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Master Your Expertise

Prepare for the next stage of your career through a concentration in literature, rhetoric and composition, linguistics or film studies.

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Master of Arts in English

Pursuing your master’s degree in English at NC State puts you in a vibrant intellectual community at the state’s largest university. Our students bring varied goals and interests to graduate study in English. Some enter the M.A. program looking for intellectual challenge and the opportunity to engage deeply with literature. Some are preparing for advanced work in doctoral programs leading to research and teaching careers in literature, linguistics, rhetoric or film studies. Other M.A. graduates go on to teach in community colleges, secondary schools, literacy centers and other educational settings. Still others pursue careers as writers, editors and media specialists outside the academy. The M.A. is a 33-hour program offered in four concentrations.

Career Directions

Concentration Areas

The MA program offers four areas of concentration that represent distinctive dimensions of our discipline. While all options share an emphasis on research and critical thinking, each offers diverse perspectives and methods for exploring culture and language. Regardless of which concentration you choose, you’ll select from a broad array of courses in these disciplinary areas, including a number of boundary-crossing special topics courses. 

Check Out Comments from Alumni

Story 1

"The professors..."

The professors deeply care for the students and their success.

                                        -- Sydney Anderson, MA 2018
Story 2

"... one of the best decisions I have ever made."

Getting my master's degree was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Going through the program made me a better person. Not only did I learn more about writing and communication, but I also became more independent. Getting my master's really gave me a sense of accomplishment and showed me that I can do anything I set my mind to. The program taught me about meeting deadlines, balancing life and school, how to collaborate with others, etc. My time at NCSU was truly a life-changing experience that I will always remember and be thankful for.

                                                            – MA 2015 graduate

Story 3

"I strongly improved..."

I strongly improved my researching and writing skills… I polished my public-speaking skills; I developed good friendships; and I honed my critical-thinking abilities.

                                             – Emily Milks, MA 2017

Story 4

"allowed me to take some time to decide..."

Completing a Master's degree before pursuing the Ph.D. allowed me to take some time to decide whether or not the Ph.D. was something that I wanted to pursue.

                                                           – MA 2015 graduate

Story 5

"I am well qualified..."

My experience at NC State— the amazing courses I took with incredible professors and the teaching experience I gained along the way— prepared me not only for a career in teaching but helped me become a more critical thinker. I am extremely happy that I chose to pursue my MA at NCSU and am confident that I am well qualified for positions both within and outside the classroom.

                                                                    – MA 2015 graduate