The Department of English offers a program of study leading to the M.A. degree in English. Thesis and capstone options are available as well as the option to take a course in the fall with a concentration in the teaching of writing.

The program is enhanced by the library facilities in Washington, D.C., especially the Folger Shakespeare Library, where our students take advanced courses with nationally and internationally known scholars in the early modern period and in the long 18th century.

Specialized training is offered in the teaching of writing at the high school and/or college levels. This involves opportunities to work in specialized writing programs at Georgetown, one of which is committed to working with minority and working class students, and to work in many community outreach programs related to literacy and writing. An optional Apprenticeship in Teaching Writing Certificate offered through the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship (CNDLS) can be completed during the course of this degree program.

For students contemplating a Ph.D., for present or prospective teachers of English in secondary schools and for people with already established careers in writing and editing, Georgetown’s M.A. program offers a breadth of choice and a variety of opportunities for specialization.

Close student-faculty contact is a hallmark of the program, which incorporates courses taught by talented faculty on cutting-edge topics in the field of English studies, including specialties in ethnic and race studies; cultural studies; critical theory; pedagogy and rhetoric; the early modern period; and gender studies.

Degrees Offered

  • M.A.
  • A.B./M.A. (Accelerated five-year program for Georgetown undergraduates) PLEASE NOTE:  No applications are being accepted for the A.B./M.A. program for the 2020 admissions cycle.

Application Deadlines

Fall 2021

January 1, 2021 (priority)

April 1, 2021 (final)

Application Requirements

Please be sure to review the Graduate School Admissions How to Apply page.


Please be sure to review the program’s website for additional information on program application requirements.

Application Materials required:

  • Application Form
  • Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcripts – Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Visit our How to Apply (new window) page for additional details and FAQs.
  • Official Recommendations (3)
  • GRE Score
  • TOEFL/IELTS  (please see below)
  • Writing Sample

An undergraduate major in English is not required for admission to the M.A. program. The General Test of the Graduate Record Examination is required. All applicants must submit a 2-3 page Academic Statement of Purpose (single or double spaced) addressing in detail their intellectual interests and proposed topic(s) of graduate study. In addition, all applicants must submit an 8-12 page sample of your strongest undergraduate critical and/or analytical writing on a topic with clear relevance to literary and/or cultural studies. Please do not submit journalism or creative writing samples. Other admission requirements include three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, standardized tests (see below) and an application fee. The three letters of recommendation should come from academic sources able to comment on the applicant’s ability to think critically and to analyze texts; letters from employers, friends, or family members are NOT acceptable. Please contact the department directly for further information about the writing sample essay.


Results of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required for all applicants. There is no minimum required score on the GRE. Test scores must be received by the application deadline date. Applicants should allow six to eight weeks from the test date for the reporting of scores to the institution. Applications will not be considered without GRE scores. Information on registering to take the GRE can be found at: http://www.gre.org/ttindex.html


All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Proficiency can be demonstrated by the receipt of a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (please note that applicants receiving degrees at universities in U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, are required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS unless the primary language of instruction at the institution is English).

All other applicants must achieve at least a minimum score on either the TOEFL or IELTS test. Test scores must be received by the application deadline date. Applicants should allow six to eight weeks from the test date for the reporting of scores to the institution. Applications will not be considered without TOEFL/IELTS scores.

TOEFL: A minimum score of 80 (iBT test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  TOEFL information: http://www.ets.org/toefl/

IELTS: A minimum score of 7.0 from the International English Language Testing System. IELTS Information: http://www.ielts.org

Degree Requirements

Graduate students in the English program plan their program of study with a graduate faculty member. All students must propose and prepare for one oral examination on a topic that synthesizes their studies.

With the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in English, students may take up to six credits of course work in another department or at other institutions in the consortium of universities of the Washington area. Students may also take seminars offered through the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Institute for Scholarly Programs.