MA in Literary & Textual Studies

Our flexible, student-centered two-year program* provides a foundation in research methods and literary theory. Coursework in Literary and Textual Studies (English) offers students an opportunity to engage with a variety of texts across historical periods as well as some of the most recent developments in literary studies and cultural criticism. Our faculty is made up of scholars whose research and teaching interests focus on a range of approaches to textual analysis such as critical race theory, deconstruction, feminism and gender studies, new historicism, postcolonial studies, psychoanalysis, and queer theory. We offer seminars in British, American, and Anglophone literatures. Furthermore, the program presents students with numerous opportunities to develop their own research projects, including the MA Thesis, based on their unique interests. And, when enrolled in the MA in Literary and Textual Studies, students also have the opportunity to pursue a graduate certificate in:

Technical Writing, offered online
• Interdisciplinary certificates in Ethnic Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, or others

*The MA in Literary and Textual Studies is not licensure-based


Year One, Fall Semester:

• ENG 6010: Introduction to English Studies

• ENG seminar in an area of interest (elective)

• ENG 6020: Teaching of Writing (required for first-year students who teach through UWP; does not count toward graduation) or ENG seminar in an area of interest (elective, for students not teaching through UWP)

Year One, Spring Semester:

• ENG 6070: Theory and Methods of Literary Criticism

• ENG seminar in an area of interest (elective)

• ENG seminar in an area of interest (elective)

Year Two, Fall Semester:

• ENG seminar in an area of interest (elective)

• ENG seminar in an area of interest (elective)

• ENG 6990 or ENG seminar in an area of interest (elective)

Year Two, Spring Semester:

• ENG seminar in an area of interest (elective)

• ENG seminar in an area of interest (elective)

• ENG 6990 or ENG seminar in an area of interest (elective)

An MA Plan II with a portfolio option instead of the thesis is available.

All MA students will take the following three courses in order to gain an appreciation for the questions and theories that drive literary and textual studies:

• ENG 6010: Introduction to English Studies

• ENG 6070: Theory and Methods of Literary Criticism

• ENG 6990/6910: Thesis Research or Portfolio Hours

Admission Requirements

To gain regular status admission, applicants traditionally have an overall GPA of at least 2.8 and an English GPA of 3.2; however, the entirety of the application will be taken into account and lower GPAs will still be considered.

The Department of English requires the GRE General Exam. We will look for a Verbal score of 159 (or around 80th percentile) or higher, and a Writing score of 4.5 or higher. Please note that while we will require the GRE, we will not base our entire decision on any one portion of an application, including the exam scores. The scores listed above are guidelines, not absolute requirements. We will use the entirety of the application, understanding that some applicants score better on standardized test scores than do others.

Applicants are required to submit scanned copies of official or unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended. Upon admission, final official or notarized copies of transcripts from all institutions where degrees were earned and diplomas from international institutions must be submitted.

Applicants must also submit the following materials:

  • Three Letters of Recommendation from academic references who can attest to your academic ability, your critical thinking skills, your academic writing abilities, etc.
  • All applicants must submit a 2-3 page (double-spaced) statement of purpose. This statement should describe your academic background (and career, if applicable), your preparation for an MA in English program, and your interests and motivation for pursuing the MA in English with a specialization in Literary and Textual Studies at BGSU.
  • All applicants must also submit a 10-15 page (double-spaced) critical writing sample. This sample should demonstrate your writing ability, your preparation for graduate-level academic writing, and your ability to make an analytical argument about a literary work and/or a theoretical concept or field. Two or more shorter samples can be accepted for a total of 10-15 pages in the absence of a single longer sample.

International applicants are also required to submit scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTEA), or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Successful completion of ELS 112 will also be accepted for this requirement. We generally look for a TOEFL score of 100 or higher (and written and speaking scores of 25 or higher), or the equivalent for the IELTS exam.

Apply Today

Tuition Costs

Career Opportunities 


Our Master's Program makes possible a wide range of career paths. The majority of our students receive funding through assistantships involving teaching in BGSU’s Unniversity Writing program, department service, or tutoring. By becoming actively involved in the department in these ways, taking courses, and composing a thesis or capstone portfolio, our program prepares students for advanced graduate work in numerous fields of study in the humanities, but also for careers outside of the academy. Recent graduates have gone on to excellent PhD programs or to work in publishing, research and analysis, computer storyboarding, as well as K-12 and higher education as teachers, administrators, and support personnel.

Recent graduates of our MA program who pursue PhDs have gone on to programs at:
Florida State University
North Carolina State University
Miami University
Rutgers University
Syracuse University
University at Buffalo
University of California, Riverside
University of Florida

University of Kentucky

University of Mississippi

University of New Mexico
Michigan State University
Bowling Green State University
Wayne State University

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the program:

  • Develop creative and critical thinking skills through intensive writing, reading, and critical/creative engagement with texts.
  • Develop proper analytical skills in oral and written articulation and awareness of context.
  • Effectively use writing to explore subject matter and to communicate in class as well as for publication and presentation at conferences.
  • Develop understanding of subject matter and writing in relationship to larger historical and/or cultural/multicultural contexts.
  • Make connections between theory and practice.
  • Develop a sophisticated grasp of the concept of culture as a device to organize further study of the many discrete aspects of our historical, social, intellectual and artistic heritage.
  • Connect with intra-and extra-departmental programs.

Please contact for more information.

Updated: 07/08/2024 02:25PM