Graduate Degree Program Summary
Graduate programs offered
Earn a Graduate Degree
- MA or PhD in English with optional specialization:
Areas of Study
These informal areas of focus may help to shape your course of study but they will not appear on transcripts.
- Nineteenth Century Literatures (American, 18th Century, Romantic, and Victorian British Literatures)
- Twentieth Century Literatures (American Literatures and British Modernism)
- Composition and Rhetoric
- Creative Writing
- Critical Theory
- Digital Humanities
- Ethnic Literatures
- Medieval and Renaissance Literatures
- Place-Based Writing (Literatures of the Great Plains and the American West)
- Women's Literatures
Online and Distance OpportunitiesSome online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.
Application checklist and deadlines
1. Required by Graduate Studies
Submit these items as part of the standard steps to admission.
2. Required by English
After you apply, allow one business day for us to set up your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these requirements.
- Entrance exam(s): None
- Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 600, Internet TOEFL 100, IELTS 6.5
- Critical paper in English (15-20 pp.)
- Curriculum vitae or resume
- Statement of education goals (1-3 pp.)
- Teaching experience or evidence of teaching potential
- Three recommendation letters
- Creative writing applicants only: Creative writing sample (See department website for details)
When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.
Application Deadlines for English
- December 7 for Fall.
Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. UNL's academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some UNL programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years; if your desired entry term isn't mentioned here, you may want to consult the department for clarification.
The Department of English offers the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the areas of literature studies, creative writing, and composition and rhetoric. Students with a B.A. may apply for the M.A. or for direct admission into the Ph.D. degree program. Students with an M.A. or M.F.A. may apply for the Ph.D.
We offer graduate course work in all listed areas of study. There are also opportunities for students to obtain a specialization in ethnic studies; Great Plains studies, human rights and humanitarian affairs, 19th century studies, and women's and gender studies. We also have certifications in Digital Humanities and the Teaching of Writing.
Diverse opportunities are available for professional development, including development of scholarly and teaching portfolios, participation in critical/literary study groups, a fiction and poetry reading series, and collaboration with faculty on research, teaching, and creative activities.
In addition, the department houses a number of prestigious journals and projects, including Prairie Schooner, one of the most respected literary journals in the nation, The Western American Literature Journal and the Quarterly Review of Film and Video. We also have the Walt Whitman Archive, the Cather Project, the Nebraska Writing Project, the Nebraska Literacy Project, the Corvey Collection of 19th Century British Literature and the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric Monograph Series. Graduate students regularly enrich their academic experience through work on these major departmental projects.
Cost of attendanceCost differs from one student to another. For details see Tuition, Fees, and Funding or try our Cost Estimator.
Courses and MoreAdmitted students will choose courses from the Course Catalog, typically in:Steps to Degree Completion.
Faculty and research
Where available, faculty names link to bios or homepages and conversation icons () link to directory listings with address, phone, and email.
Film Studies; Critical Theory; 20th & 21st Century American Literature
Fiction; Creative Nonfiction; American Literature
Creative Writing; Contemporary Poetry
Women Writers; William Blake; Romantic Period
Rural Education; Community Development
Early Modern England; Shakespeare; Spenser; Milton
19th Century British Literature; Victorian Literature and Culture; 19th Century Science and the Novel
Creative Writing; Latina Literature; Women's Literature; 20th Century Literature
Creative Writing and Prairie Schooner Editor
Women's and Gender Studies; Literature Theory; Cultural Studies; War Literature
Film History, Theory, and Criticism
African-American Literature; Popular Culture; Film
Film Studies; Women's Studies; Cultural Studies; Screenwriting
Digital Humanities; 19th Century Literature; Editorial Theory
Native American Literatures; Romanticism; Literary Theory
Composition; Rhetoric; Literacy Studies; Pedagogies
Pedagogy; Basic Writing and College Access; Teaching with Technology; Learning Transfer; Digital Rhetoric
American Literature; History of the Book; Women's Authorship
Women Writers; Harlem Renaissance; Popular Culture
The Digital Age
Digital Humanities; Irish and Irish American Literature
Canadian Literature; Great Plains Studies; Native American Literature
Creative Writing; Poetry
Ecocriticism; Western and Southwestern American Literature
American Literature; Chicano Literature; Creative Writing; Fiction
British Literature; Narrative Theory; Genre Theory; History of Manners; Anglo-American Modernism; Jane Austen
American Literature and Periodicals; Textual Editing; Digital Humanities
Digital Humanities; Critical Theory; Drama
Willa Cather; Women's Fiction; American Studies
African-American Literature and Culture; American Literature
Creative Writing; Fiction Writing
Renaissance Literature and History; Early Modern Travel Literature
Renaissance Literature; Literature of 16th and 17th Century London
Composition and Rhetoric; Critical and Feminist Pedagogies; Literacy Studies; Teaching and Writing Development
Critical and Literary Theory; Psychoanalysis; Contemporary Political Theory, 20th Century Literature; Modernism; Cold War Stories
Composition; Rhetoric; Literacy; Queer Theory/Queer Pedagogies; Teaching of Writing; Feminist and Gender Studies; Creative Writing/Poetry
Composition; Literacy Studies; Rhetoric