Master of English Program

The Department of English at the University of California, Irvine offers a Master of English program that allows students to pursue their interest in literary and cultural study.  Many of our students are teachers themselves, especially at the junior high and high school level; we also welcome mature students who wish to strengthen their command of literature and hone their skills in critical analysis and communication.  The degree will be of value to those seeking to extend their knowledge and develop their professional expertise; those seeking preparation to enter the teaching profession (including at the community college level); and to those seeking training in critical thinking and communication skills, whether for application in professions other than teaching, as preparation for further graduate studies in the field, or simply out of intellectual curiosity.

The program's curriculum reflects UC Irvine's strengths in literary history and criticism, composition and rhetoric, and literary journalism.  Master of English students work closely with the same faculty who teach in our nationally ranked English Ph.D. program, take seminars dedicated exclusively to them, and receive the same MA degree as the department's full-time graduate students, with the exception that foreign language proficiency is not required for the terminal degree.

We assume that many students in the program will have full-time employment, and the program is thus optimally designed for part-time enrollment.  Approximately 20 students are admitted each year.  The limited enrollment each summer is intended to ensure small classes and accessible faculty - the essential conditions for intensive literary study.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • UCI Department of English named nation's #1 program in Literary Criticism and Theory by most recent U.S. News and World Report ranking
  • The Master of English is the only program in the University of California system designed specifically to offer humanistic study to returning and mature students
  • Students take seminars with faculty experts across historical periods, critical approaches, and fields
  • Master of English students have full access to UCI’s active schedule of speakers and events, including internationally recognized lecture series like the annual Wellek Lecture and semi-annual events like the English Institute
  • A schedule designed for teachers and other working people, allowing students to take coursework in evenings and summers
  • A program of advising and mentorship designed to support professional development in teaching, scholarship and writing