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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

MA: Literature & English Studies

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The Master of Arts in Literature and English Studies provides students with a firm foundation in British, American and World Literature with coursework that includes theory, teaching college-level literature, broader surveys and more specialized author, period, and genres courses. The students' electives are chosen from courses throughout the English department and their capstone project (Alternate Plan Paper) gives them an opportunity to further shape their program to fit their career goals. The program prepares students for teaching positions at the post-secondary level, particularly technical and community colleges, and provides a foundation for doctoral work in English and careers in the literary marketplaces. Students work with a dedicated faculty who provide numerous opportunities for professional growth. 

The M.A. degree in Literature and English Studies is a fully online program, ideal for working adults. In practical terms, this means that all 600-level core courses and seminars for the program are currently offered online. Because we believe that live discussion of literary texts is an important component of graduate-level education, many of our online classes incorporate synchronous virtual meetings. Scheduled times for such meetings will be listed with the course information. Contact specific instructors with questions about expectations for synchronous courses.

Residential students remain eligible, and are encouraged, to apply for assistantships, participate in the Graduate Students of English Association, and partake in other local university events.

Program Requirements (34 credits including Alternate Plan Paper Capstone)

[PDF] Curriculum Map: Graduate Student Class—2017-2019 (14 KiB)

[PDF] Curriculum Map: Graduate Student Class—2018-2020 (10 KiB)

Current and Upcoming Courses

Students should consult with their advisor about which courses best suit their goals.

Common Core (Choose 16-17 Credits)

Bibliography and Research
Choose 3 Credit(s)

Course # Course Title Credits
ENG 651 Bibliography and Research 3

Choose 9 Credit(s)

Course # Course Title Credits
ENG 606 British Literary History and Criticism 3
ENG 607 American Literary History and Criticism 3
ENG 635 Seminar: World Literature 3

Choose 3-4 Credit(s)

Course # Course Title Credits
ENG 625 Seminar: Composition Theory 3
ENG 671 Seminar: Literary Theory and Criticism 3
FILM 516 Film Theory and Criticism 4

Restricted Electives (Choose 11-12 Credits)

Course # Course Title Credits
ENG 603 Seminar: Selected Authors 3
ENG 605 Seminar: Shakespeare 3
ENG 608 Seminar: British Literature to 1800 3
ENG 609 Seminar: British Literature after 1800 3
ENG 610 Seminar: American Literature to 1865 3
ENG 611 Seminar: American Literature after 1865 3
ENG 612 Seminar: Gender in Literature 3
ENG 618 Seminar: Multicultural American Literature 3
ENG 654 Teaching College-Level Literature 3
ENG 661 Topics in Children's and Young Adult Literature 2-3

Unrestricted Electives (Choose 5-7 Credits)

Choose 5-7 credits of 500- or 600-level courses in the English Department with the approval of your advisor.

Capstone (Choose 1 Credit)

Course # Course Title Credits
ENG 694 Alternate Plan Paper 1-2

Additional Requirements

Students may count no more than four credits of supervised independent work toward their degree programs, including capstone credit. These credits are:

  • ENG 670 (Independent Writing)
  • ENG 677 (Individual Study)
  • ENG 694 (Alternate Plan Paper)
  • ENG 698 (Internship)


Graduate students in the Literature and English Studies program are encouraged to pursue internships for which they can receive course credit. A student's career goals determine the shape of the internship. For example, students could choose to perform an internship by participating in the preparation and teaching of an undergraduate English course with a supervising professor. Students could also serve as an intern in editing and publishing with a local press. Students will choose the nature and scope of their internship in consultation with their advisor.

Applying to the Program

For information on applying to the program, graduate assistantships and financial aid, see Applying to the Program.

Department of English Graduate Program Director

If you do not find answers to your questions on this web page, or if you need more information about the English Department graduate programs at the Minnesota State University, Mankato, please contact the English Graduate Programs Director:

Dr. Sarah Henderson Lee
Director of English Graduate Studies
Department of English
Minnesota State University, Mankato
230 Armstrong Hall
Mankato, MN 56001
Phone: (507) 389-1359