MA Program of Study

Our Masters Degree program invites applicants who are interested in deepening their knowledge of Anglophone literature while sharpening their skills in close reading and incisive writing.  In addition to a globally-informed knowledge of literary and cultural history, admitted students will acquire transferable skills in critical thinking, self-expression, cultural literacy, and cultural history.  Over the course of our two-year program of study, students will work closely with English department faculty, develop relationships across the department’s graduate student community, and have the opportunity to engage in a long-form research and writing project, all while being immersed in the culturally rich capital of American political life.


M.A. Students may choose one of two tracks toward their degree, depending on their interests and professional goals.  Both tracks allow students to follow engaging seminars on a wide array of topics, and both allow students to take a limited number of courses outside of the department and in the Washington-area university Consortium to which GW belongs.  The first track culminates in the completion of a Masters portfolio during the final year of study, an appropriate endpoint for students with career aspirations in education, journalism, media, law, and non-profit work, to name just a few of the fields where our recent graduates have found fulfilling careers.  By contrast, the second track culminates in the research and writing of a Masters thesis in the final year and is designed to appeal to students who are interested in preparing themselves for future research in a rigorous PhD or other advanced degree program.  


Various funding opportunities are available for talented applicants who apply before February 1st.  In addition to merit awards, enrolled students can compete for teaching assistantships and tutoring opportunities when they are available. 

*Merit awards in the form of Dean’s Fellowship Awards (first year only) are given selectively by the CCAS Dean’s Office.

Merit awards in the form of McCandlish Fund Tuition Awards are offered selectively by the English Department.

Graduate Assistantships are awarded competitively to experienced tutors and teachers to assist professors with the writing component of courses in the Writing in the Disciplines (WID) Program. 

Because MA students in English typically have the language and writing skills required for these salaried GA positions, they have an excellent chance of being selected to serve in these semester-by-semester appointments.  These positions also include additional compensated training workshops in writing pedagogy. To indicate your interest, write Gil Huerta in the WID Program, by April 15th and include a copy of your c.v., which states clearly your intended program of study at GW.

In addition, the Office of Student Financial Assistance can arrange loans and provide helpful information for admitted students.

The CW Career Center provides information about Federal Work-Study opportunities, part-time jobs, and internships in the Washington area that pay a salary.

The Human Resources Office has information about University employment (typically full-time jobs) that includes significant tuition remission for part-time students after completing 90 days of regular employment.

The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences also offers several  funding opportunities, including one for recent GW graduates.  


Our application deadlines are October 1st for M.A. applicants seeking Spring Semester admission, February 1st for M.A. applicants seeking Fall Semester admission with funding consideration, and April 1st for M.A. applicants seeking Fall Semester admission without funding consideration. Read more about the application process here.