The children's and young adult literature program offers the opportunity to study how texts for children and young adults speak to the reader and to the broader field of literary studies. Students explore what makes children's and young adult literature "the right form" to say certain things, and what power and influence such texts might have to shape individual and cultural thinking. Students in the program get a specialized, intensive experience that can prepare them for doctoral level studies or to teach at the post-secondary level, enhance their K-12 teaching certificate by supplementing it with current literary knowledge and approaches and enrich thinking and writing skills (as well as a lifelong love of reading) through focused explorations of the genres and formats of literature for young readers and their broader literary and cultural contexts.
Research Opportunities and Assistantships
Students in the program can create a personalized course of study. They may choose to concentrate in British, American or World literature in research projects of their own design. The program of study includes seminars on literature, as well as on literary theory, linguistics, and research methodology. Students can become conversant with Gender Studies, Multicultural Studies, World Literatures, Popular Culture, British and American Literature, and other important sub-fields of literary studies.
The English Department offers a number of graduate assistantships to qualified students who wish to gain teaching experience. Graduate assistants either teach two sections of ENG 101: Freshman Composition (6 semester hours), assist in the Writing Center, or teach in the TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) program. All graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver and a stipend.
Admission to the children's and young adult literature program requires:
- a bachelor's degree or equivalent with a major or minor in English;
- a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0;
- a statement of intent;
- a 7-10 page sample of analytical writing that demonstrates aptitude to do graduate level work in English; and
- for applicants whose native language is not English, a TOEFL score of 550 and a TWE of at least 5 or a MELAB of 85 are required.
Students with undergraduate degrees in other fields will be considered, but may be subject to conditional acceptance.
The application deadline for fall admission is February 15. Deadline for spring admission is November 15. Apply online at
MA candidates must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work with at least 15 of the total semester hours at or above the 600 level. At the advisor's discretion, up to six hours from other departments may be included.
Students may choose between two capstone options: (Plan A) Thesis: 6 hours of ENG 799 + 9 hours of additional coursework and (Plan B) Seminar Paper Revision + 15 hours of additional coursework.