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EIU Master of Arts in English

Terri Coleman Rebekah Barton TJ MartinsonOnline MA Program

The MA in English at EIU offers a high-quality, flexible program ideal for: 

  • those preparing to teach English at the community college level or to apply to PhD programs
  • creative writers seeking to hone their craft
  • working high school teachers who wish to continue their education and prepare for dual-credit teaching
  • and other working professionals who seek a flexible MA program in English

Students may complete the program on campus or fully online and they choose from either a thesis or non-thesis option.

All courses are taught by our regular graduate faculty, who are active scholars and writers. Online classes are individually crafted by the faculty members teaching them, just like our face-to-face classes. 

Students choose one of three concentrations: Rhetoric/Composition, Literary & Cultural Studies, or Creative Writing.

We also offer a Certificate in the Teaching of Writing (K-16) that is affiliated with the National Writing Project.

Graduate assistantships are available for students who wish to study in residence.

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Why Choose EIU for English

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.

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.

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.

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.

Meet our Faculty

Dr. Suzie Park


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

Julie Campbell


Campbell's areas of teaching and research are Renaissance and seventeenth-century literature with specialization in the works of continental and English women writers. She is the author of Literary Circles and Gender in Early Modern Europe (Ashgate, 2006) and the editor and translator of Isabella Andreini’s pastoral tragicomedy, La Mirtilla (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 2002).

C.C. Wharram


With research interests in translation studies, Romantic and Gothic literature, and the intersections between literature, philosophy, and science in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, C.C. Wharram is director of The Center for the Humanities at EIU. His most recent essay, on the intersections of humanism, translation, and the nonhuman, was published in Educational Theory in October 2014. He edited a special volume on “Teaching Romantic Translation(s)” for Romantic Circle Pedagogies (July 2014).

Related Pages

English Dept. Homepage Eastern Illinois Writing Project Writing Center Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing Writing Across the Curriculum Alumni Profile Form

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