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U.S. News & World Report ranks Rutgers University – Newark as New Jersey's top public university that offers a master's degree program in English. Our M.A. classes are taught by one of the most diverse and highly respected faculties in the country, widely published scholars who are working to redefine what "English" means in an increasingly global twenty-first century.

The department’s two dozen scholars, poets, and novelists have earned international reputations by publishing more than 135 books and more than a thousand articles and reviews. They offer dozens of courses on English, American, and world Anglophone poetry, fiction, drama, film, literary theory, cultural studies, and the publishing business. M.A. students can pursue a graduate degree full- or part-time in a program structured to serve working adults’ schedules.


The Rutgers – Newark English M.A. program offers:

  • Both full- and part-time study, for maximum flexibility
  • Small seminars of 7–15 students, all taught by internationally prominent scholars
  • Classes that meet one evening a week to accommodate busy work schedules
  • Scholarships and fellowships, awarded on a competitive basis, to reduce tuition costs
  • A series of lectures and readings by nationally recognized scholars, poets, novelists, and artists


The thirty-credit M.A. degree requires:

  • Introduction to Graduate Literary Study
  • Two classes on literature before 1800
  • One class on American literature
  • Six elective classes in English, American, or Anglophone literature
  • A reading exam in a foreign language
  • A comprehensive exam on literature

An optional master’s thesis is the equivalent of six credits.

There is an optional concentration in Women's and Gender Studies that Studies lets students study gender and sexuality from a variety of perspectives, with interdisciplinary classes from the graduate programs in American Studies, Criminal Justice, Global Affairs, History, Political Science, and Public Administration.


Click to view the M.A English Capstone Project Requirements


Learning Objectives

  • Acquisition of analytic skills and the ability to use them to write substantive essays about texts that fall under the rubric of literature.
  • Acquisition of research skills and the use of them to further literary analysis.
  • Knowledge of literary theory.
  • An enhancement of students own pedagogic abilities though oral presentation.
  • A shared sense of intellectual community through the facilitation of dialogue among students and between students and faculty.

Career Paths

Our M.A. students include high school English teachers working on professional development and staying current with the latest developments in the field, students planning to pursue a Ph.D. in English, journalists, and those who simply want further opportunities to study literature. Recent graduates of the English M.A. program are pursuing doctorates; working in publishing, journalism, and corporate communications; studying librarianship, law, and creative writing; serving in educational administration; and teaching in high schools, colleges, and universities.


To apply for the Rutgers University–Newark English M.A., visit

Application deadlines are August 15 for fall admission and December 1 for spring.

An application includes a personal statement — a short account of your intellectual interests and commitments — and a writing sample, an example of the best scholarly writing you've done so far. The most effective letters of recommendation are those that can speak to your academic performance.


The per-credit cost for studying at Rutgers, for both in-state and out-of-state students, is spelled out at

The department and the Graduate School offer a number of funding packages to incoming students on a competitive basis. More information on funding options is available from the Office of Financial Aid.

Non-Degree Study

Not ready to commit to a thirty-credit M.A. degree? You can take classes on a nonmatriculated basis to find out whether the program is right for you. If you later switch to the degree program, up to twelve credits from nonmatriculated study can be applied toward the degree.

More Information

For more information on the program and funding opportunities for MA students or to schedule a visit please contact Graduate Director David Baker or Department Chair Belinda Edmondson


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