24 months
1184 USD/credit 19536 USD/year
1184 USD/credit 19536 USD/year
466 USD/credit 7689 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The James Madison University's English department emphasizes preparation for Ph.D. work and advanced training both for secondary education teachers and those for whom an M.A. in English would enhance career options. 


We welcome students who, for whatever reasons, are eager to read literature on an advanced level, who enjoy research and writing, and who appreciate the responsibilities and pleasures of pursuing one's intellectual goals within an academic community.

The goals of the James Madison University's English M.A. program are to: 

  • To excite and maintain in students a permanent desire for an expanded knowledge and understanding of the world through the study of diverse authors and genres.
  • To help students to discover and appreciate the English language, and to learn how richly language clothes our responses to the world.
  • To actively promote, through formal study, both the self-examination and the imaginative understanding that are among the central values of advanced study in the humanities.
  • To encourage in post-baccalaureate students a broader, more formal inquiry into specific authors and movements in both western and non-western literatures, and to teach them by example the professional practices of reading and interpretation.
  • To cultivate the practical talents gained by the study of literature: the ability to recognize the functions of analysis and synthesis in one's professional life, to construct an argument, to think critically, to write efficiently, clearly, and gracefully, to develop confidence in the validity of one's judgments about many kinds of writing, and to learn to see the interstices as well as the architectural whole in widely different encounters with the written word.
  • To stimulate the kind of intellectual self-scrutiny and the passion for reading that will lead to successful work on the doctoral level, and to help students gain admittance into excellent Ph.D. programs throughout the country.
  • To provide an opportunity for qualified students who are considering teaching as a career to work with faculty in undergraduate courses or to teach their own first-year composition class through the awarding of graduate and teaching assistantships.
  • To foster in those who are interested in pursuing careers in writing and editing, politics, business, nonprofit work or other less obviously English-related fields the kinds of attention and analysis that are concomitant with the formal study of vastly different kinds of writing – fiction, poetry and drama, argumentation and analysis, opinion, review essays, and creative nonfiction.
  • To both broaden and deepen the needed practical knowledge of the fields of writing, literature and literary history for future English teachers in high schools, business schools and community colleges.
  • To offer career teachers of English a place to improve their knowledge of these fields and rejuvenate their commitment to the study and teaching of literature.

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Studies in 19th-Century American Literature
  • Studies in Latin American Literature
  • Studies in 20th- and 21st-Century Literature of the United States
  • Drama
  • Film and Media

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines


33 SCH


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
GRE admission requirements GRE®

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Substantial academic writing sample of 10-20 pages, showing the applicant's strongest work and potential for literary research
  • Statement of approximately 500 words articulating the applicant's goals for graduate study, research interests, career aspirations, and the reasons for applying
  • Resume is strongly recommended
  • Applicants submit two letters of recommendation from faculty familiar with the applicant's academic performance and potential for graduate work.  Additional letters may be sent if relevant to a candidate's application.  If an applicant has been out of school for some time, he or she should contact the Graduate Director for advice about appropriate recommenders.
  • GRE General Test (optional)

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    19536 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 1184 USD per credit during 24 months.
  • National

    19536 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 1184 USD per credit during 24 months.
  • In-State

    7689 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 466 USD per credit during 24 months.

Living costs for Harrisonburg

1050 - 1715 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

James Madison University


Go to your profile page to get personalised recommendations!