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English Master of Arts


The M.A. program offers two tracks in order to fit students’ goals and proclivities: one in which students complete a research-based project and one in which students complete the comprehensive exams.

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Degree Completion Time

The average amount of time taken to complete the degree is two and one-half years (five semesters). However, it is entirely possible to complete requirements over the space of four semesters.

Research and Assistantships

Funds are available to allow students to conduct research and travel to national and regional conferences to make presentations. About half of our graduate students also lead undergraduate composition classes as teaching assistants or shape departmental programs as graduate assistants. Assistantships include tuition waivers and stipends. All applicants for admission are invited to apply for assistantships.

Why choose UNC?

UNC has the resources of a large university, while retaining the personal feel of a small school. Our program draws candidates from all over the world because it provides the funding, instruction and attention usually reserved for Ph.D. candidates at other institutions.

As an M.A. candidate, you will have the opportunity to study a variety of topics, including literary history, British and American literature, composition and rhetoric, creative writing, linguistics, pedagogy, literary criticism and theory, and areas of interest such as Latino/a, Asian, and women’s literature.

What can you do with an English M.A.?


A recent UNC graduate on her experience in the English M.A. program:

"My experience at UNC has moved me from being a student who studies literature to a scholar who contributes to the literary conversation. This program has given me the confidence to explore further contributions to this conversation, whether it is through scholarship or teaching in the classroom."

–Megan Huwa, Spring 2011 graduate