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LAKERS TOGETHERGrand Valley is preparing for successful learning experiences when classes resume on Aug. 31. Learn more about the plan for fall in this handbook.



A GVSU Masters of English (M.A.) classroom.

English, M.A.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in English offers students and professionals an opportunity to deepen literary knowledge, sharpen critical skills, and strengthen expository writing.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Source: EMSI, 2020

Program Overview

The M.A. program, with most courses offered in the evenings, is ideal for working professionals and those who are considering the eventual pursuit of a Ph.D. Although the university allows up to eight years for the completion of the degree, students can complete the program in the standard two years. Visit for admission requirements.

The required coursework covers a variety of topics in British, American, and world literature. Visit the online catalog for details:

Why Study English at Grand Valley?

The M.A. program at Grand Valley State University has many advantages:

  • Award-winning teachers committed to academic rigor.
  • Professors who are active scholars with strong publication records.
  • Small classes (limit 15 students) to ensure intensive student-faculty collaboration.
  • Evening courses on the Allendale and Grand Rapids campuses to accommodate part-time students.
  • Flexible programming so students can pursue their own interests.

Location & Format

Graduate students in this major study at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus and the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

  • Face To Face

Career Options

Many students in the program are already employed in various fields such as education or business, for example. Whether one desires to pursue an M.A. in English for personal edification, to pursue a Ph.D., and/or to pursue faculty positions at post-secondary institutions, this program is for students who seek to improve their knowledge and understanding of the subject. The M.A. can also supplement careers in:

  • Marketing or advertising
  • Journalism
  • Library science
  • Law or legal studies
  • Publishing
  • Writing

Skills Employers Want

The M.A. in English at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job openings.

Advanced Skills

  • Editing
  • Writing (Expository, Persuasive, Analytical)
  • Research
  • Project Management
  • Analysis
  • Grant Writing
  • Presentation

EMSI: Source, 2020

Application Deadline

The program has a rolling admissions process, so applications will be reviewed as received. However, to be guaranteed consideration for a specific semester, applications must be received by the following dates: March 15 for spring/summer semester; July 15 for fall semester; or November 15 for winter semester.

The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to GVSU. Please visit

Admission Requirements

  • A brief statement of purpose explaining the applicant's academic preparation, interest in this program, and professional goals.
  • An original essay writing sample of 10 to 15 pages (approximately) that demonstrates the writer's potential for literary analysis, including the use of sources. (It may be a paper written for a previous course).
  • Contact information for three people who can assess the applicant's academic preparation.
  • Applications are considered throughout the year.

For More Information

Department of English
230 Lake Huron Hall
(616) 331-3400

Graduate Admissions Office


“The emphasis on a variety of literatures and critical perspectives gives graduate students the chance to explore the art we love while engaging in theory-driven, meaningful discussion that brings texts to life and pushes us to apply our analytic tools to literature and to life.”



When you became a Laker, you opened up a lifetime of learning, and now alumni like you can use your Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account for classes that provide greater knowledge and new skills. Your account is waiting for you to use for future classes at GVSU. All you have to do is click on the button below to find out more.

Find Out More About Your Laker Lifetime Learning Account (L3)