Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation

Search This Website Click Here

Lehman College Logo Click Here to go back to Homepage

English Graduate Options

English Graduate Studies - Information Sheet

Students interested in finding out more about the English M.A. Program should seek out English Graduate Advising, which will assist in all aspects of applying for admission to the Lehman English M.A. Program.  Current students at all stages of study who need advisement, permission, a head's up on thesis preparation, information about orals or thesis submission, or any other thing should likewise contact English Graduate Advising.

Graduate Studies in English

There are several exciting options for pursuing graduate study in English at Lehman College:

Pre-graduate (non-matriculated) students sample the Department’s programming by taking graduate English courses either before or after the English MA or English Education MS.   Pre-graduate students include students – both advanced undergraduates and those who have completed their BA – who are not enrolled in a graduate-degree program.  Up to 12 credits, taken continuously, may apply toward the English MA.

Many students pursue the English MA, acquiring a general expertise in English Studies even as they develop a particular focus in Literature, Writing and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, or (soon!) Professional Writing.  English MA students take a total of 30 credits:  some of these are in a common core of required courses; the rest are in electives in one of the Department’s several areas of specialized study. 

Other students take a total of three English graduate electives as part of their required coursework for the MS in English Education.  Education students seeking NYS English Teacher certification include both independent students and NYC Teaching Fellows.  Education students are free to take any graduate English elective.

Students pursuing the MA in Liberal Studies (MALS), especially those pursuing a specialization in the Arts and Humanities, also take English Department graduate electives as part of the coursework they need to fulfill their degree requirements.

Students in the Graduate Program in Literacy Studies take English graduate electives in Writing and Rhetoric as part of the coursework they need to fulfill their degree requirements. 

Post-graduate (non-matriculated) students take graduate English courses after completing their English MA or English MS-Education in order to acquire an additional area of expertise for professional development or promotion (30+).  Post-graduate students often take several courses in a single area of study - Literature, Writing and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, or (soon!) Professional Writing.

The English MA today

At present, students may pursue an English MA in Literature, Writing and Rhetoric, or Creative Writing (Poetry or Fiction).  Courses include:

  • Literature courses:  Shakespeare, Romanticism, Modernism, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, Race and Literature, Women Writers in English
  • Writing and Rhetoric courses: Writing Practice and Theory, Writing and Rhetoric in the Digital Age, Literacy and Community
  • Creative Writing courses: Poetry Workshop, Fiction Workshop, Forms and Techniques

Students begin their graduate studies in English by taking 3 or 4 core courses, pursue electives in their chosen area of specialization, and write a capstone Master’s Essay or Thesis.  Students graduate when they have completed all course work, defended their Master’s Essay or Thesis, and passed a foreign-language exam.  View the full English MA curriculum

The English MA tomorrow

Curricular changes that may take effect as early as 2019 aim to (a) maximize student-choice among core courses, (b) simplify electives so that all courses move students toward degree-completion as quickly as possible, and (c) bring in Professional Writing as a new area of study.  Topics currently under English Department consideration include:

  • A flexible common core of 12 credits.  Students may choose ENG 700 (English Studies) or MLS 702 (Arts and Humanities); ENG 702 (Critical Theory) or ENG 7XX (Digital Humanities); ENG 784 (Composition and Rhetoric) or ENG 785 (Writing Practice and Theory); and ENG 795 (Master’s Research). 
  • 18 credits of electives, at least half of them in a single area of study.  Our four areas of study are Literature, Writing and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, and (soon!) Professional Writing.
  • A new set of courses in Professional Writing.  Professional Writing is the growth area for English Studies in the 21st century, and the Department therefore seeks to match at the graduate level the programs it already offers at the undergraduate level.  Graduate electives may include Digital Writing, Style and Rhetoric in the Digital Age, Document Production, Website Construction, and a flexible and repeatable Topics in Professional Writing course that trains students in writing in the fields of science, public relations, finance, healthcare, non-profit grants, etc. 
  • Increasing flexibility of instructional mode.  Students meet in face-to-face seminars or in hybrid or online courses.  Face-to-face classes meet in one of the Department’s smart classrooms, a room in the Multimedia Center, an IT computer lab, or (soon!) the new English Multimodal Learning Lab.

The English Department in general and the Graduate Director in particular are committed to providing maximum assistance to current and future students as it retools its graduate offerings to prepare students for professional success in the 21st century. 

Careers that build on English Studies

Mastery of the real-time and digital skills of reading, researching, writing, collaborating, arguing, and presenting have never been at more of a premium. 21st-century careers that reward graduate study in English include:  Teaching (including 30+ and 60+ certification), Social Media and Web-Content Writing, Technical Writing (including Marketing, Public Relations, Healthcare, etc.), Law, Government, and the Arts. 


Admission to the English MA program.  The deadline for applications is November 15 for Spring enrollment and April 15 for Fall enrollment in the MA.  Students should make every effort to remain in contact with the English Graduate Director throughout this time.  Late applications will be considered.  

Admission to English graduate courses for students pursuing other degrees or wishing to take courses as a non-matriculated student. Students wishing to take English graduate courses without being enrolled in the English MA, or in any Lehman College degree-bearing program, are welcomed by the Department and should speak directly with the English Graduate Co-Directors.

Co-Directors of Graduate Studies in English


Lehman Graduate Admissions    


  • Valerie Brown, Director of Admissions
  • Graduate Admission Office|
    Room: SH-150
    Phone: 718-960-8777