Master of Arts in English Literature

We offer advanced students the opportunity to devote two years studying all that is best of classical and modern Anglophone literature within the frameworks of traditional and contemporary forms of criticism.

Students on the Literature Track have gone on to PhD programs at Cambridge University, the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the University of York (UK).

Our Program

Blood tragedy. Magical realism. Lyric poetry. Graphic novels. Old English. Marxist criticism.

We offer advanced students the opportunity to devote two years studying all that is best of classical and modern British and American literature within the frameworks of traditional and contemporary forms of criticism. Recent graduate course offerings range from “Gossip and Voyeurism in Medieval Literature,” to “Modern India in Novel and Film,” from “The Other Eighteenth Century” to “A Feast of Words: Louise Erdich and Sherman Alexie.”

Our program of study is focused and flexible. We expose students to a broad range of literature and approaches and enable them to cultivate an area of expertise. Most students culminate their study by writing a critical article that attests to their successful apprenticeship in graduate work. Individually determined and written under the guidance of a professor, the literature M.A. projects are as diverse as the students who write them.

Our Community


Our award-winning faculty of scholar-teachers has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for dedication and innovation. Many of us have won prizes for our teaching. Others have been awarded prestigious grants and fellowships. All of us publish regularly—and we love what we do.

Literature track faculty and students enjoy warm relationships with faculty and students from each of the other four tracks in the department. In fact, many of our literature faculty serve on at least one other track, and most students take courses from at least two different tracks. Many of our literature faculty also teach in Women’s Studies and American Ethnic Studies.

Learn more about our faculty and our publications.


We think our graduate literature students are among the best and the brightest from the region and the nation—and beyond. Most come with a B.A. in English, but every year we also admit students whose degrees lie outside the discipline.

Our students actively engage in the life of the department, teaching, presenting their research at departmental colloquia as well as regional and national conferences, and serving on the Literature Track Committee (among others).


In addition to working with faculty and other graduate students through formal coursework and on their M.A. project or thesis, graduate students in the track have several other collaborative opportunities:

  • Each spring literature track faculty select three or four graduate students to present their research at one of the department’s colloquia.
  • Less regularly, the track organizes colloquial panels composed of faculty and graduate students that explore various interpretations or critical approaches to a single work. These panels have tackled Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market,” Robert Frost’s “Mowing,” Seamus Heaney’s “Digging,” and Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
  • Select graduate students may have an opportunity to work with faculty as research assistants.
  • Each year we invite two (or more) graduate students to serve on the Literature Track Committee, an excellent pre-professional opportunity for students planning for further graduate studies.


Each year the Literature Track brings to campus literary historians, critics, and theorists as guest lecturers, sometimes in collaboration with other departmental tracks or other university departments. Over the last few years the list of visiting speakers has included such notable scholars as Michael Denning on twentieth-century working class novels, Yopie Prins on Virginia Woolf, Janice Radway on girls' zines, and Eric Sundquist on African American literature.

Our Graduates and Their Careers

Our most welcome visitors are our own graduates. Each spring the English Department sponsors “Alumni Connections,” which features a panel of our diversely successful English graduates. Graduates from our program have gone on to become professors in English and in religious studies, teachers in community colleges and high schools, lawyers, CEOs, technical writers, and many other professions.

How Can I Afford This?

Most students in the Program in British and American Literature are eligible to receive financial assistance in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantships. For more information about financial aid, go to the Graduate Studies page.

How Do I Apply?

Prospective students may apply on-line or download the application forms from the Graduate School. If you would prefer a paper application, you may request all the necessary application materials and program information from:

Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English
108 E/CS Bldg.
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-6501
Office Telephone: (785) 532-6716
FAX: (785) 532-2192

Website: Application:

For more information
Professor Naomi Wood, Director
Graduate Program in Literature
Department of English
108 English/Counseling Services Building
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-6501
FAX: (785) 532-2192