Skip to main content
Degrees & Majors

English (100% online)

Master of Arts


The IU Online Master of Arts in English provides broad training in the primary areas of English studies.

As a student in the program, you explore the core principles of writing and literature pedagogy, the linguistic structure and history of English literature, and a wide variety of reading strategies associated with genre and close reading. You gain skills and knowledge to conduct archival research, develop analytical and presentation skills through the focused study of literature in a seminar format, and acquire an appreciation of current trends in the field of digital humanities.

Specific areas of focus include:

  • Linguistic structures and history of the English language
  • Reading strategies and literary practices, such as close reading, analysis of style, form and genre, and rhetorical practices
  • Approaches to composition and writing instruction, including the identification and evaluation of sources, use of evidence, generation of ideas, and the development and organization of argument
  • Fostering discussion and developing presentation skills in a seminar setting
  • Developing archival research skills and facility with electronic resources
  • Developments, trends, and frontiers in the digital humanities

The MA in English has a two-part “stackable” structure.

  • You first complete an online, 20 credit hour graduate certificate in literature, composition studies, or language and literature. The certificate allows you to acquire specialized knowledge.
  • After you successfully complete one of the certificates, you take an additional 16 credits of master's-level coursework that extends the breadth and depth of your knowledge.

This 100 percent online, consortial program is taught by IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast.

Of special interest to dual-credit and community college instructors needing to meet higher learning commission standards

The stackable structure of the MA in English is ideal for dual-credit and community college teachers who need to meet the Higher Learning Commission's (HLC's) instructor qualification standards. These standards require teachers to hold either a master's degree in their area of instruction or a master's degree in another discipline plus at least 18 credit hours of discipline-specific graduate coursework.

  • If you hold a master's degree in a discipline other than your discipline of instruction, you can meet HLC's standards by completing one of the online certificates.
  • If you need both discipline-specific coursework and a master's degree, the MA in English meets HLC standards and provides a comprehensive program of study in English.

Your IU Online MA in English prepares you for such careers as:

  • High school dual-credit English teacher
  • High school dual-credit literature teacher
  • Community college instructor
  • Other professions that value critical analysis, strong communication skills, and clarity of expression