English, Master of Arts

33 Credits
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Queens Campus


The Master of Arts in English at St. John’s University offers students a broad and intensive engagement with literary, cultural, and writing studies. Distinguished faculty members teach courses in traditional and emerging fields of literature, cultural studies, critical theory, writing, and composition studies.

The 33-credit program features the option to write a three-credit master’s thesis in place of one course. In the final semester of course work, each student submits a master’s portfolio, including one extensively revised paper and a 10- page critical overview of his or her growth as a reader, scholar, and writer.

The program is designed for both full-time graduate students and professional educators, administrators, and writers who want to pursue a master’s degree part-time. As a full-time student, you can complete the degree in three or four semesters.  If you are a part-time student, you may proceed more gradually toward completing the requirements.

For additional information about the M.A. program and the Department of English, please follow our department’s blog, which features course descriptions, faculty profiles, upcoming events, departmental publications, departmental forms, and listings for available jobs and internships.

Department Contact
Steve R. Mentz, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English
St. John Hall, Room B-40

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The requirements for admission to the M.A. program in English at St. John’s are the following:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with at least 24 credits completed in English. 
  2. An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and a 3.5 in English courses.
  3. Acceptable GRE scores in the General Test. We do not require the English subject test.
  4. Three letters of recommendation, two of which should be academic letters attesting to your work as a student.

Admissions Contact
Robert Medrano
Director of Graduate Admissions

Tuition and Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis through the Department of English and the Institute for Writing Studies. These assistantships provide tuition remission and a stipend, along with the experience of tutoring St. John’s students in the Writing Center. New students who are interested in an assistantship should indicate their interest on the application form. The deadline for assistantship applications is February 15.   

Some administrative graduate assistantships are also available throughout the University. These positions also offer tuition remission and a stipend, and require you to perform administrative support on campus. Available positions are listed on the Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships page.

For more information about tuition and other sources of financial aid, please visit Tuition and Financial Aid.Tuition and Financial Aid

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Career Outcomes

The ability to think critically, write effectively, and engage with intellectual discourse will serve you well as both an academic and professional in a wide range of fields.

A number of recent graduates of the M.A. program have received fellowships for doctoral study at some of the best graduate programs in the United States, including Columbia University, Brown University, The City University of New York (CUNY), the University of Maryland, and the University of California, San Diego. Other graduates have been accepted at prestigious law schools, established careers in publishing and editing, and obtained middle school and high school teaching positions. 

You can find assistance with landing a job or internship through University Career Services, which hosts several workshops and career events throughout the year in addition to one-on-one career counseling.

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Additional Information

The English department sponsors an active intellectual life. There are several colloquia a year, in addition to lectures by department faculty. Details about upcoming events can be found on the blog. We also encourage you to participate in our annual English graduate student conference, which is held within the department.

Complementing the graduate courses in the M.A. program are opportunities for practical experience in tutoring, editing, and research. You may contribute to our graduate program’s literary journal: The St. John's Humanities Review, which features book reviews, essays, and interviews by contributors on campus and from around the world. We also publish a literary journal of student poetry and fiction, Sequoya.

With the 2006 opening of the Institute for Writing Studies, we offer an exceptional new environment for professional training and development in writing instruction. Directed by the English Department's Derek Owens, D.A., the University Writing Center hires qualified graduate and undergraduate students as writing tutors.

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Related Programs

Success Story

Associate Professor of English
For King, teaching is an opportunity to share her love of literature and learning with students, introducing them to new subjects and ideas.