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English - Master's Degree Program

If film, digital media, visual arts and popular culture don’t come to mind when you think of English studies, come to UW and change your perspective. Our community of writers are redefining an English master’s degree with a flexible, innovative graduate program that blends traditional study of literature, rhetoric and culture with training in teaching and public-facing research. Intensely creative since 1886, UW offers a fully funded, campus-based English master’s degree program and a low-residency master’s in English online.

English master’s program options at UW

Tailor the program curriculum not only to fit your academic interests and career goals but also to intrigue and challenge you. As a graduate student in UW’s English master’s program, you’ll gain a solid foundation in English studies and specialize in one or more of the tracks in the following areas:

  • The Literature track explores a variety of perspectives on literature and other culturally significant texts and materials such as film, social media, oral traditions and political discourse.
  • The Rhetoric, Composition, and Writing Studies track explores the production of discourse, with focus areas in classical, contemporary or cultural rhetoric; post-secondary writing pedagogy and program administration; political rhetoric and activism; or other writing-related studies.
  • The Public Humanities track is one of only a few in the country offered in an English master’s degree program. This concentration will prepare you for a career in nonprofit, civic and community-based cultural organizations that engage the humanities, contribute to social reform and promote the public good.

Quick Facts

Degree Type: Master of Arts (M.A.)


  • Literature
  • Rhetoric, Composition, and Writing Studies
  • Public Humanities

Resident Tuition (online only): $319/credit hour

Non-resident Tuition (online only): $319/credit hour

English Department

In recent years, the English master’s program at UW has experienced a 90% placement rate for all graduate students applying to Ph.D. programs.

English Master’s Degree Program Highlights

The world needs more inspired creativity. With beautiful Laramie, Wyoming, as our backdrop, we nurture this in our English graduate students. Here’s how:

Graduate student funding. All graduate students admitted to the campus-based master’s in English degree program receive a two-year, fully funded Graduate Assistantship that includes free tuition, teaching opportunities and a living stipend, so you can focus entirely on your graduate studies and teaching.

College-level teaching experience. All campus-based English graduate students teach an undergraduate course as part of their master’s experience. This teaching experience allows you to work directly with undergraduate students while learning how to mentor them in their writing.

Job skills. Strengthen your analytical and critical-thinking skills to read, interpret and write about a diverse range of areas in English. You’ll also discuss books, study rhetoric, conduct independent research, teach students and develop and present a thesis in dialogue with scholars on a specialized topic.

Award-winning faculty. English program faculty are approachable and available. We provide extensive, one-on-one mentoring based on years of experience as publishing scholars and specialists in numerous periods, genres and writing approaches. We also teach a variety of courses in literature, film, popular culture, digital media, composition, professional writing and theory.

Community. Connect with students and faculty on campus through a series of competitive internships with Coe Library, English Language Center, UW Writing Center and Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research. As a graduate student in the English master’s degree program, you’ll also have access to Eighteenth-Century Life, a Duke University Press journal housed in the English Department, and the Digital Humanities Lab.

Online flexibility. UW’s Master of Arts in English online is a three-year, cohort-based degree program combining a one-week campus residency each summer with online classes throughout the regular academic year. Designed for working professionals, our online master’s in English allows you to manage other obligations while earning your graduate degree. As our rankings show, we provide a high-value degree while building a strong community through discussion, interaction and personalized mentoring.

Nationally recognized. Our online master’s in English continues to be nationally recognized for the graduate program’s value and affordability. Recent rankings include: 

  • 2020 Best Online Colleges for Value (Guide to Online Schools)
  • 2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges (Online U)
  • 2019 Most Affordable Online Colleges (SR Education Group)
  • 2019 Most Affordable Master's in English Online (SR Education Group)
  • 2019 Best Online Colleges for a Master's in English (SR Education Group)

What Can You Do With an English Master’s Degree?

Whether you enroll in the master’s in English online or on campus, this graduate degree primes you for Ph.D. study or immediate careers in teaching, advising, communications and nonprofits.

Our graduates, after gaining additional credentials in some cases, have gone on to attend law school or business school, work in public relations and marketing, serve nonprofit organizations, develop public policy, work in radio and publishing and much more.

English Careers

These are just some of the varied roles filled by our English master’s program graduates:

  • High school language arts teacher
  • Academic adviser or graduate recruiter
  • Grant writer
  • Technical writer and editor
  • Global marketing manager

With additional credentialing, some of our graduates have worked in roles such as these:

  • Assistant professor
  • Lawyer
  • University president

Amazing Stories from English Graduate Students

Spencer Cooke, M.A. English – Rhetoric, Composition, and Writing Studies ’20, was accepted to the English doctoral program at the University of Oklahoma and received the Alumni and OU Foundation Fellowship. Cooke plans to continue his research on the intersection of rhetoric and composition and memory studies.

Isaih Dale, M.A. English – Literature ’20, was accepted to the English doctoral program at Notre Dame and received a Presidential Fellowship. Out of 5,000 applicants for the Presidential Fellowship, only 25 were selected. With the goal of becoming a professor, Dale will study theories of black masculinity and black solidarity in dialogism with early to mid-20th century African American literature.

Read the article on UW English graduate students Cooke and Dale.

Read more English alumni stories.

Examples of English Master’s Degree Program Courses

Providing a well-rounded background in English studies, UW’s master’s degree program in English also offers a wide selection of courses such as these:

  • Consumption, Markets and Culture
  • Rhetorics of Public Memory
  • Radical Women Rhetors
  • Writing in Public Genres
  • Texts and Textiles
  • Race in the Medieval World
  • Author’s Houses
  • Histories of Reading

View the full Master of Arts in English degree program curriculum.

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