Learn more about how to apply to the MA in Literature at Ball State or request more information.

In pursuing either a master’s or doctoral degree, graduate students in literature are encouraged to balance breadth of knowledge with depth of specialization. Our faculty has a wide range of interests and expertise, spanning traditional historical periods and cross-disciplinary fields like queer and feminist theory, film studies, disability studies, and literary biography.

This is a focused degree program that includes training in research methods and literary theory. It culminates in a research project or thesis. The master’s in English literature prepares students for doctoral work in the field.

The flexibility in this degree allows students to delineate a specialization to match interests. Recent doctoral students have concentrated in a variety of fields, including transatlantic modernism, U.S. ethnic literatures, and the 18th century. 

MA in English—literature
Core requirements:
ENG 601 Research in English Studies (literature)


ENG 606
Literary Theory 1 (3)

ENG 607 Literary Theory 2 (3) 3
17-20 credits of approved graduate coursework in literature, including:
American literature

British and world literature
    Before 1660 3

    After 1660 3

Approved literature electives


Research requirement:
RES 697
Research Paper (1-3) 3-6
THES 698 Thesis (1-6)


Total Credits




Recent MA Literature Capstone Projects

Olivia Gehrich                  “The loss was only hers”: Understanding Suicidality in Literature through
Mary Gordon’s Short Fiction                                                                    



Tamaya Greenlee                Revisiting Nineteenth-Century Manliness in William Litt’s Wrestliana


Robert Hunt                          Post-Human Anxiety and the Artificial Imaginary in Neill Blomkamp’s District 9


Jerrica Dowling                     Constructing Gene Stratton Porter


Lindsey Vesperry                 Female Vampires, Masculine Anxiety, and Nature: The Ecocritical Gothic of 
Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla