Department of English

O'Dowd Hall, Room 544
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2250
fax: (248) 370-4429

Contact Us

Joanne Lipson Freed, Coordinator
540 O'Dowd Hall
(248) 370-2255

Master of Arts in English


freed   Welcome new and prospective students!

On these pages, you can find information about our M.A. program, including program requirements, how to apply, and a snapshot of what some of our alumni are doing now.

The Master of Arts program in English at Oakland University builds on the strengths you may already be familiar with if you have taken undergraduate courses in our department: our facultyare not only world-class scholars whose published research is shaping the direction of the field, but they are also dedicated and passionate educators who bring that scholarly expertise into the classroom. In our M.A. program, you can enjoy small class sizes, a supportive community of fellow students, and faculty who are committed to your success.

Our curriculum provides training for students interested in reading, writing, and thinking about English and American literature at an advanced level. We offer courses organized by historical time period (such as Victorian British, Early American, and Postcolonial literature, for example) and literary kinds (fiction, poetry, and drama), as well as special topics courses that allow students to take a deep dive into a compelling and timely area of inquiry. All students take two required courses that help contextualize their work as emerging literary critics: Introduction to Graduate Studies, and Critical Theory and Practice. We encourage students to explore broadly across fields, topics, and methodologies to discover what potentially unexpected areas and approaches might inspire their own intellectual curiosity, and to use the experience of preparing an Exit Portfolio in their final semester to document and reflect on their growth.

We recognize that undertaking graduate study represents a significant financial investment, and we are happy to offer several graduate assistantships each year, which provide both valuable preprofessional training and significant financial support, as well as the Cole Pope Scholarship awarded annually on the basis of academic excellence, financial need, and a commitment to community service.

Students may pursue an M.A. in English with a variety of future goals in mind, and I encourage each of you to tailor your program of study to reflect those goals. Students who hope to continue on to the Ph.D. should cultivate mentorships with faculty in their intended area of study, seek out opportunities to present and publish, and consider undertaking a Thesis project. Students who aim to teach can seek employment in the Writing Center or take cognate courses in Writing and Rhetoric as a part of their program of study. And those interested in editing and publishing will benefit from opportunities to work with the Oakland Arts Review, our nationally recognized undergraduate literary journal. Rest assured, you can get a job with an M.A. in English, as our program's alumni can attest!

If you have any questions about graduate study, or want to learn more about our program, please don't hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you!

Joanne Lipson Freed
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of English
Oakland University


Admission Requirements

Admission to the program is selective. Chief qualifications are a Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited institution and academic ability as indicated by the applicant's past record. An English major is not regarded as an indispensable background, but a substantial number of undergraduate English courses will normally be expected to appear in the applicant's record. 

Admission Procedure

To apply, please complete the online Application for Admission to Graduate Study and explain in a statement your reasons for wishing to pursue the advanced study of literature.

Please visit the M.A. in English overview page in the OU graduate catalog for information about additional requirements.