Master of Arts - English

The MA degree program includes coursework at the graduate level in British and American literature or in composition and language studies. A thesis is optional, but recommended, for the literature emphasis. Work toward this degree is designed to supplement and complete the student’s undergraduate study in the field of English and to familiarize the student with professional standards, methods of research, and modes of thought in the discipline. Possession of this degree normally leads to advancement in the teaching profession at the secondary school or community college level; to careers in writing, publishing, and editing; or to further study in English at the doctoral level.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must meet the Graduate College’s minimum requirements, which include holding an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or better from a regionally accredited college or university. In addition, the English Department requires a minimum of 21 credits in English courses above the Freshman Composition level.
  2. Applicants must submit the following:
    • A letter of application to the Graduate Committee that includes a statement of purpose and reasons the applicant wants to study English at the graduate level at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    • One official set of transcripts from all colleges or universities attended (mailed directly to the Graduate College) and one unofficial set (uploaded through the Grad Rebel Gateway or mailed directly to the English Department)
    • A minimum of ten pages of critical writing
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Official scores on the Verbal portion of the General Test and the Literature in English Subject Test of the Graduate Record Examination (official GRE results should be directed to institution code 4861; applicants should not enter a department code). Applicants are encouraged to self-report GRE scores in addition to requesting an official report from ETS.
  3. All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Admission requirements and complete program requirements can be found by following the links to the College of Liberal Arts and then to English in the Graduate Catalog.

Application Process

  1. An application form must be submitted via the Grad Rebel Gateway portal.
  2. Official college and/or university transcripts must be mailed directly to the Graduate College at UNLV:

    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Graduate College
    FDH 352
    Box 451017
    4505 S. Maryland Parkway
    Las Vegas, NV 89154-1017

  3. Official GRE scores from ETS should be directed to institution code 4861; do not enter a department code.
  4. Unofficial transcripts and all other supporting materials (statement of purpose, writing sample, letters of recommendation, self-reported GRE scores) should be uploaded through the Grad Rebel Gateway, which is the preferred method for quickly completing and processing an application. Alternatively, supporting materials may be submitted via email to or mailed to:

    Graduate Admissions
    Department of English
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Box 455011
    4505 S. Maryland Parkway
    Las Vegas, NV 89154-5011

Application Deadlines

Nov. 1
Deadline for applications for admission to the MA program in the spring.
Jan. 15
Deadline for applications for admission to the MA program in the fall.

Graduate Assistantships

All program applicants are eligible to apply for Graduate Assistantship (GA) funding. The current GA stipend for an MA student in English is set at $11,250. Details of the benefits and duties a Graduate Assistantship includes and how to apply can be found on the GA page on the Graduate College website. The application deadlines for Graduate Assistantships are the same as for the program itself: November 1 and January 15. GA applications must be submitted through the Grad Rebel Gateway.

Still have questions about the English Department’s MA program? Feel free to contact the English Department Graduate Program Office (Beverly Rogers Literature and Law Building – RLL 255) at or 702-895-4366; or the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Kelly J. Mays.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will achieve a thorough knowledge of British and American literature. Within the language and composition theory emphasis, students will focus equally on language and composition theory and grammar.
  • Students will study research methods, pedagogical approaches, and modes of critical thought in the discipline.
  • Students will demonstrate competence in the reading of one foreign language as well as knowledge of the history of the English language.

Graduate Catalog

The graduate catalog is the official repository of the graduate program requirements, and Graduate College policies.

Visit Graduate Catalog

Representative Syllabi


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