MA Program


To our Admitted Graduate Students: Please know that our priority during this challenging time is the well-being of our students and ensuring their ability to fulfill their academic program requirements. This applies to our current students as well as you, our incoming graduate students. Due to the growing impact of COVID-19, all prospective and accepted student days, interview days, and individual student visits will be moved to a virtual format. 
We are also aware of the increasing concern around delayed visa appointments for our international students and delayed air travel for both our domestic and international students. Please be assured that we are currently working on alternative enrollment options for admitted students who are unable to make it to campus by the start of classes in September. You will be contacted via email with updates as they become available. Please be in touch if you have any questions or concerns. 



The Graduate Program in English and American Literature at Boston University provides comprehensive training in all areas of English studies. Coursework is offered in historical periods, individual authors, important literary movements, literary theory and the history of criticism, and philology and linguistics. Students develop a broad competence in all literary periods before moving to a more specialized knowledge of a single area or topic.

The MA degree may be completed in two full-time semesters.
The requirements include:

  • Eight graduate-level courses (full-time load = four courses per semester)
  • Demonstration of a reading knowledge of one foreign language
  • Fulfillment of a one-course literary theory/history requirement

No comprehensive exam or thesis is required.

A limited number of partial scholarships are available to MA students.


Additional departmental details regarding all stages of the degree can be found in the graduate handbook

For in-depth information about graduate study in English or Creative Writing, please consult the Graduate Bulletin.