Master of Arts Degree in English

The 31-hour M.A. in English is designed for students desiring a general background in English and American literature and is strongly recommended for students planning further graduate study in English and/or American literature.

Language and Literature track

The Language and Literature track is designed for students who wish to combine graduate study of literature with the study of linguistics and/or composition and rhetoric. This track is recommended for students interested in teaching in community colleges or secondary schools and for students interested in pursuing the Ph.D. in composition and rhetoric or linguistics.

Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing track

The Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing track is designed for students who wish to combine the study of literature with the study of book history, print culture, and editing. This track is recommended for students interested in editorial careers, offering several internship experiences in print and online media, and for students interesting in pursuing the Ph.D. in book history and print culture.

Application deadline:

Sept. 15 (spring semester admission), January 15 (fall semester admission)

Application Checklist

The application process is competitive. Applicants must have a B.A. in English or a B.A. that includes at least 30 hours of sophomore-, junior-, and senior-level English courses or the equivalent. Applicants with fewer than 30 hours of undergraduate English courses may be assigned coursework in addition to the 31 hours required for graduation. Applicants need a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and a 3.0 average in English coursework. In unusual circumstances, the principal graduate adviser may review applications with a lower grade point average.

A complete application includes a UMKC application (sent to the Office of Admissions in room 120 of the Administrative Center) and the following five items (sent to the Department of English, Cockefair Hall 106):

1. English Department M.A. application (PDF)

2. a score at or above the 60th percentile on either the verbal section of the Graduate Record Exam or GRE Major Field Test in English

3. writing sample (a critical essay)

4. three letters of recommendation

5. statement of purpose

Please allow time so that all of the materials will be available for consideration by September 15 for spring semester and January 15 for fall semester.

Graduation Requirements

Students must earn 31 graduate credits beyond credits earned in the bachelor's degree. At least 15 hours must be at graduate level (courses numbered 500 and above) and taught by a member of the graduate faculty, and at least nine hours must be in 500-level seminars or other 500-level courses with 400-level courses. Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average to remain in the M.A. program and to complete the degree.

Students must fulfill a foreign language requirement by satisfactorily completing (with a “C” or better) the equivalent of two years of university-level study of one foreign language or by completing satisfactorily the final exam of a second-semester language course.

Students must complete a formal Program of Study and have it signed within a year after admission and must complete all coursework within seven years.

Programs of Study

Literature Program of Study

Language and Literature Program of Study

Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing Program of Study

The Culminating Experience (PDF)

MA Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

MA Student Self-Assessment Form (PDF)

Helpful Resources

Grad Resource

Getting into Grad School

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab

Contact Info

English Department


Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Anthony Shiu
Cockefair Hall 117

UMKC Admissions


120 Administrative Center
University of Missouri-Kansas City
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499