department of english

Master of Arts

About FAU

Founded in 1961, Florida Atlantic University is a public university which boasts 63 bachelor’s programs, 64 master’s programs, and 21 doctoral programs. FAU is also proud of its student diversity. With 49 percent of its student body classified as minority or international students, Florida Atlantic University ranks as the most racially, ethnically and culturally diverse institution in Florida’s State University System. FAU has also recently been designated as a Hispanic-serving institution. The university has been rapidly growing ever since, with a current enrollment of more than 30,000 students. Despite the rapid growth of both undergraduate and graduate programs, FAU maintains an average class size of only 12 students in the graduate school, ensuring that students receive the attention and guidance that leads to academic excellence and success.


Boca Raton

Boca Raton is located halfway between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. The FAU Boca Raton campus is located three miles from the Atlantic Ocean and its beautiful beaches. The campus hosts art exhibits, theatre productions and concerts in its many galleries and theatres.


Masters of Arts in English:

The M.A. in English program provides students the opportunity to take literary and theoretical courses that represent a range of historical periods, movements and theoretical developments. The M.A. prepares students for doctoral study and careers outside academia including editing, publishing, technical writing and other fields that value skilled writing, research and critical thinking skills.

The English M.A. is a two-year program that requires 24 credit hours of graduate course work plus six thesis or exam credits for a total of 30 credits. In the course of their graduate program, graduate students must complete three core courses: Principles and Problems of Literary Study (ENG 6009) which serves as an introduction to graduate study and disciplinary research; History of the English Language (LIN 6107); and Literary Criticism I or II (ENG 5018, 5019). In addition to the three required courses, students choose one of the following areas of concentration for their studies: American Literature, British Literature, Multicultural and World Literatures, Rhetoric and Composition, or Science Fiction and Fantasy. M.A. students must fulfill (or test out of) a foreign language requirement (two semesters of intermediate level or a reading for research course).

Recent graduate course offerings in these areas include “Race, Gender and Disability in American Literature”; “Postwar American Poetry”; “Queer Theory”; “Theorizing Science Fiction”; “Rhetorics of Incarceration: Writing Identities”; “Cyborg Rhetoric”; “Contemporary African American Literature: The Post-Soul Aesthetic“; “Comics and Graphic Novels”; “Homoeroticism and Crossdressing in the Literature of the English Renaissance”; and “Medieval Comedy.” Other recent seminars have focused on individual authors or groups of authors such as William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, and a course on Poe, Dickinson and Whitman.

Student Advisement Checklist: Literature/Theory


Graduate Internship Program

Our Graduate Internship Program allows students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience using their English skills in a wide variety of settings. The organizations and agencies we partner with include Sandow Media (NewBeauty, Luxe Interiors and Design), Sun Sentinel, HCI Publishing, The Boca Museum of Art, and Shamin Abas Public Relations. Interested students can get workforce experience during the summer in fields such as writing, editing, publishing, law, public relations and the non-profit sector. Although most internships are non-paying, some do provide a small stipend. Internships do not count toward the graduate degree; however, gain invaluable on-the-job experience and training.

Shari Lefler“The internship program at FAU is an opportunity all graduate students should take advantage of. I went into it already having significant work experience on my resume and still found the experience valuable because it was so specifically tailored to my career goals. I was placed in the digital department at NewBeauty magazine, writing copy and editing photos. It was an excellent opportunity to gain insight into writing for the web and to test the marketability of my voice in this genre. I also appreciated both the assistance and the autonomy my supervisor gave me. She made an excellent mentor and is someone I will not hesitate to reach out to in the future.”

--Shari Lefler (current M.F.A. student)


Graduate Certificates

All students enrolled in a graduate program at FAU may apply for a graduate certificate in a specialized area of interest; certificates typically require four graduate-level courses in one of the fields below. Depending on the certificate, up to two graduate courses in English related to the concentration may count toward the certificate.

  • Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Graduate Certificate in Film and Culture
  • Graduate Certificate in Environmental Studies


Teaching Assistantships

Students may apply for and be rewarded a teaching assistantship. Teaching Assistants receive an annual stipend for teaching two courses each term, as well as a tuition waiver (students are still responsible for student fees). Assignments typically involve teaching first year writing courses, but might alternatively include working as a tutor at the University Center for Excellence in Writing (UCEW) and/or working as a research assistant to department faculty.

Tamar Osborne"The M.A. program at FAU has been one of the most enriching periods of my academic career. This program offers an array of courses that suit a variety of interests and specializations. Moreover, the professors in this program provide an environment that is both welcoming and academically challenging. The graduate teaching assistantship encourages close collaboration with our peers and is ideal for those with pedagogical interests. This program is effectively designed to develop our confidence as instructors as well as our own scholarly endeavors.”

--Tamar Osborne (English M.A., 2014)

You can find additional information on  funding here.



FAU boasts a dedicated, approachable and accomplished faculty in English. With numerous articles in top-tier journals, FAU faculty have also recently published books of literary scholarship with SUNY Press, University of Georgia Press, The Ohio State University Press, University of Alabama Press, University of Missouri Press and Palgrave Macmillan. In the creative arena, FAU faculty consistently publish poems and stories in important journals, with recent books of fiction and poetry published by Alfred A. Knopf, HarperCollins and the University of Wisconsin Press. Along with excellence in the traditional areas of British and American literature, FAU has strengths in Multicultural and World Literatures as well as Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Paul Ardoin“I can’t say enough about the courses, faculty and opportunities that were available to me during my M.A. studies at FAU. The program sparked my interest in pursuing a Ph.D., made me a better applicant to Ph.D. programs, and prepared me for the rigor and challenge of Ph.D. work. Along the way, the program introduced me to fascinating literary, critical and philosophical texts that I continue to study and teach as a professor today. Even more than seven years later, I still keep in touch with professors and other students that I met in FAU’s English program, to collaborate, peer review or socialize.”

--Paul Ardoin (FAU English M.A., 2008) earned doctoral degrees at Florida State University and the University of Antwerp. He now works as assistant professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Literary Life

The English department hosts readings by students, faculty and internationally acclaimed authors, creating an intellectually stimulating academic environment. The Mary Blossom Lee Visiting Poets Series and the Lawrence A. Sanders Writer-In-Residence Program bring poets and prose writers to deliver readings, conduct seminars and meet with students. Recent visiting writers have included Roxane Gay, Gary Shteyngart, Judith Ortiz, Cristina Garcia, Tayari Jones, Nick Flynn, Eula Biss, Michael Martone, Forrest Gander, Gerald Vizenor and Phil Klay.

Simone Puleo“In FAU’s M.A. English program, I worked closely with talented and diverse faculty members who remained invested in their students and teaching while they pursued their own research. English department graduate seminars were often run as open discussions, inspired by critical pedagogy and problem-posing education. As I started writing my M.A. thesis, I received a ton of one-on-one time and personal attention, ensuring my project would be competitive in the academic market. Outside of offering sharp graduate seminars on contemporary topics of interest, the English department encouraged professional development by putting together roundtables on submission and publication as well as C.V. and Ph.D. application writing workshops, for example. Working as a graduate teaching-assistant in the department, I was given a chance to develop my own course syllabi and assignments. The department emphasized the importance of pedagogy, rhetoric and composition for all the graduate students, regardless of their field, and as a result, I came out of the program a more conscious and sensitive teacher of writing. The faculty I studied under, the extracurricular workshops I attended, and the teaching experience I garnered at FAU’s M.A. English program were all crucial in my acceptance to the Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut.”

--Simone Puleo (FAU English MA 2012 ), PhD student at the University of Connecticut


Application Deadlines

Deadline for Fall Admission: January 15 (all application materials must be received in the English department by this date for full consideration with teaching assistantship)

Deadline for Summer Admission: January 15

Deadline for Spring Admission: November 1


Admission Requirements:

  • At least a 3.0 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Application Form
  • Official Transcripts
  • Copy of General GRE Scores

    Applicants should be aware that meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the graduate program. Admission to the graduate program is competitive, and the Department considers the applicant’s total record in making admissions decisions. While an undergraduate degree in English is not required, adequate preparation toward graduate study must be demonstrated. The Department considers the applicant’s total record. Application materials can be obtained from the English Department or from the FAU Website , where the catalog description of the program can be found.


Admissions Materials  

Send the following to the Graduate College

  • Copy of completed application form
  • Official transcripts
  • GRE scores (except for MFA applicants)

Send the following separately to the English Department:

  • 3-4 page statement of purpose outlining your preparation for graduate study and your areas of interest. The statement should also indicate if you wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship.
  • 10-20 page writing sample (this should be a critical essay)
  • Two letters of recommendation using the required form (we prefer letters of recommendation from English professors) 

Address for the English Department:  

Attn: Graduate Advisor  

English Department, CU 306  

Florida Atlantic University  

777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431 


Additional Information

Sika Dagbovie-Mullins
, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English  

Mary Sheffield-Gentry , English Graduate Advisor

Graduate Faculty Listing

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 Last Modified 10/26/15