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English

Graduate Programs

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English (MA)

The BYU Master of Arts in English is a two-year program including 26 hours of coursework and 6 hours of thesis writing. It is designed to prepare students for doctoral work or careers in teaching, writing, or editing. In contrast to Ph.D.-granting institutions, BYU’s English department devotes all of its graduate resources to its master's-level students, combining a reasonable tuition with significant financial support. Although these paid positions are not guaranteed, most graduate students avail themselves of opportunities as composition instructors, teaching assistants, and research assistants. Our graduate faculty members provide a well-rounded course of study with emphases in American literature, British literature, English teaching, or Rhetoric and Composition. The program has a strong record of placement in Ph.D. programs for those students choosing to continue their graduate studies and also provides a valuable intellectual foundation for students pursuing writing, publishing, teaching, law, and other related careers.
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Creative Writing (MFA)

The BYU Creative Writing MFA is a two-year program requiring 26 hours of coursework and 6 thesis hours. Unique opportunities such as an annual retreat at Capitol Reef National Park, an internship in the teaching of introductory creative writing, and a weekly visiting writers series enhance students' experiences in the program and prepare them for lifelong writing and teaching. BYU's English Department devotes all of its graduate resources to master's students, combining reasonable tuition with significant financial support. Admissions decisions are based on the strength of an applicant's writing sample, personal statement, academic record, and recommendations. Consideration is given to the perceived fit between student interest and faculty expertise. Our program also provides generous funding for travel to AWP or a similar conference. The department-sponsored reading series features not only regional writers but also international greats such as Derek Walcott, Marilynne Robinson, Yusef Komunyakaa, Terry Tempest Williams, and Robert Pinsky.
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Faculty

See a full list of English department graduate faculty

Courses

See all English graduate courses
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Contact

4198 JFSB
(801) 422-4939
gradenglish@byu.edu
Department Website

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:

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.