Master of Arts in English


In the graduate program in English at the University of Dayton, students can choose from three tracks of expertise:

  • Literary & Cultural Studies Concentration
  • Writing & Rhetoric Concentration
  • TESOL Concentration

List of courses by track (pdf) >

Literary & Cultural Studies Concentration

Description: The graduate concentration in Literary and Cultural Studies focuses on the advanced study of literary texts in conjunction with the critical theories that can be used to analyze those texts. Students will become familiar with influential texts, literary forms, and interpretative practices that are necessary to build expertise in the fields of literary and cultural studies, while also developing essential skills in the areas of writing and research that are required to craft original and well-supported arguments. Emphasis will be on developing advanced cognitive and problem-solving skills along with interpretative and logical skills as they pertain to the reading of primary texts, as well as constructing effective analytic arguments regarding those primary sources. Students in this concentration will receive the opportunities and mentorship required develop skills essential to literary criticism and will be prepared to enter highly competitive PhD program or a range of professions (such as teaching, editing, or various other writing-related fields).

Writing and Rhetoric Concentration

Description: The graduate concentration in Writing and Rhetoric provides students with advanced study of, and experience in, academic and professional practices of textual production. The concentration’s focus on writing draws attention to the study of meaning-making practices across relevant forms of representation – including linguistic, visual, aural, alphanumeric, spatial, and multimodal systems. The concentration’s focus on rhetoric grounds the study of textual production and use within social contexts and for particular audiences. Together, the concentration emphasizes the study and practice of textual production as constitutive of and situated in various domains of human action: communities, workplaces, schools, homes, and cultural institutions – and especially those local contexts in which our students live and work. Recognizing, too, the historical relationship between writing instruction and humanities education within the academy, the concentration prepares students to be excellent teachers of writing. Students’ scholarly work, teaching experience, and production practices in this concentration prepare them for a range of professional opportunities, including career options in writing, editing, technical communication, publishing, digital and social media, grant writing, non-profit and arts administration, and teaching, as well as advanced graduate study in highly competitive PhD programs in rhetoric and composition, technical communication, or English education.

TESOL Concentration

Description: The graduate concentration in TESOL provides students with the basic principles of language learning, testing, and teaching. It equips them with the essential skills to teach English in national and international contexts. Students will become familiar with various methods, approaches, designs, and techniques to promote effective language learning and teaching in intra- and cross-cultural settings. Through developing informed reflective practices, the TESOL track enables students to enhance their teaching and problem-solving skills within a 21st century educational framework. The different course offerings are designed to enable students to apply theoretical knowledge in real life settings. The TESOL track collaborates closely with the Intensive English Program at UD and other local schools and institutes allowing majors to gain practical experience in teaching various aspects of language. Graduates of the TESOL track will be prepared to enter highly competitive PhD programs, such as in Applied Linguistics or in a related field, as well as to pursue a teaching career in the US (e.g., intensive programs, language institutes, schools or colleges) or abroad (e.g., the Peace Corps or universities seeking English instructors).


Applicants to the English program should submit the following information in addition to the online application:

Official academic records of all previously attended colleges or universities must be submitted directly from the colleges or universities to the Office of Graduate Admission Processing. Hand-carried transcripts, official copies marked Issued to Student and unofficial copies are not acceptable.

Three letters of recommendation from professors or employers.

  • A personal statement.
  • A 12-page writing sample.
  • Additional requirements apply for international students.

For more University of Dayton admission information, please visit: 


Students seeking admission must have completed studies in English and American literature, writing or both that will enable them to pursue graduate studies with distinction. Ordinarily, students will have completed 24 semester hours in literature, composition or both beyond the 100 level with a GPA of at least a 3.25 on a 4.0 scale.

FINANCIAL AID and Teaching Assistantships (TA)

Financial Aid Information

If you have been admitted to a graduate degree seeking program, you are eligible to apply for the financial aid. Because financial aid is provided by the US federal government, it is available only to U.S. citizens.

To check your eligibility or to get detailed information about financial aid, please contact the University of Dayton Financial Aid Office.

TA Description and Training

The graduate program currently consists of 9 Teaching Assistants(TAs). If you are interested in becoming a TA, please write clearly on the application that you wish to be considered for one. You are encouraged to discuss what prepares you for this work and interests you in it in your personal statements.

For the first semester of your assistantship, you are typically assigned to work in the Knowledge Hub, located in the Roesch Library first floor, as well as observe an English faculty member’s class. For the entire second year, you will run your own English 200 Writing Seminar for second-year students!

Before each academic year, you are required to participate in a 10-day training program which is designed to help you formulate procedures similar to English 590 Teaching College Composition. This training period allows you to get to know other TAs as well as give you an idea of what to expect in the coming two years.

During the first semester as TA, you must take English 624 Writing in High School and College. The class teaches how to develop lesson plans, policy sheets, assignment sheets, and rubrics, as well as how to manage a classroom.

For both of these years, you take English 590 Teaching College Composition—a class specifically designed for TAs. The class helps you develop your own theme and focus for the English 200 course you will teach in the second year of the program. An advisor guides you throughout the process.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jennifer Haan >

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Department of English

Humanities 200A 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1520