)
The BYU Masters of Arts in English Education is a program for English teachers designed to prepare them for doctoral work or continued careers in teaching. The program may be completed in two or three years. Preference is given to applicants with at least two years of teaching experience. Classes for this program are offered in the early evening and in Spring/Summer semesters so applicants can continue teaching while they pursue the degree. The program includes 26 hours of coursework and 6 hours of thesis writing. Students take courses in American literature, British literature, and Rhetoric and Composition in addition to the focused courses for this degree, Special Topics in Education (ENGL 645 R) and Central Utah Writing Project (ENGL 646). Applicants are evaluated on the basis of a personal statement describing their teaching experience, teaching philosophy, and professional plans; a writing sample; and letters of recommendation from evaluators who have seen them teach or observed them in academic or professional settings. The program is small and selective by design so that students develop meaningful relationships with their cohort and with their mentors among the English Education faculty.
Creative Writing (MFA)
The English Department, as a part of the College of Humanities, offers graduate study devoted to the development of reading, writing, and thinking abilities derived from studying and producing literary and other texts in English. Students study these works in aesthetic, historical, religious, and other contexts, including the theoretical contexts the faculty members bring to the courses they teach. This program makes intensive use of the library and its resources.
The MA in English program enables students to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that have application in contemporary society and that are in harmony with the principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The program may appeal to students who plan to enter such careers as teaching, editing, and writing; to those who seek an advanced liberal arts degree for preparation in library science or public service; to those who plan to go on for a doctorate in English or a related area; and to those who wish to continue studies for personal satisfaction.
The MFA in Creative Writing likewise prepares students as scholars and creative writers for careers in teaching and writing. While the MFA in Creative Writing is widely considered a terminal degree, it can also qualify students interested in additional training for a Ph.D. in Creative Writing.
Each year, around 30 students are admitted to graduate study in our department, with approximately 20 students entering our MA in English program and approximately 10 entering our MFA in Creative Writing program. The average duration for both degree programs is two years.
Chair: Lance E. Larsen
Graduate Coordinator: Paul Westover
Resources & Opportunity:
The Department of English utilizes the Office of Digital Humanities. This center is especially active in the production of teaching and research materials, particularly those that are computer related.
The Office for the Study of Christian Values in Literature was established in 1980 to affirm the importance of religious and moral values in the creation and study of imaginative literature. It provides both a focus for activity and an encouragement to teachers, writers, scholars, and readers who believe in a value-centered literary tradition.
The Writing Center is available to assist students and faculty in improving their writing skills. Graduate students benefit particularly from critical evaluations of drafts of seminar papers and theses, and those with advanced writing skills may serve as interns in the center.
Faculty research interests are included in the faculty section following the course descriptions.
For a more detailed description of the graduate program requirements, send for a copy of the department’s bulletin.
Financial assistance is available for this program through the English Department and other agencies in the university. The English Department offers tuition awards for all first- and second-year students.
Admitted students are encouraged to apply for instructorships, teaching and research assistantships, editing internships, and other awards that are provided as a financial and learning resource. The university handles federal student loans.