M.A. in English

The Master of Arts degree at the University of Idaho offers two years of rigorous training in literary and rhetorical studies in a friendly environment. Students with a variety of interests thrive here. Our faculty has expertise in British and American literature, global literatures, literary theory, rhetoric and composition, and literature and the environment. We welcome students who have specific research interests and those who seek a more general overview of trends in literary studies.

The program offers an intellectual and practical literary education. For instance, a student interested in studying literature and the environment can work with world-class faculty; participate in a monthly reading group that draws faculty and students from the University of Idaho and beyond; take seminars on subjects such as Green Cultural Studies, Caribbean Literature and the Environment, Ecocritical Theory, and Environmental Literature of the American West; engage regularly with visiting scholars specializing in ecocritical and environmental humanities work; and work with the editorial team of the journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.


Our faculty are frequently leaders in their scholarly fields. Since 2010, the English department’s M.A. faculty has produced 6 scholarly books, 49 refereed articles, 104 national conference presentations, and 12 international conference presentations. Most have book-length projects underway currently. Three are editors of scholarly journals, so students here also have opportunities to gain experience with scholarly publishing and editing. To see a list of all our faculty and profiles click here http://www.uidaho.edu/class/english/faculty-staff


We offer approximately eight graduate seminars per year. Some recent seminar titles include:

  • Postcolonial Ecocriticism 
  • Studies in Rhetoric: New Media 
  • Literary Cities: Urban Space and Identity in Modern and Contemporary America 
  • Melville and Pynchon 
  • Genre Crossings: Hybrid Forms in Modern and Contemporary Writing

One of the courses provides critical training and support for teaching assistants in first-year writing classes.


Graduate students are eligible for paid teaching assistantships in the English department. Teaching Assistants are assigned three sections of introductory composition courses per year (two sections in the fall and one in the spring). The department can also offer scholarship support to qualified graduate students. No separate applications are needed for TAships or Grace V. Nixon Scholarships.


Our MA students join a lively intellectual community. Each spring, students have the opportunity to plan, host, and participate in a graduate-level conference. UI and the English Department host leading scholars and creative writers, who give lectures and work with our graduate students in classes. Recent visiting writers have included Teju Cole, Rebecca Solnit, and Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson. Visiting scholars have included Adela Pinch, Stacy Alaimo, and Michael Bennett. In recent years, UI has hosted conferences including the Northwest Women’s Studies Association Conference--offering opportunities for students to present papers and attend sessions by faculty and students from other universities. As a sign of our centrality to current ecocritical studies, we will be hosting the biennial conference of the 2015 Association for the Study of Literature and Environment.

Our community extends around the country and around the world, as our M.A. graduates have gone on to successful careers in teaching, editing, publishing, business, and academe. Idaho M.A. students have gone on to Ph.D. programs at U. of British Columbia, Cal/Berkeley, Cal/Davis, Cal/Irvine, Columbia, Chicago, Florida State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Stanford, SUNY-Buffalo, Victoria, Washington, and Washington State. Our graduates now serve as tenured or tenure-track faculty at such institutions as Kansas State, U of Cincinnati, U of Nevada-Reno, Gustavus Adolphus, Emory, and Portland Community College.


For details, go to the Program Requirements: M.A. in English page.