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English (M.A.)

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M.A. program banner. collage. Left: Katharine Cleland; center: hands typing on laptop, VT t-shirt in background; right: students standing in front of War Memorial

Campus:  Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus, Instructions: Residential/On Campus

Program Overview

Virginia Tech’s M.A. in English program focuses on the advanced study of literature and its cultural and historical contexts. Students take 36 hours of coursework in a variety of literary fields and in other related fields/disciplines in accordance with their own goals and interests. Our program has particular strengths in early modern, postcolonial, and African American literature, as well as in the digital humanities. It is also highly interdisciplinary, allowing students to take electives in the Department of English's other graduate programs (M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing). Students can further pursue interdisciplinary coursework through completing a graduate certificate (such as in Africana Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Science and Technology Studies, and many other topics). In their second year, students work closely with the program’s award-winning faculty to research and write a capstone project.

Katharine Cleland, Director of Graduate Studies and the M.A. in English Program
Katharine Cleland, Director of Graduate Studies and the M.A. in English Program

Why choose this program?

  • Our program 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. 
  • The program is FULLY FUNDED. Students receive full tuition waivers and a highly competitive stipend (~20k/year) for their work as Graduate Teaching Assistants. 
  • Virginia Tech is a top-notch research institution and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, where English is housed, offers a variety of opportunities which enable students to excel. 
  • 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, and sociology. 
  • Our M.A. students engage with students and scholars in our other graduate programs including artists for the M.F.A. in English’s Visiting Writers Series and the speakers and researchers in the Ph.D. Program in Rhetoric and Writing. 

What can you do with an M.A. in English Degree?

A master's degree in English prepares students for doctoral work and careers in a variety of professional fields, enhances your professional credentials, 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.

  • Minimum GPA 3.0 (4 Scale)
  • GRE - the GRE general and subject test are NOT REQUIRED for admission to the Virginia Tech M.A. Program in English
  • TOEFL/ IELTS score required  (if applicable)

Learn more 

The Department of English has a limited number of graduate assistantships and fellowships available for students applying for full time study on the Blacksburg Campus. Entering students can apply for such funding as part of their admissions application. No separate application required.

Find out what loans are available as a graduate student and other opportunities.

Application deadline is January 16, 2024

Marie Trimmer
Graduate Programs Coodinator
310 Shanks Hall


Katharine Cleland, Director of Graduate Studies (MA)
419 Shanks Hall

English (M.A.) Faculty 

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Student Organization

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.

group of students sitting around table with laptops having conversations and studying