Literature (M.A.)

M.A. Literature

“Reading books is the most glorious pastime that humankind has yet devised.ˮ
— Wisława Szymborska

Program Overview

Texas State University's Master of Arts (M.A.) in Literature program will help students forge a path toward a variety of careers based in reading, writing, and communication. It offers intimate courses, scholarships and fellowships, internship opportunities in research, writing, and teaching, and a welcoming, congenial atmosphere in which to find a literary community. Students can access essential and rare materials at Alkek Library and the Wittliff Collections and interact with renowned visiting scholars and writers.

Course Work

The program typically offers small, seminar-style classes that enroll five to 15 students. Our students have ample opportunities for close interaction with our outstanding faculty. Courses cover a wide range of topics, periods, and genres, from Anglo-Saxon literature to contemporary poetry, drama, fiction, and film. Students may choose a thesis or non-thesis track, depending on their interests and career goals, and may select a minor from other graduate programs including Women and Gender Studies and Diversity Studies.

DegreeHoursThesis OptionMinor Option
Thesis Option
Minor Option
Minor required
Thesis Option
Minor Option
Minor required

What Our Alumni Say

"The highlights of my studies were being part of a supportive community, the amazing professors who guided me with their advice, and enjoying the diverse courses I took that inspired me to continue my studies."

— Razieh Araghi, Current Ph.D. Student, University of Michigan

Program Details

Texas State University's M.A. in Literature helps hone your reading, writing, and interpretive skills. Our award-winning faculty members not only conduct innovative research, they are committed to student mentorship and support.

Program Mission

Faculty in the Department of English teach, conduct research in, and advance the discipline of English Studies, including rhetoric and composition, creative writing, technical communication, film and media studies, literature, and language. They prepare undergraduate and graduate students to pursue further education and/or careers; to think, write, and speak clearly; to produce authoritative scholarship and inspiring creative work; to read with pleasure, skill, and understanding; and to appreciate the power and subtlety of discourse in various media.

Career Options

Our master's program offers excellent preparation for a variety of careers that call for outstanding critical thinking and verbal expression, including the law, communications, professional writing, editing, and publishing, and teaching on the secondary, community college, or university level. Graduates have been admitted to more than 50 advanced degree and doctoral programs and have received generous scholarships and fellowships to support their studies.

Program Faculty

Our award-winning graduate faculty's specialties include medieval literature and cultural studies; Renaissance literature and drama; American and British literature of many periods; children's and adolescent literature; Beat poetry; Jewish American literature; Latinx and Chicanx literature; African American literature; Southwestern literature; film and media studies; graphic novels and comics; science fiction and fantasy literature; postcolonial literature and film. Professors have received many teaching and research awards and published hundreds of scholarly books and articles.

Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more. If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following individuals.

Graduate Advisor
Dr. James Reeves
Flowers Hall (FH), Room 358


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Application Deadlines

DeadlinesU.S. CitizenInternational
Fall - Priority
U.S. Citizen
January 15
January 15
Fall - Standard
U.S. Citizen
June 15 (*Flexible)
June 1
U.S. Citizen
October 15 (*Flexible)
October 1
Summer I
U.S. Citizen
April 15 (*Flexible)
March 15
Summer II
U.S. Citizen
June 1 (*Flexible)
No Admission

*This program’s deadline is flexible for those not requiring an F/J visa. A flexible deadline means applications received after the standard deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis with no guarantees for admission consideration.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding. If you are applying for a departmental graduate assistantship (IA/TA), you must submit required materials by January 31 to the department, per the department's requirements. Review the department's webpage for more information.

If you are applying for a departmental graduate assistantship (IA/TA), you must submit required materials for both the literature program and the IA/TA position by January 15 for the following academic year.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Admission Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.

  • Review important information about the online application.

    • $55 non-refundable master's application fee
    • $90 non-refundable master's application fee for applications with international credentials

    Review important information about application fees.

    • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university (Non-U.S. degrees must be equivalent to a four-year U.S. Bachelor’s degree. In most cases, three-year degrees are not considered. Visit our International FAQs for more information.)
    • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
    • minimum 2.75 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses) (Effective Fall 2024: a 2.75 overall GPA or a 2.75 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work, plus any completed graduate courses)
    • minimum 3.25 GPA in a minimum of 24 hours of undergraduate English, including at least 12 advanced hours. 

    You will be required to take leveling courses if you lack sufficient background course work. Any required leveling course work must be completed with grades of B or better prior to admission.

    If your English GPA falls between 3.0 and 3.25, official GRE (general test only) scores and additional documents are required. 

    Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

  • If your English GPA falls between 3.0 and 3.25, please submit the following items in order to be considered for conditional admission*: 

    • official GRE (general test only) required with competitive scores in the verbal reasoning section
    • two letters of recommendation
    • writing sample of non-fiction prose, preferably literary analysis

    *Conditional admission is not available to applicants who require "F" or "J" visas.

  • GRE

    • official GRE (general test only) scores not required unless your English GPA falls between 3.0 and 3.25.

    Approved English Proficiency Exam Scores

    Applicants are required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score that meets the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

    • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
    • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
    • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
      • minimum individual module scores of 6.0
    • official Duolingo Scores required with a 110 overall
    • official TOEFL Essentials scores required with an 8.5 overall

    This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

    Review important information about official test scores.

    • additional documents not required unless your English GPA falls between 3.0 and 3.25. 

    Review important information about documents.

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