Program OverviewImage of advertisement for Children's Literature and Young Adult Literature 

Children's and Young Adult Literature is among the most exciting and fastest growing fields in contemporary literary studies. Central Michigan University's Master of Arts in young people's literature is framed within a traditional English studies program, providing students with a strong background in literary and cultural studies that ensures flexibility in the workplace.

This concentration is ideal for teachers and librarians, as well as those who wish to pursue editing or writing careers, teach at the community college level, or doctoral studies.


Program faculty are experts in their fields with specialties such as graphic novels, secondary education, fantasy, and cultural studies. Contact a faculty member below with questions regarding the CYAL concentration.

Dr. Anne Hiebert Alton email | webpage
Dr. Carlin Borsheim-Black email | webpage
Dr. Gretchen Papazian email | webpage
Dr. Joseph Sommers email | webpage

Degree Requirements

A student 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.

Required Courses I (3 hours)
Literary Criticism
    Select one of the following:
ENG 535 - History of Literary Criticism 3(3-0)
ENG 636 - Seminar in Critical Problems 3(3-0)

Required Courses II (3 hours)
Language or Linguistics
   Select one of the following:
ENG 545 - Chaucer 3(3-0)
ENG 570 - Old English 3(3-0)
ENG 672 - Applied Linguistics in Written Communication 3(3-0)

Required Courses III (3 hours)
Professional Methodologies
ENG 602 - Research Materials and Methods 3(3-0)

Required Courses IV (6 hours)
Two 600-level seminars in literature

Required Courses V (3 hours)
ENG 681 - Seminar in Children's Literature 3-9(Spec)

Required  Courses VI (3 hours)
Children's Literature
    Select two of the following:
ENG 580 - Literature for Young Adults 3(3-0)
ENG 581 - The History of Children's Literature 3(3-0)
ENG 582 - Cultural Pluralism in Young Adult and Children's Literature 3(3-0)
ENG 583 - The Heroic Tradition in Children's Literature
ENG 681 - Seminar in Children's Literature 3-9(Spec)
   Note: If the student selects ENG 681 for Required Courses VI, the topic of the seminar must differ from that taken to fulfill Required Courses V.​

Capstone Project (6 hours)
Choose one of the following plans:

Plan A (6 hours)​​
Thesis (6 hours) and oral examination over thesis.
ENG 799 - Thesis 1-6(Spec)

Plan B (6 hours)
6 hours additional course work, authorized by the advisor and planned with the student, plus a scholarly paper.

Total: 30 semester hours

For more information about degree requirements, visit the CMU Academic Bulletins.

Apply now!

​Click here​ to start your admission process to the MA program specialization in Children's/Young Adult Literature today!​