Students sitting around a round table reading
Master of Arts

About the Program

Similar to the qualities of that ever-elusive perfect pen, there are certain non-negotiable elements a Master of Arts in English degree should have: captivating coursework, ample research opportunities and a track record of post-graduation employment, to name a few.

Case Western Reserve University offers them all—and more. Here, you’ll find flexible, fully customizable coursework so you can lean into your academic niche and even pursue a graduate assistantship, gaining teaching experience while you learn.

As a smaller department within a top research institution, we offer the individualized attention and academic prestige of a liberal arts college. And our physical location is a plus, too—nearby, you’ll find award-winning libraries, local bookshops and plenty of coffee shops (if you want to lean into the cliche of a master’s student in English).

What to Expect

From the language of dress in late 19th-century fiction to first-person narratives of bipolar disorder to legal notions of property and propriety in the 20th-century British novel, our curriculum covers a wide variety of books to challenge how you think. Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who know what they’re talking about, having published more than a dozen books in the last five years alone. 

As you work toward your 30 credit hours of coursework—either pursuing a comprehensive exam track or a thesis track—you can get published, too. After your first year of analyzing colonial forms of pedagogy, discussing the 20th-century short-story renaissance in the U.S. and more, you’ll have the chance to participate in a publication workshop, which includes regular peer review.

At Case Western Reserve, we keep our classes small so we can maintain a 1:3 faculty-to-student ratio, with typically 10 students or fewer starting each semester.

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Beyond the Classroom

In the MA in English program, you’ll receive professional development and mentoring through pre-professional workshops that explore issues including the academic job search, grant and proposal writing, summer internship opportunities and working with archives. The Department of English funds conferences and research pursuits for full-time MA students. And The Writers House supplements classroom learning with virtual and in-person writing-related events when/if you want to take a break from reading.

A career in academia is one of many options for English majors: While half of our students opt to pursue PhDs, we have a strong record of preparing students for non-academic employment too. Our graduates go on to be editors, work in politics and more. 

Whatever path you choose, you’ll have the training to conduct a successful job search, make professional connections, write a dissertation abstract (if applicable) and hone in-demand employment skills. 

By the Numbers


tuition coverage available


faculty books published in the last five years


students or fewer per cohort


faculty to student ratio


program credit hours

Admissions Details

Our program thrives when we have students with diverse perspectives and a range of educational, professional and life experiences. We look forward to learning more about you!

The application process requires:

  • Online application, including a statement of scholarly purpose and a writing sample consisting of at least 15 pages of academic writing
  • $50 application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree in English—or a minimum of 18 semester hours of English coursework beyond the first-year level—from an accredited institution (either already complete, or will be complete before you enroll)
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Test scores for GRE (optional)
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE

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