College of Arts and Sciences


Major in English - Master of Arts (M.A.)

This 100 percent online, consortial program is taught by IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast.

The IU Online Master of Arts in English provides broad training in the primary areas of English studies.  

As a student in the program, you explore the core principles of writing and literature pedagogy, the linguistic structure and history of English literature, and a wide variety of reading strategies associated with genre and close reading. You gain skills and knowledge to conduct archival research, develop analytical and presentation skills through the focused study of literature in a seminar format, and acquire an appreciation of current trends in the field of digital humanities.   

The MA in English has a two-part "stackable" structure.  

  • You first complete an online, 20 credit hour graduate certificate in literature, composition studies, or language and literature. The certificate allows you to acquire specialized knowledge.
  • After you successfully complete one of the certificates, you take an additional 16 credits of master's-level coursework that extends the breadth and depth of your knowledge. 

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

The stackable structure of the MA in English is ideal for dual-credit and community college teachers who need to meet the Higher Learning Commission's instructor qualification standards. These standards require teachers to hold either a master's degree in their area of instruction or a master's degree in another discipline plus at least 18 credit hours of discipline-specific graduate coursework.

  • If you hold a master's degree in a discipline other than your discipline of instruction, you can meet HLC's standards by completing one of the online certificates.  
  • If you need both discipline-specific coursework and a master's degree, the MA in English meets HLC standards and provides a comprehensive program of study in English.

Degree Requirements 

To earn the MA in English, you must complete a total of 36 credit hours.  

Requirements are broken down as follows: 

  • English graduate certificate (20 credit hours) 
  • MA core courses (8 credit hours)
  • MA elective courses (8 credit hours)

For more information on the MA in English see 

Academic Bulletins

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IUN Bulletin

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