Graduate Degrees in English


Graduate students can pursue a master's degree in Literary Studies or develop expertise through our doctoral program in English & Literary Arts. PhD students choose between a concentration in literary studies or creative writing, with further options for writers to specialize in poetry or prose.

Our flexible MA in English and Literary Arts immerses you in the critical study of literature while allowing you to tailor the degree to your talents and interests. Choose from a wide range of courses, including interdisciplinary subjects such as cultural and gender studies. Many master's graduates choose to use their degree in writing-focused careers, such as copywriting, publishing, journalism, business communication or technical writing.  

Our PhD in English and Literary Arts with a concentration in literary studies exposes you to a wide range of literature and literary theory as you prepare to teach and research at the university level.  You'll teach various courses in literature and writing and develop your skills as an educator. 

As one of the top creative writing doctoral programs in the country, we offer motivated poetry and fiction writers the chance to refine their creative work while building a portfolio of literary criticism and scholarly writing. Our writers go on to publish novels, poetry collections and critical literary works. They hold tenure track positions at notable universities, edit long-standing journals and are represented by major presses. 

11:1 Student Teacher Ratio

2 On Campus Literary Publications

90%+ Receive Funding Packages

Why a Graduate Degree in English from DU?

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    On Campus Literary Publications

    The Denver Quarterly, a leading voice in avant-garde and experimental writing since 1966, and Foothills Visual and Textual Journal, a longstanding DU publication that brings textual and visual innovations together, offer students the opportunity to get involved as interns, readers, editorial assistants or by submitting their own work. 

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    Meaningful and Enduring Mentorship and Peer Support

    The University of Denver’s graduate programs in English offer students unparalleled access to a community of talented thinkers, writers, and artists across the Rocky Mountain region. Whether you are studying creative writing or literary arts, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the study of language and literature alongside award-winning faculty and up-and-coming literary talents.  

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    Create the Career You Want

    In today's fast-paced digital world, the ability to write with clarity and purpose is a rare talent that is highly sought by employers across industries. From publishing and editing to journalism, marketing, consulting, law, nonprofit work and beyond, our students have gone on to thrive as professionals and engaged members of their communities.



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Alise Wisniewski, English MA

English Alumna Reinvigorates Literature for Colorado High-School Students

Being from the Midwest, Alise Wisniewski (MA ’19) knew she wanted to go to college near the mountains. But what drew her specifically to the University of Denver were the myriad options for study, outside of the traditional canonical works. By learning and working with Associate Professors Donna Beth Ellard and Tayana Hardin in the Department of English & Literary Arts, taking classes centered on rap music and the politics of translation, Wisniewski gained fresh perspectives that she now actively uses teaching high-school students at Elizabeth High School.

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