Degree Programs:

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of English and Language Studies

Graduate Certificate in Literature - Online Collaborative

As a student in the IU Online Graduate Certificate in Literature, you explore the core principles of literature. You learn to teach students how to read and analyze texts and contexts and to write literary analysis. You also develop a fluency with current literary debates and theories of instruction. 

Specific areas of focus include:

  • Contemporary theory on the pedagogy of composition and literature
  • Linguistic structures and history of the English language
  • Reading strategies and literary analysis, with attention to close reading, style, form, genre, and rhetorical practices
  • Approaches to composition and writing instruction, including the identification and evaluation of sources, use of evidence, generation of ideas, and development and organization of argument
  • Fostering discussion and developing presentation skills in a seminar setting
  • Developing archival research skills and facility with electronic resources
  • Developments, trends, and frontiers in the digital humanities

Of Special Interest for Dual-Credit and Community College Instructors Needing to Meet HLC Standards

The Graduate Certificate in Literature is ideal for those who want to teach dual-credit courses and who need to meet Higher Learning Commission dual-credit qualification standards. These standards require teachers wanting to teach dual-credit courses to hold either a master's degree in their area of instruction or a master's degree in another discipline (such as education), plus at least 18 credit hours of discipline-specific graduate coursework.

  • If you hold a master's degree in another discipline, you can meet HLC standards by completing the 20 credit hour Graduate Certificate in Literature.
  • If you plan to pursue the IU Online MA in English, you may apply the 20 credit hours from the Graduate Certificate in Literature toward the master's degree.

Your IU Online Graduate Certificate in Literature prepares you for such careers as:

  • Literature dual-credit teacher (high school)
  • Literature instructor (community college)

This 100 percent online, consortial program is taught by IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. This consortial model allows you to take coursework from several campuses and learn from a wide range of faculty.

Certificate Requirements

To earn the Graduate Certificate in Literature, you must complete a total of 20 credit hours. 

Requirements are broken down as follows:

  • Literature core courses (12 credit hours)
  • Two literature elective courses (8 credit hours)

NOTE: If you choose to pursue the IU Online MA in English, these certificate courses may apply to ("stack into") your degree requirements. Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Literature does not constitute admission into any of the face-to-face graduate programs in English at the participating campuses.

See courses that are being offered this semester.


To be accepted to this program, you must have:

1. A bachelor's degree
To enroll in this program, you must possess either a BA in English (or related bachelor's degree in education with an English specialization, concentration, or outside area) or two years of secondary teaching experience in literature or composition classes

2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

Complete an online application that includes: 

  1. Transcripts
  2. 250-word personal statement explaining background and reasons for entering the program
  3. TOEFL scores (international students only)


  • ENG-D 600 or ENG-G 655 History of the English Language  (4 cr.)
  • ENG-L 503 Teaching Literature in College (4 cr.)
    • Classroom teaching of literature in the light of current approaches.
  • ENG-L 553 Studies in Literature (4 cr.)
  • ENG-L 500/600 Any two ENG-L courses at the 500/600 level (8 cr.)

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