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Sharpen your critical reading, research and writing skills with a master's degree in English. Choose from options in literature, creative writing, and rhetoric and composition.

Why Earn a Master's in English?

Build the reading, writing and analytical skills you need for a variety of careers. By studying English, you'll analyze how language changes and shapes the world. You'll learn how to consider the contexts of writers and their audiences. You'll become a confident writer, whether it is in research papers or your own creative work. Your English degree will help you pursue a career in education, writing, media and more.

Why Study English at CSUN?

Choose Your Option

Pursue your area of interest under the broader category of English. We have three options for English major students:

  • Literature: Learn to analyze and critique English literary traditions.
  • Creative Writing: Hone your narrative, verse or playwriting skills.
  • Rhetoric and Composition: Study the evolution of language and the art of writing.

Passionate Faculty

Work with nationally recognized scholars and writers in small classroom settings. Our faculty have published reviews, essays, poems, short stories and novels. They will help nurture your craft and give you insights into great works of poetry and literature. Be encouraged and inspired in the Department of English.

Teacher Associate Program

Gain experience teaching in the classroom with our Teaching Associate Program. If you qualify, you will have the opportunity to teach composition to CSUN undergraduates as the sole instructor. You will receive a stipend and support from a mentor professor during the school year.

What You'll Learn

With an M.A. in English, you'll be prepared to analyze literature and compose your own works. You will study British, American and other diverse works. You'll study creative, linguistic, and rhetorical theories. You will be able to apply your critical reading and writing skills to a variety of fields.

The M.A. in English consists of three options: Literature, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric and Composition.

All three options offer the same core courses in:

  • English theory
  • Genre studies
  • Cultural or textual studies
  • Language studies

The literature option focuses on the analytical reading of works written in English. In addition to your core courses, you will take upper-division classes with an emphasis in literature.

For your culminating experience, you will complete a graduate project or pass a comprehensive exam.


In this option, you'll develop narrative, verse or playwriting skills. To choose the Creative Writing option, you must submit a qualifying creative writing sample during your first semester as a Master's of English student.

In your option courses, you will take courses with an emphasis on creative writing. For your culminating experience, you will complete a graduate project composed of your creative work.


In this option, you'll learn advanced theories on persuasive speaking and writing. You'll understand the history of rhetoric and analyze techniques through reading diverse literature.

In your option courses, you will take advanced seminars on rhetoric and composition studies. For your culminating experience, you will complete a graduate project or pass a comprehensive exam.


Careers & Outcomes

By graduating with a master's degree in English, you will be prepared for an academic or professional career. You can apply for Ph.D. programs or become a community college instructor. You can also become a writer or find a career that relies on mastery of the English language.

Northridge Review cover art

Get published on campus.

Submit your original work to the Northridge Review, a literary and arts journal curated and produced by CSUN students. Every year, the NR publishes two volumes containing the best in art, poetry, fiction and drama from the CSUN and neighboring community.

Admission Information

To be considered for admission to CSUN as a master’s student, you will need to:

Learn more about applying for a master's program at CSUN.

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