Program Information:

Program Statement:
    Iowa State University’s MA in English program offers two different specializations: one in Literature and one in LIterature and the Teaching of Reading. Specialization in Literature: This two-year master of arts program offers high-quality, personalized instruction to students interested in secondary or college teaching or in pursuing further graduate study. Our courses develop students’ knowledge of major literary trends as well as discipline-specific research skills in the analysis of literature and film; theory and criticism; as well as pedagogy and professionalization. In recent years, we have been able to support nearly every student who has sought funding. Our teaching assistantships are among the best in the Big XII conference with generous stipends, and our incoming students participate in a research apprenticeship program where each is mentored by a faculty member. Our students present at conferences, earn teaching and research awards, and some publish prior to graduation. Specialization in the Literature and the Teaching of Reading: This 30-credit master of arts program is designed for licensed teachers who wish to advance their study of literature as they work toward a reading endorsement. Students take graduate courses in British, American, and other areas of literature while also completing three reading courses in Iowa State’s School of Education. Many graduate English courses are taught in the late afternoon, evening, or online to accommodate teachers. In these courses, faculty regularly offer options for papers and other assessments that emphasize pedagogy. Additionally, in their 3-credit culminating project, students with this specialization can opt to produce a pedagogy-specific Creative Component. This program is especially valuable to teachers in the upper elementary, middle school, and high school levels, including teachers of dual-enrollment courses.
Degrees Offered:
  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
Area(s) of Specialization: (may appear on ISU transcripts after graduation)
  • Literature (M.A.)
  • Literature and the Teaching of Reading (M.A.)
Area(s) of Emphasis:
  • Literature
  • Literature and the Teaching of Reading (LTR)
Program Handbook(s):
Learning Goals:
  • Expand knowledge related to the study of literature and film that includes a diversity of authors, genres, theories, and cultural-historical contexts
  • Communicate research effectively through oral and written presentations
  • Conduct independent scholarship in ways that consistently demonstrate ethical practice and professionalism
  • For graduate students who receive a teaching assistantship, develop strategies for the effective teaching of undergraduate students
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 1.8 years (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Graduate Program Office
Phone: 515-294-2477
E-mail Address:

Mailing Address:

    English Department
    Graduate Program Office
    Iowa State University
    227 Ross Hall
    Ames, IA 50011-1201

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements: International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 587
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 95
    IELTS 7
    PTE 68
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 115

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    January 5 for fall semester entry with financial support consideration. Early applications are encouraged. April 1 (fall entry) and October 15 (spring entry) with no consideration for assistantships, scholarships, or fellowships.
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.

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