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Our master’s degree in English will enable you to explore language's power in historical and contemporary contexts. You will develop strong analytical and communication skills and find opportunities for original research. The program emphasizes independent research and writing scholarly papers based on a critical understanding of literature’s aesthetic and the humanistic values of its social, historical, and cultural significance.

student in the library

Your education. Your way.

Master of Arts
Literature Concentration with thesis

For students who choose the literature option, graduate study in English provides an opportunity to develop skills in literary scholarship and criticism through an intensive study of British and American literature. The program emphasizes independent research—using both print and electronic sources—and the writing of scholarly papers based on a critical understanding of literature’s aesthetic and humanistic values and of its social, historical and cultural significance. 

Master of Science
Optional Teacher Licensure or Literature Concentration without thesis

Students who choose the English education option may receive the M.S. degree with initial teacher licensure or add an M.S. endorsement to an existing license. Students who choose the literature option will have an emphasis on independent research and the writing of scholarly papers.

Why study English at Radford?

  • We offer the flexibility to shape your English master's degree to fit your passions in areas including literary studies, professional writing, education, and creative writing.
  • You have a supportive community of students and mentors.
  • We provide individualized academic and career guidance from dedicated faculty members.
  • You have opportunities to receive teaching and non-teaching associated funding.

Careers and Internships

With a master’s in English, further graduate study programs are available to you, including an English doctorate or pursuing law school.

You also have the opportunity to work across industries in roles like publishing, teaching, human resources, academic advising, marketing, public relations, professional writing, and user experience (UX) design.

Opportunities for English students at Radford

Students can join English Club to get access to a wide array of creative activities, peer engagement, and professional development lectures. Some of the events held by the English Club include career talks, meeting with visiting writers, open mic nights, paint nights, trivia nights, and other social events.

You can also join the Creative Writers Guild–an organization on campus that holds readings, workshops, and other social events.

Admissions Requirements

  • Minimum grade point average of 2.75
  • 15 credits of upper-level coursework in English literature and language (or other relevant disciplines as approved by the English Department Chair)
  • 2 letters of reference
  • Sample of expository writing
  • Student resume
  • Official transcripts from all college institutions (including post-baccalaureate work)

Applicants for Graduate Teaching Assistantships/Fellowships must submit an additional recommendation (in addition to the 2 required for graduate admission, for a total of 3) as well as a statement of teaching philosophy to the Graduate Program coordinator. Guidelines for this statement are available from the coordinator or on the Graduate Teaching Assistantships/Fellowships admissions requirements site.

  • 16-20 full-time students per cohort

  • 4 learning tracks for a unique educational experience

In the graduate teaching fellowship, students work on teams with a faculty mentor and fellow students to design and offer first-year college writing courses. They develop confidence in the classroom and critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills that translate into their later careers.

student with a book in the library

We want to get to know you better and we are excited that you are ready to take your next step and learn more about us. We are here to help you and look forward to working with you during your college search process.