English – Graduate Degree

English Class


Master of Arts (M.A.)

Whether you are looking to study creative writing with best-selling North Carolina author Ron Rash (Serena, The Cove), seeking training in professional and technical writing, or hoping to pursue a career teaching literature, Western Carolina's M.A. degree in English offers courses to suit your needs. The program provides broad training in English studies, with a concentration in one of three areas: literature, professional writing, or rhetoric and composition. Courses are offered at WCU's main campus in Cullowhee and at WCU's instructional site in Asheville at Biltmore Park

The 33-credit-hour program includes 12 hours of core curriculum, 9 hours in your concentration of choice and 12 elective hours. Students who choose the thesis degree option will dedicate 6 of the 12 elective hours to thesis study. Distinguished by small classes and expert faculty, this program emphasizes critical reading and research, creative thinking, and sophisticated writing.

For information on course options and descriptions for each of the concentrations, visit the WCU graduate course catalogue:

Course Descriptions

Program Website

Certificate in Professional and Technical Writing

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Technical and Professional Writing is designed for students seeking advanced preparation for technical and professional writing careers in a wide variety of fields including healthcare, business, law, tourism and hospitality, and more. The Certificate is ideal for those who are looking to advance in their current position, learn new skills, or change careers. It leads to a designation on the official transcript.

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Admission Requirements

Students should review WCU's Graduate School Admission Requirements before applying. In addition to these requirements, students pursuing the M.A. in English must have an average grade of B or higher in upper-level undergraduate courses in their major. Students will also need to provide a writing sample and two letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's aptitude for graduate-level study. 

The GRE General Exam is optional but not required.

Application Deadline

The graduate English program has a rolling application deadline; the Graduate School must have all required application materials at least two weeks before the term begins.

If students wish to be considered for graduate assistantships, for best consideration submit materials by early February for the following fall term. Assistantships may be available at other times.

Graduate Program Director:

Dr. Annette Debo
Department of English

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