Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus


Instructions: Residential/On Campus


Tailor your program by selecting from courses in literature, cultural studies, linguistics, critical theory, digital humanities, research methods, and composition.

36 Hours of Coursework
6 Hours of Methods Studies
3:1 student to faculty ratio
2 options for Capstone Project
Why Pursue a master’s degree in English?

A master's degree in English prepares students for doctoral work and careers in a variety of professional fields, enhances your professional credentials by serving as a companion to other advanced degrees, and continues to hone a student’s communication and creativity skills, skills which have high currency for employers in a variety of industries. Moreover, as the global culture continues to move toward content-based, online marketing strategies (e.g. websites, blogs, social media, video) to drive consumer interest and promote a brand, more companies are looking for people who can create effective and persuasive content. A master’s degree in English enables you to do this and much more.

Why Study English Here?

Our small program enables students to get individualized attention with award-winning and research active faculty. The interdisciplinary approach of the program enables students to interact with students and scholars from other programs as well, in areas such as philosophy, history, africana studies, sociology. Students can also engage with students and scholars in our own graduate programs including artists for the MFA in English’s Visiting Writers Series and the speakers and researchers in the PhD Prorgam in Rhetoric and Writing. The program also offers electives that cover a broad range of topics, allowing you to personalize your degree to your area of interest while developing a variety of diverse skills which employers desire. Finally, Virginia Tech is a top-notch research institution and the College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences where English is housed possesses a variety of opportunities available to students which enable students to excel.

Faculty Research Interests

- African American Literature and Aesthetics

- African American Women’s Literature

- Contemporary African American Poetry

- Postcolonial Literature


- Cajun English

- Cajun French

- New Orleans English

- Language and place

- Language in Louisiana


- First-Year Composition

- Rhetoric of Race and Identity

- Writing Assessment

- Writing Centers


- Chaucer and Chaucer Studies

- Digital Humanities

- History of Humanist Education

- Neomedievalism


- Narrative medicine

- Medical rhetoric and the medical humanities

- Vaccination controversy

- Maternity and breastfeeding

- Biopolitics


- Modern rhetorical theory

- Writing pedagogy

- Language, violence, and nonviolence

- The essay

- Rhetorical constructions of autism


- History of rhetoric

- Contemporary rhetorical theory

- Rhetoric of health and medicine

- Genetic risk

- Material rhetorics


- Displacement narratives

- Human rights rhetorics

- Identity and self-representation

- Performative autobiography

- Displacement narratives


- Eighteenth century and romantic poetry

- Lord Byron

- Digital humanities

- Book trades

- Documentary editing


- Cultural rhetorics

- Asian american rhetoric

- Information design

- Computers and writing

- Digital rhetoric


- Celtic linguistics

- Indo-European linguistics

- Historical linguistics

- Language change


- African-American literature

- African-American women’s literature

- Nikki Giovannis poetr

-The black arts movement

- English Romantics

- Charles darwin

- Jane austen

- Literature

- Lord byron


- Biography

- Comparative literature

- Individualism

- Intellectual history

- Pickwick Papers

- Reading public

- Serial fiction


- American Literature

- Cormac McCarthy

- Philip Roth

- Ralph Ellison

- The novel


- American Literature

- American Women Writers

- Digital Humanities

- Digital pedagogy

- Religion and secularism


- Fantasy fiction

- Medieval literature

- Online education

- Science fiction


English Highlights

English Graduate Student Organization

The English Graduate Student Organization is a professional and social organization for our graduate students. We host a number of annual events including book fairs, a graduate student conference, and social outings. You will receive regular invites to the meetings and functions.

Graduate Students

Related Programs

Students interested in applying to the English (M.A.) degree should contact the program director, Dr. Gena Chandler-Smith, by email at or by phone at 540-231-7796.

Visit our office at 213 Shanks Hall, 181 Turner Street NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Domestic Application

*Fall: February 1

International Application

*Fall: February 1

*Deadline for admission with full consideration for funding: February 1


Contact Us

Program Inquiries:

Dr. Gena Chandler-Smith

Director of Graduate Studies
213 Shanks Hall
(540) 231-7796

Application Inquiries:

Sally Shupe

Graduate Student Coordinator

323A Shanks Hall


Department of English

Shanks 323 (0112)
181 Turner Street NW
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061