M.A. English & Humanities Program Overview
Marymount University’s master’s degree program in English & Humanities boasts a dynamic, interdisciplinary curriculum that enhances historical understanding, cultivates critical thinking, and sharpens writing and presentation skills essential to just about every career path available today.
- Customize your curriculum
You can select from small seminar classes in Literature and Languages, History and Art History, Philosophy, and Theology & Religious Studies. Students explore a range of ideas through the study of texts, creative and professional writing, individual research, and classroom discussion.
- Culture and study opportunities near D.C.
Graduate degree candidates in the English & Humanities program benefit from rich cultural and study opportunities in the Northern Virginia and metro D.C. areas. Students’ final thesis projects draw from teaching partnerships with Northern Virginia Community College and internships with media, theater and arts groups, and federal agencies.
- Gateway to a bright future
Graduates of the English & Humanities master’s program enter into competitive doctoral programs, teaching positions in secondary and college-level education, and occupations in research, writing, editing, and the nonprofit sector.
- 33 credit hours
- Evening class schedule to accommodate working students
- Accredited by SACSCOC
- $1,140 per credit hour
- Fall, Winter, and Spring intakes
- Graduate application
- Official transcripts from all postsecondary education
- Bachelor’s degree in humanities with at least 18 credits in disciplines such as English, history, philosophy, art history or comparative religion
- Sample 8-10 page critical paper
- Personal statement
- Two recommendations that speak directly to your academic and interpersonal skills
- Professional résumé
For university coursework completed outside the U.S., a course-by-course transcript evaluation is required from a NACES member evaluation agency such as World Education Services or Educational Credentials Evaluators.
Students for whom English is a second language must submit a recent official score of 96 from TOEFL, 6.5 from IELTS, or 58 from the PTE academic exam, or documentation of program completion at 1 of Marymount University’s language partners. For complete information about International Admissions Guidelines and language partner programs, visit our International Graduate Students page.
Program Curriculum Snapshot
EN 501: Building Textual Interpretation
This course familiarizes students with the processes of critical analysis and scholarly research at the graduate level by examining constructed texts. It emphasizes two skillsets necessary for graduate-level work in literature and cultural studies — the first set focuses on the key building blocks of critical and textual analysis, and the second relates to bibliographic and research methodologies, drawing where possible on the wealth of resources in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
EN 559: Studies in Creative Writing — Writing to Witness
This course focuses on the act of witness in creative writing, and explores the ways that bearing testimony to our own experiences can lead to growth, discovery, and healing. Students will have the chance to try out a variety of genres according to their interests (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, drama, and hybrid forms). Readings will cover the craft and theory of writing to witness, as well as powerful examples from the literature of witness.
HI 500: Topics in History
A graduate-level introduction to history through the lens of a particular theme such as liberty, justice, war, law, or power. Students will learn to develop skills in historical perspective, investigation, and analysis. Attention will be paid to the ways history is tied to other disciplines in the humanities as well as the relevance of historical context to contemporary concerns.
Career and Salary Possibilities
Employment opportunities for graduates of Marymount’s English & Humanities master’s program include:
- Technical writer
- Marketing manager
- Instructional designer
- Content developer
- Roles in library science, education, or government and nonprofit administration
Salaries for graduates with a master’s degree in English & Humanities range from $56,000 $124,000.
Meet Our Faculty
Welcome to the master’s degree in English & Humanities at Marymount University. We’re a small, student-centered program that helps individuals reach their objectives through a mixture of coursework, individual study, and a capstone thesis or professional practicum project. Our interdisciplinary program offers the opportunity to study with award-winning faculty who are leaders in their fields, directing exciting grant-funded projects, and producing work that is valued by both local and international communities.
Marymount’s location near the heart of the D.C. metro area opens up exciting avenues for research and experiential learning, and our M.A. students are mentored and supported as they conduct independent research and present their work at local and national conferences. We also know that today’s students are juggling multiple responsibilities, so all of our classes are offered in the evening, and the program can be completed at a full-time or part-time basis, depending on your schedule.
Whether you are interested in expanding your historical and cultural knowledge, delving into composition pedagogy, exploring fields like linguistics or ethics, or re-skilling for a new career in writing, content creation, education, editing, advocacy, or the nonprofit sector, our program has the flexibility and breadth to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. We encourage you to explore our course offerings, check out our student testimonials, and contact the program director for more information.
Dr. Sarah H. Ficke
Associate Professor of English
President, Faculty Council
Web Editor, Journal of Popular Romance Studies
“Marymount’s courses were well-crafted and catered to the individual student, unlike what I had studied before. Deep dives on linguistics, authors like Margaret Atwood, art history and the impact of works across anthropological studies…it was all fascinating. It strengthened my skills as a student, writer, and editor, all while broadening my life view. I traveled to England as a graduate assistant and took out-of-the-box courses in science fiction and art history. I became a better writer due to my studies, but also a better person.” – Monica Evans, Class of 2019, Operations Lead for Business Development at Dev Technology Group
“During my first few years at Marymount, I quickly learned that leadership was shared and in abundance. The opportunities to be a leader were endless and there were different ways to be a leader. I now maintain oversight over an organization with 1,700 employees while providing analytical and regulatory support to the U.S. Chief Veterinary Officer.” – Nhu-Phuong Duong, Class of 2019, Deputy Chief of Staff, Management and Program Analyst, Veterinary Services, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
“Having to write multiple papers of varying lengths simultaneously best prepared me for business development. While literary analysis and business proposals are two very different writing styles, the abilities to switch gears (or topics) and balance time management of multiple projects were skills that I honed at Marymount, and skills that are highly valued in government contracting.” – Jessica Mansilla, Class of 2011, Business Development Manager for veteran-owned Best Value Technology, Inc.