Department of English Language and Literature

Graduate School

A major in English provides a good background for graduate work in a variety of fields; UT English majors have previously pursued degrees in Education, Law, and other disciplines, in addition to MA programs in English as a Second Language, MA and PhD programs in English literature or English composition, and MFA programs in Creative Writing. Advisors are happy to discuss graduate programs with students; in addition, the department offers workshops every year on applying to graduate programs in literature and composition.

MA, MFA, or PhD in English

If you are interested in graduate work in English, talk to your advisor or other English faculty as early as possible in your studies; if you are thinking of becoming a professor, or otherwise considering a PhD, see Applying to PhD Programs in English. Some PhD programs can be entered directly out of college; others require an MA first.


If you are interested in law school, see the UT Pre-Law program's extensive guide. You should also consider making an appointment with the UT Pre-Law advisor, Dr. Sam Nelson. He can be reached at

UT graduate programs

Other programs

  • In addition to those at UT, there are a very large number of graduate programs in education with different specialties. If you are interested in being licensed as a public school teacher in a state other than Ohio, you should probably look for a program in that state. For a list of particularly well-regarded programs, see the US News rankings; these rankings are subjective and should always be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Graduate programs in linguistics include both standalone MA programs and PhD programs. There are individual programs in all of the major linguistics fields; you should determine the field you want to pursue before researching programs. The linguistics advisor can help you think about a specialty and point you to programs to apply to.
  • The American Library Association hosts a guide to graduate programs in library science, including a definitive list of accredited programs.
  • Masters programs in publishing vary a lot in their emphases (and, accordingly, some are MA, some MS, and some MPS or another degree), and thus are harder to categorize, but the most frequently mentioned masters programs in the field include Emerson, NYU, George Washington, and Pace. The Columbia Publishing Course, a non-degree program, is also quite well-regarded. If you have a sense of what specific aspect of publishing interests you, a more focused search will turn up programs that specialize in that area.
  • Because of the emphasis on writing and communication, an English major is good preparation for a graduate degree in business. The UT MBA program is one of the largest in the region, but there are hundreds of programs with different specialties and strengths.
Last Updated: 10/22/20