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English MA |

Why Choose EIU?


Why Choose EIU

Four Concentrations

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Personal Attention


With a nearly 1:1 student-faculty ratio, the MA program offers small classes (capped at 12) and lots of mentoring. Intensely engaged in research and creative activity, faculty are eager to share their excitement with MA students. Independent studies, mentored teaching, and thesis projects offer opportunities for one-on-one interactions.

Dedicated Faculty

Dr. Suzie Park

Dr. Suzie Park was awarded the 2015 Rodney S. Ranes Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award for Eastern Illinois University and the 2015 Provost's Undergraduate Research Mentor Award for the College of Arts and Humanities. Dr. Park, on the far right, is pictured with the students who nomimated her: from left to right, recent English M.A. graduates Terri Coleman and Stephen Nathaniel, and English undergraduate Molina Klingler.


Graduate Showcase

Graduate Kristi McDuffie, Professor Fern Kory, and Assistant Professor Tim Taylor give insight into Kristi's graduate research.


Graduate Showcase

Graduate John Stromski discusses his research on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fiction and politics.



Flexible Curriculum

Our four concentrations allow students maximum flexibility, providing a core of required courses with room for electives in other concentrations. Courses offer insight into the latest thinking about pedagogy, literature, creative and professional writing and are taught by faculty who publish in a wide variety of fields.

Students may shape their own curriculum by proposing independent study classes to match their interests and may participate in summer study abroad programs in England and South Africa. Check out current course offerings here

Faculty Research

Assistant Professor of English Melissa Ames speaks about her area of specialty, American Literature and Culture.


Teacher Friendly

EIWP Summer Institute

Whether you plan to pursue an advanced degree, teach at a two-year college, or enhance the teaching credentials you already have, the MA in English provides relevant coursework. Mentored teaching and pedagogy classes offer both theory and hands-on experience. K-12 teachers may apply to the Eastern Illinois Writing Project Summer Institute (pictured above during a writing crawl at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site), which counts toward the 18-hour Certificate in the Teaching of Writing and/or the full master’s degree.  All graduate classes are scheduled for late afternoon and evening, with those most relevant to current teachers scheduled for evenings.




Professional Opportunities


We offer a substantial number of graduate assistantships, which offer a monthly stipend and tuition waiver. Graduate assistants work in the Writing Center and may apply to teach a writing class in their second year; they may also assist professors with research or editorial work.

Creative writers work with well-published, well-connected writers of poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction; participate in readings, writing contests, and digital story-telling projects; interact frequently with visiting writers; and get involved with two literary magazines associated with EIU: Bluestem and The Vehicle.

Professional writing internships and mentored teaching opportunities are available to all students, offering hands-on experience. Students in all fields present their work at local and national professional conferences as well as on-campus venues.

Graduate Showcase

Find out how "The Hunger Games," "The Giver," and "The House of the Scorpion" can all be seen through the lens of performance theory.




Student Success


Recent graduates hold many different kinds of jobs. They teach at two-year colleges and work as professional writers for newspapers, non-profits, hospitals, and academic institutions. They run programs to help high school students go to college, write satiric blogs, and teach dual-credit classes at high schools. Many have gone on to success in PhD, MFA, and MLS programs at Purdue, the University of Tennessee, Texas A&M, the University of Mississippi, New York University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University, Simmons College, and the University of Washington. 

Learn more about our graduate alumni through their Career Profiles.

Write to Heal

Nia Klein

Nia Klein starts a writing program for breast cancer patients. Read more...


Jennifer Berkshire

Berkshire shares how her experiences at EIU led to a fulfilling career as a freelance journalist and editor.