Q: How do I get information and application forms?
A: The university's Office of Graduate Admissions provides application forms and instructions. An on line copy of the university's Graduate Bulletin can be found here. The English Department website has more specific information on the English MA Program. Information is also available from the program’s administrator.  To learn more about the program and clarify individual concerns contact the program director.

Q: How does the admissions process work?
A: Applicants submit their materials directly to the university's Office of Graduate Admissions.  Application forms, directions, and requirements can be found at the Graduate Admissions website. Graduate Admissions collects application materials until the application is complete. Applicants can track their application through a "check application status" function on the Graduate Admissions website. After the application is complete, it is forwarded to the English MA Program for consideration. 

Q: Can I be eligible for admission even if I didn’t major in English?
A: Sometimes. Applicants who have taken substantial coursework in English should follow the same application procedure as English majors. Applicants who have little or no advanced undergraduate coursework in the field should contact the program director. In some instances the record nonetheless shows sufficient preparation. Sometimes students are advised to take a few advanced undergraduate courses, in consultation with the program director, to help them prepare an application file.

Q: Since I am working full-time, can I enroll on a part-time basis?
A: Yes. Our expectations are flexible so as to accommodate a range of life situations. Our courses are only offered in the late afternoon and evening, and they normally meet only once a week. Students may complete the program at a pace suitable to their particular situation. Some students enroll full time (three courses per semester) while others enroll part-time and take only two or even just one course per semester.

Q: How long does it take to complete the program?
A: There is no set answer to this question, as the pace of each person’s progress depends on how many courses that individual takes in a given semester. Given the requirement of ten courses, and the maximum limit of three courses per term, two to two and a half years is a reasonable expectation. Some take longer because of their part-time status or personal reasons. Some take graduate seminars in the summer to accelerate the process.

Q: Once admitted, can I transfer into the program graduate credits taken elsewhere or taken at UMass Boston as a non-matriculated student?
A: Yes. You may transfer into the program up to two graduate courses (three credits each) taken outside our Department, subject to approval by the Program Director. Up to two courses taken within our program as a non-matriculated student will be approved without such a review. One additional graduate English course taken in summer school as a non-matriculated student currently applying for admission to our program may also count. For information about this third course contact the program director.

Q:  How much does your program cost?
A:  For the latest information on tuition and fees, please see the Bursar's Office website. Please note that all Massachusetts state colleges and universities follow a cost structure in which program fees are higher than tuition fees.  Please read the tuition and fees breakdown carefully. Calculate your tuition based on the number of credits you will take; a full time student takes two-three courses (6-9 credits) a semester. For information on financial aid, please see the Financial Aid website. For general information on graduate study please see the Graduate Studies website. Note that the Graduate Studies website contains a helpful FAQ section that contains information on financial aid.

Q: What financial aid does your program offer?
A: The program offers teaching assistantships and research assistantships. For information please see our Teaching and Research Assistantships information sheet.  A separate formal application is needed, obtainable here or by emailing Our strong emphasis on teaching includes a sequence of assignments that progresses from tutoring to apprentice teaching and, in some cases, to an “internship” where a student teaches her or his own class under supervision.

Q: What courses are offered in the program and who are the faculty teaching them?
A: Our faculty are nationally recognized scholars with a strong record in both research and teaching, and with a strong commitment to students’ development, evident in our small classes. The program includes three “tracks” (or concentrations): Literature, Composition, and Creative Writing. Though a minimum of four courses and a final capstone exercise must be taken within one’s track, there is great flexibility beyond that, with students choosing freely courses offered outside their track. We offer a range of courses across all tracks in any given semester, including annual “The Teaching of…” courses in all three tracks. (For each semester’s course offerings check the Graduate Bulletin. Detailed descriptions are posted on our website. They are also available from the program’s administrative assistant at

Q: Do I have to commit to a “track” when I apply to the program?
A: No. 

Q: What kind of advising and guidance do you offer students?
A: The English MA Program takes the advising of graduate students very seriously and welcomes students’ questions and visits. Each newly matriculated student also has an initial advising session with the Program Director in the first semester and is then assigned to a permanent faculty advisor with whom the student will meet each semester.

Q: Who are the students typically enrolled in the program?
A: Our students create a vibrant community, ranging widely in demographics and goals. They vary in age, life experience, place of origin, and careers. Though some are teachers or expect to teach, others become writers, editors, or administrators, and some continue studying towards an MFA, a PhD or other professional credentials. Some enroll in the program to enhance their intellectual life while continuing to follow other pursuits.

Q: Can I get teacher licensure at the same time as an MA in English?
A: Yes, a number of our courses count toward Massachusetts licensure. The Program Director can assign you to a specialized faculty advisor who will guide you through the process. Click to see our Undergraduate Teacher Licensure Form for more information.

Q: Can I take courses as a non-degree student without being matriculated into the program?
Yes, if you have questions about registering for the English MA Program as a non-degree student, please see the Non-degree Information and Application Page, by clicking on the link.