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EIU Master of Arts in English

Terri Coleman Rebekah Barton TJ Martinson

Earn your MA in English with a dynamic faculty fully invested in your success and creative growth. We offer unparalleled attention and professional preparation for your next stage in life.

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Are you seeking ...

  • professional development as a dedicated English teacher?
  • certification in the teaching of writing? As a National Writing Project Site, we offer the Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing.
  • preparation for entry into a prestigious Ph.D. program?
  • a job teaching composition and rhetoric at a community college or university?
  • work as a professional writer for businesses?
  • a path towards creating the next great American novel, award-winning poetry, graphic novel, or screenplay?

We have a program that can meet your needs: we offer three concentrations (literary studies, literary studies with creative writing emphasis, and composition/rhetoric), but encourage innovative and hybrid approaches to earning the MA degree.

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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